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CNN Discusses Airline Delays

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A recent article on CNN.com reviews the statistics of airline delays over the last several years.

Flight delays decreased 6 percent from 2007 to 2009, largely because airlines put fewer planes in the sky because of the recession, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office.

But even with the decrease, at least one in four U.S. passenger flights arrived late — typically an hour late — at five major airports: Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy in the New York area, Atlanta Hartsfield in Georgia and San Francisco International in California, according to the report.

Those five airports — along with Chicago O’Hare International in Illinois and Philadelphia International in Pennsylvania — accounted for almost 80 percent of departure delays at all major airports in the United States.

Airline delays caused by weather, mechanical breakdown and even labor strikes are normally covered by travel insurance.

Travel delay will reimburse the costs of food, lodging, local transportation and phone calls during an airline delay.  Depending on the plan, the delay must last for anywhere from 3 to 24 hours.

Trip interruption can reimburse the unused, non-refundable expenses of the trip if airline delays last for a significant amount of time.  Usually, the stoppage of service must last for at least 24 or 48 hours.

Travel insurance can also help alleviate the cost of a missed connection due to an airline delay.  Again, a set amount of time must pass before this coverage is available, normally about 3 hours.  Missed connection coverage is a separate benefit in some policies, in other policies it can be a part of travel delay or trip interruption coverage.

Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.