Here are the common winter travel nightmares that insurance could help you escape, and the buying rules to make sure you’ll be covered or compensated.
Winter Flight Nightmare #1: Missing the Plane
Your biggest financial risk in terms of winter travel is missing your plane due to weather problems getting to the airport—problems that the airline isn’t experiencing. In this case, you risk forfeiting the entire value of nonrefundable ticket, or at least facing a stiff ticket change fee to retain some of the value toward a future ticket. Although some airlines give late arrivals a little slack, if you miss the check-in time you’re likely to be out a good bit of money. And you face the prospect of paying a stiff, last-minute fare for a replacement ticket.
Winter Flight Nightmare #2: Flight Canceled
When an airline cancels a flight, it normally arranges a seat on its next available flight, allows you to rebook a new flight (or flights, if you’re on a connecting itinerary) of your choice with no change in fare—or it offers a complete refund, even on a “nonrefundable” ticket. These days, airlines are much more proactive about weather delays than they used to be, and they often cancel flights and arrange alternatives several days in advance of a predicted major weather problem. So you should have some leeway.
By Ed Perkins
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