Boeing Max 8 - Australian Travel Insurance [Cover for choosing not to fly on it?]

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JB expat

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My family of 4 is going on an overseas trip in 14 days that involves a number of flights.

One flight from Canada to Maui is on a Boeing Max 8. Neither Canada nor the USA have grounded the Max 8 - and despite 3 phone calls, Air Canada will not waive their flight cancellation policy (4 tickets @ $500 each).

I'm waiting to hear back from my Aus travel insurance as to whether they will pick up the cost of replacement flights - which I can get for less or just less than what I paid for the AC flights as I booked for the convenience of a direct flight. Alternative flights on other aircraft are aplenty (on different carriers) so long as we are willing to take a non-stop flight - which we are fine with. Also, the change is quite easy to do because this happens to be a one-way ticket that isn't tied to any other leg of our travel journey - so a no-show or cancellation will do no harm to the rest of our trip.

In my mind, the home country regulator (Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority) has deemed this aircraft unsafe and since the policy is governed by Aus laws, the insurer should accept the plane as unsafe.

Thoughts? comments? I will provide an update when I have one.
 

equus

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I doubt the travel insurer will cover a decision not to travel - although I can understand your reasons. The home country regulator angle is unlikely to fly - it is compliance with the local regulations that matters.

In any event, CASA has not deemed the aircraft "unsafe" - the quote I found specifically refers to "risks of continued operations... to and from Australia" - so is carefully targeted at the area of CASA's responsibility - and would have no application to your case.

This is a temporary suspension while we wait for more information to review the safety risks of continued operations of the Boeing 737 MAX to and from Australia.
 

JB expat

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I doubt the travel insurer will cover a decision not to travel - although I can understand your reasons. The home country regulator angle is unlikely to fly - it is compliance with the local regulations that matters.

In any event, CASA has not deemed the aircraft "unsafe" - the quote I found specifically refers to "risks of continued operations... to and from Australia" - so is carefully targeted at the area of CASA's responsibility - and would have no application to your case.

Thanks. This is helpful. Not the answer I want but I think this will be what I’m ultimately told. This is so nerve-wracking. If only Canada and America will do the right thing.

FYI I’m trying the argument that if I had a 6 country trip booked and before I left the Aus government put out a warning not to go to country #3 (even if no other country put out such a warning), the travel insurance would pay for changes to go from country #2 to #4 (skipping #3) and tell me that if I ignored the warning and still went to #3, I’d be on my own if anything happened. To put it another way, if my Max 8 takes a nose dive, would they pay out to my estate or would they argue that I opted to take an unfit aircraft. Frankly, much cheaper to pay for rebooking.
 

JB expat

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Contacted Air Canada multiple times. Finally after my 3rd FB private message, they said they kept the flight and changed the aircraft. I looked up my reservation via their website and the aircraft hadn’t changed. So when I messaged back asking what aircraft I would be flying, their response was “do you want a full refund”. Not responsive to my question but I took it. I rebooked in American and now I have a stop in LA (overnight). But flights totaled almost the same and because we were going to spend a night in Vancouver all I had to do was cancel that fully refundable hotel booking and replace it with a hotel
Close to LAX. I might be out of pocket US$100 which isn’t worth pursuing with travel insurance. I’m quite happy that this worked out. The only downside is that because I booked the new flights so close to travel dates, the extra leg room seats that my status entitles me to are completely booked. And my family is not seated together which American said they would fix at the gate. We always sit 2x2 so we don’t need 4 seats together. Just 2x 1 parent & 1 child. As a bonus, American will help me retain my Qantas status and I will have heaps of free baggage allowance. The only reason I booked Air Canada in the first place was because the direct flight appeal won me over at the time of booking.

And my full refund has already been fully processed!
 
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