General Information

Passengers Boycotting Airport Scanners Could Cause Delays

Last Updated:

The recent increased airport security procedures have upset many travelers.   It is rumored that a grassroots boycott of the new airport scanners will take place on one of the busiest travel days of the year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  This could lead to significant delays, especially considering the amount of people traveling that day.  Travel insurance does not specifically provide coverage for a boycott, which could leave travelers on the hook for extra expenses incurred during such a delay.   A recent article from USA Today addresses the situation and includes reaction from TSA Administrator, John Pistole.

The nation’s aviation security chief warned on Monday that protests over tougher airport pat-down screening could cause delays at airports Wednesday, one of the busiest of the bustling holiday travel season.

John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration, said there is the “potential” for slowdowns if the loose-knit protest causes large numbers of people to boycott body scanners, which would then trigger far more of the new, more rigorous pat-downs.

“People should anticipate or just plan on some more time,” Pistole told reporters at a breakfast meeting.

Pistole stopped short of urging people not to protest, saying the right to dissent is one of the “great things about America.”

“My real concern for this is the vast majority of travelers who are simply trying to get home to be with loved ones for the holidays,” he said. If protests are severe, it could cause people to miss flights, he said.

Most travel insurance plans cover travel delays, interruptions and cancellations.  However, the reason for the disrupted travel plans must be included in a policy in order for benefits to apply.  Trip cancellation and trip interruption typically will include a comprehensive list of reasons.  If something happens that is not one of the covered reasons, then a claim would not be paid.  Travel delay coverage can use more lenient or general explanations regarding what caused the delay.  Though most policies will cover a common carrier caused delay, such as weather, mechanical failure, overbooking or strikes, a boycott of at airport security would not meet this definition.  The best way to prepare for a boycott of airport security is to plan ahead and allow extra time for travelers to reach their gate and their destination safely.  Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.

Source:  TSA chief warns airport scan boycott could cause delays