Flight Cancellations & Delays Can Affect Your Clients

  • Angela Borden
Mar 10, 2017

According to the Bureau of Transportation’s data for major carrier operations in 2016, there were 964,239 delays for flights arriving at United States airports. This represents 17.16% of flight arrivals. Additionally, for the same time period, 65,861 or 1.17% of flights were cancelled.

Clearly, this travel phenomenon is impacting a large number of travelers. We’ve all either been in the position of dealing with these scenarios ourselves or we’ve seen it happen — people running through the airport to catch a connecting flight or waking up after spending the night in the airport. It’s no fun and it can also affect a traveler’s wallet.

Assist your clients with these situations.
To help with these types of scenarios, you can arm your traveling clients with a trip cancellation plan. Provide them with examples to explain how it can make a big difference for them.  

RoundTrip Elite has four benefits to help with flight cancellations or delays. 

  1. Trip cancellation – Your client could completely cancel his or her trip for the two triggers below related to flight cancellations. In that case, he or she would be reimbursed for unused nonrefundable prepaid payments or deposits for the trip.
    • Inclement weather caused complete cessation of the airline’s services for at least 48 consecutive hours.
    • An unannounced strike caused complete cessation of the airline’s services for at least 48 consecutive hours.
  2. Trip Interruption – The same flight-related triggers shown above apply for this benefit. However, it not only reimburses insureds for unused nonrefundable prepaid trip payments but also for additional transportation costs to:
    • Join a trip if your client has to leave after the scheduled departure date or travel using alternate travel arrangements to reach their destination; or
    • Rejoin the trip or transport your client to the originally scheduled return destination, if he or she interrupts the trip after departure.
  3. Missed Connection – If your client misses a cruise or tour departure because their arrival at the point of connection is delayed for 3 or more hours due to an airline delay (including flight delay or cancellation), the plan will reimburse for:
    • Additional transportation costs to join the trip; and
    • Reasonable accommodation and meal expenses up to $150 per day.
  4. Travel Delay – If your client is delayed by an airline for at least 6 hours while en route to, from, or during the trip, this benefit pays up to $300 per day for:
    • Non-refundable, unused prepaid trip expenses; and
    • Reasonable accommodations, meals, and local transportation expenses.

Real-life Examples
To help your clients really understand how these benefits work, feel free to share these stories with them.

Trip Interruption
Problem:  Susan and Tamara are traveling to Costa Rica and are delayed in Dallas for more than 48 hours due to a huge storm. They both still want to travel to Costa Rica even though they have lost two days of their trip. Unfortunately, their airline requires them to buy new tickets for the flight to Costa Rica (this really does happen)! Even though they receive a credit from the airline for the unused portion of the original airline ticket, it costs them $200 more for the new ticket! 

Solution:  We pay the $200 difference for the increased cost of the new ticket. Also, because the hotel in Costa Rica would not refund the money for the first two nights in Costa Rica that they missed, RoundTrip Elite reimburses that amount as well.  

Missed Connection
Problem:  Tom and Mary are flying from Greenville, South Carolina to Fort Lauderdale to hop on a cruise ship and head to the Caribbean. Unfortunately, they’re delayed for 6 hours in Atlanta and miss the ship’s departure.

Solution:  RoundTrip Elite pays:

  • $150 for one night in a hotel in Fort Lauderdale and for meals.
  • Airfare for Tom and Mary to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Philipsburg, St. Maarten (the first port of call) where they meet their ship.

Travel Delay 
Problem:  Dave is flying from his home town in Indianapolis to Dublin, via a connecting flight in Chicago. His flight to Chicago is cancelled due to thunderstorms, and there are no other flights available. He can’t get to Chicago that night, so he returns home. The airline books him on a flight to Dublin for the next day, but the hotel in Dublin will not refund the payment for the first night he missed there.

Solution:  RoundTrip Elite reimburses Dave for the cost of the hotel for the night in Dublin that he missed.         

Additional help
If you’d like to provide additional helpful content to your clients about other ways to deal with flight cancellations and delays, feel free to share our consumer blog about this topic.  

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