Thousands of travellers have had their travel plans thrown into chaos as Air New Zealand completes urgent checks on their Dreamliner fleet.
While many travellers think their travel insurance will cover anything and everything, Natalie Ball, director Comparetravelinsurance.com.au advises:
“A common misconception is that all cancelled flights, regardless of the reason, are covered by travel insurance, but that’s simply not the case.”
“In a nutshell, travel delays or cancellations within the airline’s control – mechanical problems, staff shortages, or overbooking – are not covered. So Air New Zealand’s delays due to urgent engine maintenance of its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet would fall into this category. However, anything where the airline is not at fault, such a bad weather and natural disasters, will generally be covered by travel insurance.”
What does your airline cover?
“In the case of circumstances within the airline’s control, they are liable to give you the service you’ve paid for, so you should expect them to get you to your destination on time, reschedule your flight, or refund it.”
“Although airlines aren’t actually required by local law to pay you costs for delays, many airlines, including Air New Zealand, have policies to compensate customers, particularly in cases of overnight delays or missed connecting flights.”
What does travel insurance cover?
“If you experience a cancellation outside the airline’s control, a comprehensive policy will cover you for any additional expenses, such as meals and accommodation if you’re delayed for more than a minimum period, which will vary from insurer to insurer. A comprehensive policy will also often cover your alternative travel expenses if you have to reach a planned event, such as a wedding or departing tour on time.”
Such claims are assessed on a case-by-case basis, so if you have something planned that can’t be rescheduled, contact your insurer’s claims team for assistance on how you can get there on time without breaking the bank.”
How can I stay up-to-date with flight rescheduling?
“As the call centre lines will be at capacity, make calling your airline a late resort. To make sure you’re kept up-to-date, check that your email address and mobile numbers for your flight booking are current, and stay tuned to the airlines social media pages and website.”
Further information on Air New Zealands customer service and tarmac delay policy, see here.