Hundreds of Aussies are facing holiday disruptions due to Tigerair’s sudden flight cancellation both to and from Bali. For those with children, the disappointment will be palpable as the school term looms closer. Indeed, all those Bali bound will no doubt be feeling frustrated as their holiday seems unlikely to take off as planned.
Although passengers still in the tourist destination are scheduled to fly home on additional services, countless customers have had their travel plans abruptly halted by the mass cancellations. The cancellations are understood to come in response to an administrative dispute with the Indonesian government
While flights from Bali to Australia have now been scheduled to resume as normal until the 16th, all Bali bound services from Australia have been cancelled until the 20th of January. Flights from the 21st onwards are currently under question.
Affected customers still in Australia have been offered full refunds while those still stranded in Bali will be escorted home on additional Virgin Australia flight services.
Can affected travellers claim on travel insurance?
Those affected by the flight cancellation may be eligible to claim for their costs.
Natalie Ball, director Comparetravelinsurance.com.au advises:
“You may have provision to claim for prepaid expenses and lost deposits. Your claim would be assessed on a case by case scenario. However, in events such as these flight reimbursements are likely to be the airline’s responsibility, not your travel insurer’s.”
Travellers should note that the vast majority of insurers would not pay a cancellation that arises from delays or rescheduling by a bus line, airline, shipping line or rail authority adds Ball.
“While we cannot speak on behalf of all insurers, we can suggest that there may be some provision here to claim on some out of pocket expenses for accommodation and lost deposits. It’s always best to contact your insurer directly and find out where they stand on this particular issue.”
Missed flights and travel insurance
Plenty of confusion surrounds missed flights and where Australians stand in terms of compensation. In a nutshell, you would be covered if you missed your flight for an insured reason.
What’s not covered:
- When the delay is caused by your airline: Mechanical faults, delays or overbooking on your flight should all be compensated for by your airline.
- You’re late and don’t make it to your gate on time. Unfortunately, tardiness is not an insurable event
- You are offered compensation or an alternative flight by your airline and you decline it.
- You’ve upgraded your flight. If you miss your flight due to a covered event such as a car accident, you would not be eligible for a first class or business ticket if you hadn’t originally booked the upgrade (unless those are the only available seats).
When you are covered:
If you’ve missed your flight and neither you nor your airline can be blamed you could potentially have a successful claim on your hands. You would be covered if:
- You are involved in a car, rain, bus or marine accident and cannot get to the airport in time for your flight.
- You can’t make your plane due to a natural disaster, severe weather, hijacking, riots or civil unrest. The event must have begun after the insurance policy was issued.
- You are ill or injured and a doctor informs your insurer that you are unfit to get on a plane. You will require this notice to be in writing and the illness or injury in question cannot be due to a pre-existing condition.
Travel delays can be incredibly stressful and hugely disappointing for those anticipating their travels or journeying home. For holidaymakers looking to salvage some of their costs when disaster strikes Ball recommends taking out travel insurance well before their trip.
Ball concludes: “In the event of a flight delay or cancellation our advice would be to keep any additional expenses to a reasonable minimum and hang on to your receipts. If you haven’t bought travel cover we would strongly advise you to do so in the future. True to Smarttraveller’s mantra, ‘if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.’ ”
Further information on TigerAir’s Bali flight status can be found on their website: https://tigerair.com.au/fly/travel-alerts