Flight delays, missed connections and cancellations are popular reasons people compare travel insurance to protect an upcoming trip. The recent Southwest Airlines emergency landing is now affecting many other flights. Planes are being grounded for inspection and hundreds of flights have been cancelled. A recent article from USA Today looks closely at the impact of the situation.
Southwest Airlines will ground 79 of its Boeing 737 planes for inspection after the roof ripped open on one of its flights, the company said Saturday.
“The safety of our customers and employees is our primary concern, and we are grateful there were no serious injuries,” said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a statement.
Southwest expects to cancel about 300 flights nationwide Saturday. Customers should check the status of their flight online before heading to the airport, said Southwest spokesperson Brandy King.
It is unclear how long the inspections will take, she said.
Travelers whose trips are affected should check with their airlines and other travel suppliers to see what alternate arrangements and restitution is available. Those with travel insurance policies should check with the insurance provider to see how they are covered. A situation like what has occurred with Southwest Airlines can be covered in several ways.
Many policies allow a trip to be cancelled or cut short if there is an airline delay due to mechanical failure. Trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage normally only applies if the delay is at least 12 or 24 hours. A claim will reimburse trip costs that are forfeited because of the delay or cancellation.
Those stranded because of the delays can be reimbursed for hotel, food and local transportation. This is covered under the travel delay benefit. Benefits will apply if the delay lasts the required number of hours, which can vary, as can the coverage limits.
Missed connection coverage covers the costs of catching up to the trip if a delay results in a missed departure. Again, a required delay time can apply. Also, look closely at the coverage, as some policies only cover a missed cruise or tour, not a missed flight.