Travel Insurance FAQ

Are Underbooked or Oversold Flights Covered?

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Travel insurance is usually a package of benefits covering cancellations, delays and medical emergencies.  Those traveling by plane are often concerned their trip will be affected by how many tickets are sold.  Travelers are inconvenienced and incur extra expenses when they are bumped from an oversold flight or have to change plans because an undersold flight is cancelled.  Understanding the available coverage in a travel insurance policy can help alleviate the frustration and costs.

Travel delay coverage can cover an underbooked or oversold scenario, but look closely at the policy language.  Many plans cover any airline delay over a certain number of hours, but other plans only apply benefits if the delay is weather or mechanical failure.  When benefits are available, travel delay reimburses food, lodging and local transportation during the delay.

The policy language for missed connection coverage is similar to travel delay, that is, read closely what has to happen before coverage is available.  This benefit can be more restrictive, as some plans only cover a missed cruise or tour, not flights.  Missed connection reimburses the costs of catching up to the trip when a delay causes a missed departure.

Trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage language is the most specific about when benefits are available.  Each policy will have a list of covered reasons, one of these reasons must be satisfied before coverage is available.  Unfortunately, underbooked and oversold flights are not covered reasons for trip cancellation or trip interruption.

Remember, a travel insurance claim only pays after other sources of compensation.  If the airline pays for your hotel, travel insurance won’t pay for it also.

Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.