Flight Cancellation Insurance Any Reason

Have you been watching the news lately?  Covid-19 vaccinations are now approved for all individuals 6 months of age or older.   Covid-19 related hospitalizations are down.  Airport traffic has picked up considerably.  These are great signs for travelers itching to get back out there.

But, there is one dark cloud just over the horizon that stands poised to rain on your travel plans.  The dark cloud with which I refer to is, Flight Cancellations!

Given the fact that these cancellations and delays are appearing with more frequency, what can be done?  The easy answer, would be to only plan vacations, and trips that do not require air travel.  However, that is not an option if you want to visit family located on the opposite side of the country, or your business trip is beyond the distance easily accessible by car, or you have been planning a vacation where air travel is the only option.

Unfortunately, you have absolutely no control over flight cancellations.  So, in this article I would like to look at root causes behind these cancellations and possible remedies to protect your cash outlay (flight cancellation protection).  In fact, I strongly recommend a contract that provides flight cancellation insurance for any reason.

Root Causes Behind Flight Cancellations

Pilot Shortage

Pre-pandemic, airlines were already experiencing a shortage of pilots.  When we were in the middle of the pandemic, many senior pilots opted to take early retirement. While those pilots turning 65, were forced to retire because of regulations withinTwo female pilots the airline industry.   Since demand for travel was way down, airlines really needed to reduce their payroll.    Retirement, be it early retirement, or forced retirement, imposed by the airline industry, helped satisfy that need.  Now that the desire for travel is on the rise, the supply of trained pilots cannot not meet the demand.  To make matters worse, the training required to get qualified pilots in place is very extensive, time consuming and expensive.  So, it appears that the shortage of pilots will continue to be an issue.

As a side note, the staffing in general, is a problem throughout the airline industry.

Weather

In an EPA article updated May 12, 2021 titled “Climate Change Indicators:  Weather and Climate”, rising global average temperatures are associated with widespread changes in weather patterns.

Weather Map--Storm Warning

What does that have to do with flight cancellations?

Specifically, tropical storm activity in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico has increased during the last 20 years.  Storm intensity, duration, and frequency, has risen noticeably during that period.

Another point of interest is the fact that in recent years, a higher percentage of precipitation in the United States has come in the form of intense single-day events.  These single day events can wreak havoc on air travel, increasing the possibility of flight cancellations.

Covid-19 and Covid-19 Variants

In a CDC article updated June 10, 2022 we find that many people are at a much lower risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death from Covid-19 because of increased immunization through vaccination or previous infections.  That being said, if you test positive for Covid-19, or have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, the CDC offers the following guidelines to follow:

  • Quarantine for at least 5 days.Covid-19 image
  • Wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around others in your home.
  • Do not Travel

Furthermore, if you were exposed to Covid-19 and are not up to date on Covid-19 vaccinations, the CDC guidelines mirror the exact same CDC guidelines listed above.

So, if an airline employee tests positive for Covid-19, or has been exposed to a team member who tested positive for Covid-19, he or she is now required to quarantine for 5 days (That means an entire crew could possibly be unable to work).  I suspect that scenario could add to an already problematic scheduling crisis.

Do I Need To Protect My Cash Outlay?

As I mentioned earlier, you have absolutely no control over flight cancellations.

Before looking at flight cancellation protection you can purchase, we need to understand when the airlines are required to issue refunds.

  • Cancelled Flight—A consumer is entitled to a refund if the airline cancelled a flight, regardless of the reason, and the consumer chooses not to travel.
  • Schedule Change/Significant Delay—A consumer is entitled to a refund if the airline made a significant schedule change and/or significantly delays a flight and the consumer chooses not to travel.
  • There are other fees that may be refundable but, in this article, we are looking at Flight Cancellations and Delays in particular.

It is important to understand that the Department of Transportation (DOT), has not specifically defined what constitutes a “significant delay”.  The DOT determines whether you are entitled to a refund on a case-by-case basis.

Now we know, if your flight is cancelled by the airline, you are entitled to a full refund.  So, your cash outlay is protected in that instance.

When Do I Need Cancel For Any Reason Insurance?

Today, there are many reasons to purchase a Cancel For Any reason Travel Insurance Policy, even after taking airline cancelled flights off the table.  Reasons include but are not limited to:

  • The high overall cost to travel.
  • Covid-19 concerns.
  • Unrest all over the world.
  • Changing weather patterns.
  • Issues at your destination.
  • Your travel partner has fallen ill.
  • You change your mind.
  • Peace of mind.

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The cancel for any reason endorsement (typically an upgrade to a base policy), will refund 50% to 75% of your insured trip cost if cancellation is initiated up to 48 hours prior to your scheduled departure date.

Conclusion

If the airline cancels your flight for any reason, your airline costs are refundable by the airline.  The reasons to purchase Flight Cancellation For Any Reason Coverage have more to do with all of the other variables that could affect your travel plans.  There are an infinite number of reasons to purchase Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance (which would include Flight Cancellation Insurance), but for me, peace of mind always tops the list.  Whenever I travel, I choose to keep anxiety and those things that fuel anxiety to a minimum, and the purchase of Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance, does just that.

I look forward to reading your comments and don’t forget to share this article with friends and family.

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