Does travel insurance cover a delayed flight?

You arrive at the airport an hour before departure because you don’t want to miss the flight. You are waiting for the scheduled flight, but suddenly the status is delayed. Downer, isn’t it? Instead of getting excited about the whole journey, it gets frustrating and the real fun hasn’t even started yet.

Like it or not, flight delays happen every now and then, and it’s out of your control. Even seasoned travelers would say the same. Despite traveling multiple times, delayed flights are annoying and can take a toll on one’s patience and mood. So, what’s your best armor against delayed flights? Shell a little for delayed flight travel insurance in case you need to reschedule or book another flight.

Basic rights of passengers due to flight delays

Suppose you are waiting for your flight at an EU airport. You will also be flying with an EU registered airline arriving at an EU airport.

If the flight is delayed by two hours, the airline is responsible for you until you are put on your flight. They are obliged to give you access to call or e-mail, a snack or a meal with a drink or overnight stay where necessary. You also have the right to seek any kind of help when you need it. If you have out-of-pocket expenses, your travel insurance may reimburse you once you make a claim.

When to file an insurance claim

In addition to access to communications and more refreshments, travelers are entitled to financial compensation if flights are delayed by at least three hours. That is according to EU laws. The compensation depends on the distance of your flight and the length of the delay until your arrival.

Each passenger receives €250 for a flight distance of 1,500 km or less. If the flight distance is between 1,500 km and 3,500 km, passengers are entitled to compensation of €400 per person. If the delay on arrival is four hours or more with a flight distance of at least 3,500 km, you can claim compensation of €600.

Although a rainbow seems to come after the rain, don’t get your hopes up just yet. In order to make a successful claim, the delay MUST be the fault of the airline. If the delay is due to natural events or unforeseen circumstances such as protests and strikes, the probability of compensation is slim to zero.

Waiving a delayed flight

If the delay is more than five hours, you can choose not to take the flight, regardless of the cause of the delay and the flight distance. You can get a full refund for that booking, including a return ticket if booked on the same airline. However, if you take the flight, you can claim compensation of up to €600, as the cause of the delay is the airline’s fault.

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Another lifesaver is your Delayed Flight Travel Insurance. It may also provide you with some cover if you choose to cancel your trip due to serious flight delays. Read the policy to find out its limits and how much coverage it provides when flights are delayed.