We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Refundable Flights and Travel Insurance

usa
7 posts
Save Topic
Refundable Flights and Travel Insurance

Hello Everyone!

I’m hoping for a bit of advice with regard to refundable vs. non-refundable flights, and how travel insurance might factor in the decision.

I am shopping for fares to book a roundtrip ticket for a trip in which I’m planning to be away for about three months this summer. The exact date of my early August departure (or November return for that matter) isn’t terribly sensitive, and as I don’t forsee any scheduling issues this far in advance, I’ll likely select travel dates on which I can find the best rates. But as I’ve got just a tinge of worry that something important might arise forcing me to change (or even worse cancel) my trip unexpectedly, I have been comparing refundable fares as well.

I’m astonished at the difference! A basic non-refundable fare from Baltimore/Washington area airports to CDG is in the area of 1,200 to 1,400 US. Compare that to the refundable fares, with the same dates and carriers, at around 3,300 – 3,500 US!! Is such a drastic increase usual? I was expecting a few/several hundred diff., but 2.5x the cost seems abnormal!

Now I should also note that in addition to my flight arrangements, I’ve also been researching travel insurance policies, just for a bit of added peace of mind I suppose. I’ve been told that a number of such policies extend to cover flight cancellations, which I understood to mean that one would be covered in the event of an airline caused cancellation. Can anyone confirm to what degree such policies could cover me in case of having to cancel or postpone my trip? Are there any particularly good agencies people have used and would recommend (or urge to avoid!)? Would this be a good alternative to splashing out on that oh-so-expensive refundable airfare??

Thanks for reading, and I'll look forward to your suggestions!

Best

Chiang Khong...
Level Contributor
4,721 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Refundable Flights and Travel Insurance

HI

Usually trip cancelation insurance is for unforseen circustance's such as illness , accident or death of relative. you need to have proof to file claim

not because you decide not to go. or something more important comes up.

some non-refundable tickets allow to change dates for a price.

if the airline cancells the flight they should take care of you.by putting you on next available flight.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
36,785 posts
342 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Refundable Flights and Travel Insurance

Difficult to advise on Travel Insurance as US and UK/European markets so different. Basically as Swadeeka says you are covered for cancellation for genuine reasons, Medical, Death of close relative or travel companion, Jury service etc., any of which must NOT be known at the time of booking. You are NOT covered cos your friends pet needs an oparation and you want to stay home to comfort her/him or just because you change your mind and don't want to miss that TV programme after all. (One poster here way back actually got miffed because his flight times conflicted with Superbowl and he semed to think this was sufficient reason to not fly!)

As to full flexible fares, these are the province of the super Ex suit who needs to change plans to catch meetings etc., He is one of the chief reasons that overbooking prevails. If airlines stopped the practice of refundables, overbooking would largely disappear. But they won't, so it don't!

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
829 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Refundable Flights and Travel Insurance

One of the things I would keep in mind is whether you might have to cancel your trip for business purposes (i.e., your boss won't let you go). There are only a few travel insurance companies that will provide refunds in those situations, so if that could possibly cause you any trouble, be sure to look into it.

Cherry Hill, NJ
Destination Expert
for Philadelphia
Level Contributor
7,989 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Refundable Flights and Travel Insurance

#1> Yep, thats the right price differential. Scary, no?

#2> It depends on the type of insurance you buy. There are two main classes of cancellation insurance, one is basic, which covers you in case of medical emergency, strike, any unforseen circumstance. The second is Cancel Anytime, which is more expensive and returns a portion of the pre-paid expenses based on timing and other factors.

I use TravelGuard (whihc is AIG) for my travel insurance, have never had an issue. A good place to start is www.insuremytrip.com

Check other threads on this forum. For overseas travel, insurance is not a luxury, its a NECESSITY for a number of reasons. Do NOT leave the US without it.

MERSEYSIDE
Level Contributor
4,001 posts
97 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Refundable Flights and Travel Insurance

if the airline cancels your flight you will get your money back off the airline so nothing off the insurance as there's nothing to insure ie no flight. depends on your take on things but when it happened to me we'd paid not very much for a ryanair flight to italy, we'd booked very early to take advantage of cheap deal, ATC went on strike and ryanair cancelled flight and refunded money. all very well but i had no chance of getting similar flights for the price i'd originally paid at two days notice. that's the chance you take i suppose, been doing non package hols and it's the only time it's ever happened but i'm more aware of what can go wrong now

Cherry Hill, NJ
Destination Expert
for Philadelphia
Level Contributor
7,989 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Refundable Flights and Travel Insurance

Not entirely true as it depends WHY the airline cancelled your flight, and IF they offer an alternative.

For example, if your flight is cancelled due to a storm on Tuesday and the next flight with space is on Friday, the airline can book you on that and not be liable for anything else. We won't even touch on issues such as airline bankruptcy, mechanical interruption or my personal favorite, no plane, all of which the airline is only required to book you on the next available flight NOT refund your money.

There are other factors such as medical evac, lost baggage, replacement expense.

7. Re: Refundable Flights and Travel Insurance

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 10:18 pm, September 28, 2009