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Insurance for missed connections on separate tickets?

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aspro2

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An increasingly common travel scenario involves passengers transferring to different flights with different tickets at various intermediate point, what with tourists transferring to/from LCCs in different regions or just buying separate tix on various websites. (E.g. pax flying to Asia or Europe on a longhaul carrier, separately buying cheap tickets for other regional carrier (LCC or non-LCC) to get to their final regional destination.)

What happens when the flight for the first leg or your outbound or inbound journey is delayed or cancelled? Some policies will cover travel expenses 'if your flight is delayed/cancelled and you need to arrive somewhere in time for your prepaid travel/tour arrangements'. I interpret this as meaning the insurer would pay for alternative transport for you to make it to your connection point.

But what if there's no option but to arrive late with carrier1 at the connection point? The onward carrier, carrier2, has no obligation to help you onto a later flight if you're on a NONCHG NONREF ticket. Any travel insurance covering that (IMHO much more likely) scenario??
 

aspro2

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Anyone? Sorry to bump, but it seems an important issue for many (unaware) travellers... (and me, of course;))
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Depends on what kind of insurance cover you have and the T&Cs. Some may cover, some may not.
 

aspro2

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Depends on what kind of insurance cover you have and the T&Cs. Some may cover, some may not.
I think that sort of goes without saying.;) I had already compared six policies available in AU and only two of those even offer the 'if your flight is delayed/cancelled and you need to arrive somewhere in time for your prepaid travel/tour arrangements' clause. Most limit it to special events or don't even offer that much -- by my reading of the policies, at least.
 
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aussiecruisers

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I too am waiting in anticipation for anybody that has comments on this thread. This is our itinerary to Miami and if we miss one flight eg Syd to HNL, are we covered by Insurance? We have to board a cruise the day after we arrive in MIA so surely we would be covered?

Arrive Syd 1915 (from BNE)
Depart Syd for HNL 2100 (Hawaiin Air)
1.45hrs to get bags; go from domestic to internationl terminal; recheck in and go through immigration.

Arrive HNL 1040 Terminal M
Depart HNL for Lax 1300 Terminal Z (Hawaiin Air)
2hrs 20min to get bags, recheck in and go through customs

Arrive LAX 2120 Terminal 2
Depart LAX for MIA 2315 Terminal 4 (American Airlines)
1.55hrs to get bags, recheck in.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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aussiecruisers said:
I too am waiting in anticipation for anybody that has comments on this thread. This is our itinerary to Miami and if we miss one flight eg Syd to HNL, are we covered by Insurance? We have to board a cruise the day after we arrive in MIA so surely we would be covered?
That depends on your policy. If you already have taken out insurance then check your fine print carefully. Actually check it carefully if you are still shopping for insurance also.
 

aspro2

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aussiecruisers said:
I too am waiting in anticipation for anybody that has comments on this thread. This is our itinerary to Miami and if we miss one flight eg Syd to HNL, are we covered by Insurance? We have to board a cruise the day after we arrive in MIA so surely we would be covered?
Aussiecruisers, IF all your flights are part of the one ticket/fare then your travel insurance expects your airline(s) to look after you if something goes wrong with your flights. If, however, some of your flights have been bought separately, then this is exactly what few insurance policies seem to cover. As or the cruise, if it is a separately booked thing and your policy includes a 'special events' clause, similar to the one I first mentioned, read it carefully to see if it covers prepaid travel arrangements or only special events like conferences, weddings, etc.

KiwiFlyer, rather than saying 'check your policy' again, do you have a policy that covers missed connections on separate tickets? Does anyone here? It would be interesting to know if anyone is actually covered against the scenario I initially mentioned (separate tickets, missed connection).
 

NM

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aussiecruisers said:
I too am waiting in anticipation for anybody that has comments on this thread. This is our itinerary to Miami and if we miss one flight eg Syd to HNL, are we covered by Insurance? We have to board a cruise the day after we arrive in MIA so surely we would be covered?
Surly that is a question for your insurance company and not for AFF members. Each policy is different so it will depend on just which travel insurance policy you have purchased. Don't rely on advice from the armatures here for something as important as travel insurance policy interpretation. We can only really comment from personal experience or regarding specific travel insurance policies and cannot comment accurately on such specific cases.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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aspro2 said:
KiwiFlyer, rather than saying 'check your policy' again, do you have a policy that covers missed connections on separate tickets? Does anyone here? It would be interesting to know if anyone is actually covered against the scenario I initially mentioned (separate tickets, missed connection).
I believe I do, on more than one policy. However since they are issued in NZ and Singapore, and moreover not available to general public, I assume of little use to most AFFers. That is why I haven't given examples.
 

