Air travel continues to be disrupted this week by the national surge in Covid infections, and many worried Americans may be wondering whether or how to ensure — and insure — upcoming or planned trips.
Some 2,221 flights nationwide were canceled Thursday alone, according to website FlightAware. That was the 12th straight day airlines axed more than 1,000 flights, as employees with the omicron or delta variants of the virus called in sick to already short-staffed carriers and winter weather hit parts of the country.
“These interruptions right now are insane,” said Jeremy Murchland, president of travel insurer Seven Corners in Carmel, Indiana. “I’ve never seen anything like it myself.”
Traveler inquiries at Seven Corners, which sells both comprehensive travel insurance policies and medical coverage-only plans, have doubled in the past week or so compared to the last few months of 2021, he added.
The good news is that, under federal law, if your airline cancels or “significantly changes” your flight and you opt not to travel, the carrier owes you a refund in the original form of payment. “It’s as simple as that,” said Willis Orlando, senior product operations specialist at Scott’s Cheap Flights.
However, there are two caveats, he added. First, airlines can set their own definition of “significant.”
“Some, like United, consider any change of 30 minutes or more significant, while others, like American, won’t generally offer a refund for changes of less than four hours,” Orlando said, adding that most other carriers “fall somewhere in between.”…ReadMore…