Wildfire Smoke Casts More Shadows Over A Busy Summer Travel Season

Wildfire Smoke Casts More Shadows Over A Busy Summer Travel Season

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., June 8, 2023 — The summer travel season kicked off with two new perils for travelers: pilot strikes and unsafe visibility conditions grounding flights.

These unexpected travel issues highlight relevant travel insurance benefits, and the need to purchase a plan early.

The nation’s leading travel insurance marketplace, Squaremouth.com, explains how and when summer travelers can rely on insurance for help.

Unexpected Travel Impacts

Air Travel Visibility Issues:

This week, air travel saw a ripple effect of delays and cancellations due to poor visibility in the Northeast brought on by widespread wildfires in Canada.

Travel Insurance Solution:

The majority of carriers on Squaremouth.com include coverage for delayed and canceled flights, as well as missed connections, due to weather and natural disasters. The most lenient plans can cover “any delay of a common carrier.”

Coverage may be triggered on many travel insurance plans purchased prior to the day the event began impacting travel, thus becoming a “known event.” 

Cutoff date for coverage for smoke-related travel issues: June 6, 2023

Pilot Strikes:

Several of the most popular airlines in the US have authorized strikes that could put further pressure on the already short-staffed industry.

Travel Insurance Solution:

Most travel insurance plans include coverage for an employee strike that cancels a trip. However, once a strike is announced, it becomes “foreseeable,” meaning coverage is no longer available on plans purchased after that date.

Cutoff date for coverage related to pilot strikes: varies by airline announcement date. For example, cutoff date for American Airlines pilot strike: May 1, 2023. 

Travelers who are booking trips now and are concerned about these and other known events can still purchase a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) plan. These policies can protect from events not otherwise covered by a plan. Travelers can expect to pay around 9% of their trip cost on a CFAR policy and can receive up to 75% reimbursement.

Coverage for Standard Summer Woes

There is still time for travelers with trips already booked to purchase a travel insurance policy for the majority of common summer travel issues. 


Virtually all Trip Cancellation plans include coverage for a hurricane that prevents travel or severely damages your destination. With one tropical depression already on record, travelers who are concerned about weather can purchase this coverage for any future storm.

Cutoff date for hurricane/storm coverage: before a storm is named.

Airline-Related Delays:

Summer travel in 2022 was infamous for widespread delays and lost luggage, mostly due to an understaffed and unprepared airline industry. 

Delays, missed connections, and delayed or lost bags are regularly covered by travel insurance plans. Squaremouth recommends looking for a policy that covers “any delay” of a common carrier, and suggests looking for a short time frame requirement to trigger coverage, ~3 hours. 

Cutoff date for airline-caused travel implications: prior to trip start date.

Notes to editors

Available Topic Expert: James Clark, is available for comment and interview. jclark@squaremouth.com

About Squaremouth: Squaremouth.com has insured over 3 million travelers. Using Squaremouth’s intuitive quoting and comparison engine, award-winning support team, and verified customer reviews, travelers can save time and money to find the best travel insurance policy for their trip.