d15.in.oz

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Even DJ’s B-Secure & JQ’s AIG insurance add-on products, seem to explicitly preclude these events! :evil:

B-Secure: Section 1.2 said:
Nor will we pay if…f) Delays or rescheduling by a bus line, airline, shipping line or rail authority
http://bookings.virginblue.com.au/pdfs/makingBooking/B-SecureTicketAUS_v7.pdf


AIG: Section 1 Exclusions said:
We will not pay…2. Claims arising from delays caused by carriers, rescheduling or cancellation of scheduled services
https://quote.aig.com.au/Travel/pdf_templates/pdf/AUST.pdf
 

NM

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The policy I travel under for work travel does not compensate for missing an event due to a missed connection. It does provide for reimbursement of expenses incurred if I have missed a connection, including accommodation, meals etc. So in your example, if I arrived in MIA after the ship has departed then that is tough for me. They may cover accommodation in MIA, but that would be about all, and only because the cruise would be considered "travel" so in fact that is seen as a missed connection.

But the policy states that I must first lay claim to any compensation that may be entitled to me from the carrier. So if it was the carrier's fault there may be some compensation due from them first before I can claim from the TI policy. This is more likely to be the case for things like delayed or lost luggage than for missed connections, but it worded similarly in the policy.

So it depends on your policy and firstly if they compensate for missed events and then if they consider a cruise to be a compensatible event. But if they consider it another travel sector, then they might just be obligated to get you to the cruise destination by some means, and would probably choose to do so by air.

But you can only know this by asking the specific question from your travel insurance provider. Conditions and interpretations vary significantly between policies. And if you are really concerned about it, then ask for confirmation of your specific example in writing before you depart.
 

aspro2

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An answer from an insurer

So, as no-one seemed to be able to offer up a policy that covers the original, increasingly common scenario, I called one of the big insurers to see what they had to say. The person I spoke to at Mondial Assistance (itself apparently acting on behalf of Allianz) said that:

* she wasn't aware of any policy (from Mondial or anyone else) which covers a scenario where a passenger is travelling on a series of separate tickets, and a carrier-related problem with one journey causes the passenger to miss the next journey. (E.g. flying JQ to Sydney in order to catch a separately ticketed flight with AC to Vancouver, then transferring to a separately ticketed flight with WestJet to Calgary. Imagine that the JQ flight is cancelled.)

* Note 1: from the way she analysed the scenario, it would seem it has to be treated as a cancellation of any remaining travel. All(?) policies exclude cancellation claims based on carrier delay, rescheduling or mechanical failure, so no joy there. (This is convenient legacy-travel wording, working on the assumption that people only fly on one ticket, so the carriers on the one ticket would bear responsiblity for all of your travel.)

* Note 2: If your policy has a missed connections section, it might pay for alternative travel to reach the commencement of the next journey on time (in the above scenario, when JQ cancels, the policy would pay to put you on the next available QF flight to get you to SYD in time for your prepaid onward travel).

* Note 3: If no alternative is available to get you to SYD in time, then you are dealing with a cancellation of the rest of your journey (both AC and WestJet in this scenario), so again, no joy.

* She indicated that, yes, there are quite a few people stuck in this situation nowadays "but the policy is clear, in black and white". Indeed it is. As a carrier's liability extends only to getting you to your ticketed destination, it has no obligation to assist you if the rest of your travel with other separately ticketed carriers is stuffed. And as the insurer won't cover it either, no joy.

* This scenario is what is faced by anyone separately purchasing tickets with LCCs, legacy regional carriers, onward bus or rail connections, etc. A rather common occurrence nowadays! For a safe solution I guess one would have to never create this sort of itinerary. Two solutions: (1) Allow at least 24 hours between journeys (and probably more if the carriers involved don't have multiple flights per day), and/or (2) make sure that all parts of your travel are purchased under flexible fare conditions (ie, no NONREF NONCHG tickets) -- that means later carriers are obliged to try to put you on another flight, though possibly with considerable delay or a requirement to pay the difference between fares.

* Remember that none of this constitutes authoritative advice and you must check with your insurer to make sure you are covered for whatver travel arrangements you have made.

Did I miss anything?
 
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Evan

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One reason i try to get all ticketed on a single carrier or ticket. Sometimes costs a bit more though.
E
 

JohnK

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Most times I am in the same situation as mentioned by the OP.

Based on some of the information provided in this thread it would appear that insurance policies are very limited in what they provide and really useless. A missed flight due to carrier fault or inneficiency should not be my responsibility and I should not have to leave 2-3 days between connections just in case there are problems beyond my control.

I think it is time airlines moved into the real world and accepted responsibility for their mistakes rather than leaving people stranded and that includes you JQi!
 

aspro2

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JohnK said:
I think it is time airlines moved into the real world and accepted responsibility for their mistakes rather than leaving people stranded and that includes you JQi!
Couldn't agree more, but of course it's not just the airlines in this case -- insurance companies would appear to have deliberately avoided adapting to increasingly common travel patterns. Australian travellers already lack things like coverage for being late to the airport due to transport breakdown (often covered in the UK) or other mishaps along the way -- the assumption in all policies is that you are flying with one carrier to a destination and that's it. No onward connections with another carrier (or mode of transport), no travel which could never have been booked as part of the basic flights... etc etc. So we have:

* carriers who increasingly wash their hands of implied (and sometimes contractual) duty of care
* travel insurance which is deliberately antiquated (and by the very nature of the beast, strongly restrictive anyway)
* most importantly: a common scenario where the carrier has fulfilled its obligations and the insurance won't cover you. In the end, although it's frustrating when one carrier's delays means you can't make a separate travel arrangement, I think it's the insurance which should bear the obligation to provide compensation -- a carrier undertakes to get you somewhere; insurance undertakes to cover you for certain travel-related risks/eventualities.
 

JohnK

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Agree with everything you say although I cannot see insurance companies changing too much of their policies. Must have something to do with reduced profit and actually having to pay out on insurance policies.

I am on the lookout for insurance policies that only offer comprehensive health cover whilst overseas as I feel the rest of the policy is useless.

It is ludicrous that connection times at SIN are 1 hour but if I miss connection because of airline fault then I am up for all incidental costs and insurance company does not cover. In August I may have some 4 hour connections in LHR and I am frightened of being stranded with useless tickets as I will only have <1 day turnarounds.

As I said earlier airlines need to get their act together and start accepting responsibility for their inadequacy to provide the service promised. They have no problem accepting payment to provide the service. But....
 

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If you want the carriers of insurance companies to wear the risk, then expect to pay for that benefit. If you seek the lowest cost for fares and insurance, then you can also expect to carry the risk. Risk does not come free and must be budgeted in some way.
 

aspro2

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NM said:
If you want the carriers or insurance companies to wear the risk, then expect to pay for that benefit. If you seek the lowest cost for fares and insurance, then you can also expect to carry the risk. Risk does not come free and must be budgeted in some way.
I would point out that the types of itineraries I've described in no way require a low-cost fare element. Every time someone changes to a DB train at FRA, an AirNorth flight to Dili from Darwin, a cruiseship in Miami, they are left in limbo if anything goes wrong with their incoming transport.
 

NM

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aspro2 said:
I would point out that the types of itineraries I've described in no way require a low-cost fare element. Every time someone changes to a DB train at FRA, an AirNorth flight to Dili from Darwin, a cruiseship in Miami, they are left in limbo if anything goes wrong with their incoming transport.
Very true. But again, if you want the insurance company of the carrier to wear the risk, which can also carry significant financial exposure, then they will want to recover that risk through higher costs for their products. And since nobody wants to pay more for either of those products it just not going to happen.

The only viable option is to manage the risk yourself by ensuring onward bookings (be they a DB train at FRA or even a hotel room in HKG) are flexible enough to be altered along with your plans. This is why I will very rarely book pre-paid hotel rooms, car hire etc. That way if I am delayed I can alter the bookings to suit my revised plans. So go ahead and book that DB train at FRA, but only as a flexible fare that can be changed, or accept the non-refundable component as a risk you are willing to lose.
 

JohnK

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NM said:
If you want the carriers of insurance companies to wear the risk, then expect to pay for that benefit. If you seek the lowest cost for fares and insurance, then you can also expect to carry the risk. Risk does not come free and must be budgeted in some way.
I have comprehensive travel insurance, not the cheapest on the market, and I am talking about business class airfares with BA->BA connections but on separate tickets. It is frightening that I could miss a 4 hour connection in LHR and then be held responsible for the missed connection.
 
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