Warning: Don’t rely on a free trip insurance policy for a journey to Africa


Kellie McIntyre didn’t buy travel insurance for her African safari in the summer of 2016. She wishes she had.

Her stopover in Istanbul happened to coincide with a coup attempt that occurred in Turkey in late June 2016. And you can probably guess what happened next.

McIntyre’s flight was cancelled (for which she was later refunded) and she subsequently purchased a nonstop flight on Delta Air Lines at an additional cost of $5,728. She believed that her Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card’s complimentary trip insurance would cover the additional Delta flight expenses.

But that wasn’t the case. McIntyre contends that Chase wasn’t candid with her about trip interruption coverage. Her story illustrates why travelers should not assume that all trip insurance policies are the same, especially those that come with your credit card.

McIntyre contacted us and said she spoke repeatedly with Chase and its travel partners.

“I called them before each and every step I made to ensure that there were no surprises,” she said. “But in the end, I still got a $5,728 surprise that would have been avoided if they had given me accurate policy information… or weren’t inaccurately claiming to provide trip interruption coverage. If they had disclosed this, then I would have canceled the trip and filed a trip cancellation claim. We never would have rebooked the flights.”


After we reviewed McIntyre’s extensive paper trail, it was clear that she hadn’t purchased real trip insurance that actually covered her specific situation. Instead, her basic trip insurance policy came as a free benefit with her Chase card. Nor did she have any written documentation saying her new flights would be covered from Chase and its travel partners. (In fact, what is in writing is that only non-refundable, prepaid expenses are included in the policy.)

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In other words, McIntyre relied on a complimentary benefit that has severe limits. There is no part of this policy that covers additional flights. And when our advocate looked at the actual terms of the included travel insurance it had a limit per event. So even if McIntyre had cancelled her trip, she would have still lost money.

But her experience can serve as a cautionary tale for other international travelers. It’s unwise not to buy trip insurance for an expensive, overseas trip such as the one McIntyre arranged.

You can find out more about the various types of trip insurance policies on our frequently asked questions and answers about trip insurance.

Of course, if you choose to rely on the complimentary policy that’s included with your credit card membership, you should be familiar with all its written terms and conditions, especially what’s covered and what isn’t. If it’s not in writing, you can be absolutely certain an insurer isn’t providing coverage.

We’re sorry we couldn’t help McIntyre get reimbursed for her additional trip interruption expenses.


Michael Hinkelman

Michael Hinkelman is an award-winning journalist with more than 35 years experience. He has worked for daily newspapers in Atlanta and Philadelphia, most recently as a small-business columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, before retiring in 2016. In 1993, Hinkelman won a prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism for an investigation into the finances of the Atlanta Public Schools. In 2016, he was a lecturer in media relations at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government.

  • DChamp56

    Wow… people still don’t buy travel insurance for a very expensive vacation!

  • SirWIred

    It would have been dicey even for trip insurance you pay for; most do not cover war, insurrection, or riot. They’ll cover terrorism, but a coup isn’t that.

  • Dutchess

    Wait, would a traditional travel insurance plan cover additional flights? I’m not convinced it would. Trip interruption coverage is reimbursement for PREPAID expenses and most insurance policies don’t cover political unrest. Trip DELAY coverage might have covered this but probably not the entire $5k and might still have been excluded because this was due to political unrest.

  • Noah Kimmel

    I’m one of the biggest advocates of credit card insurance on this forum, and especially love the chase sapphire benefits. HOWEVER, you still have to understand what is included and what isn’t. (For instance, credit card car rental protection is not as easy to use as the car rental’s own LDW/CDW coverage). Always evaluate your specific situation to see if you need more insurance or not.

    Most trip interruption benefits included with credit cards do not cover last minute new tickets – they cover the incidentals between airline schedule and re-accomodation provided. So if you are re-routed a day later, it would cover hotel and meals (up to a limit). I am not aware of any included credit card policy that covers alternate flight costs. It is generally non-reimbursable incidental expenses incurred. Note some big caveats – most require round trip tickets booked in full on the card. So mileage awards don’t count if only taxes are paid. One-ways or delays at home or originating airport generally don’t count. Many also have different time limits before they kick in – 3, 6, even 12 or 24 hours.

    It is really important to do 2 things. First, read the contract / benefit guide and understand what is included! Don’t guess, as insurance companies rarely bend over backwards in the consumer’s favor. Second, contact the benefit administrator as soon as you think about using the service. Get as much in writing as possible, but keep notes and times of phone calls and agent names. Read back to them what you think you understood to make sure they agree and you aren’t hearing what you want to hear. Have them help you fill out your claim form.

    Very sorry for the OP, not a fun way to learn a $5,000 lesson.

  • Joe Blasi

    would any cover you own reroute (walk up rate) when your flight get’s cancelled with full refund

  • SirWIred

    Most of them have restrictions on WHY the flight was cancelled. Some insurance may cover, say, weather while excluding a Mechanical.

  • Kevin Nash

    You get what you pay for and in this case, OP paid nothing for travel insurance. Expensive lesson learned.

  • Noah Kimmel

    Chase benefit guides posted here for Sapphire Reserve: https://www.chase.com/card-benefits/sapphirereserve/travel

  • Michael__K

    Which airline was she flying? If she was flying an EU or Turkish carrier, then this should have been covered for free — under Turkish law. Turkey adopted EC Regulation 261 as part of Turkish law as of January 1, 2012.
    http://herdem.av.tr/passenger-rights-delayed-cancelled-flights/

    She had a right to CHOOSE to be re-routed by her airline, at the earliest opportunity, rather than refunded, and she had a right to free meals and lodging until her airline could re-route her. And an EU or Turkish carrier was obligated to giver her written notice of these rights.
    The Turkish Directorate of Civil Aviation is the agency responsible for enforcement and complaints:
    http://web.shgm.gov.tr/en/kurumsal/6-contact-us

  • Michael__K

    Paying for travel insurance, and then learning that coup attempts are not a “Covered Reason”, would have been an even more expensive lesson learned.

  • Annie M

    A good travel agent could have told her this

  • Kevin Nash

    It doesn’t take an expert traveler to know that coups, wars, acts of God are generally not covered events in insurance policies.

  • Michael__K

    So then why suggest otherwise that the OP would have gotten more if only they paid something for travel insurance?

  • Kevin Nash

    OP could have purchased “cancel for any reason” insurance and when the coup happened, cancelled her trip and pocketed the refund. The refund could have been used to offset costs associated with the trip that she decided to take anyway.

    Instead, she decided to use the “free” insurance on her credit card and purchase a non-stop flight that cost $5k without ever checking the actual terms to see if purchasing a walk-up fare was a covered event.

  • Michael__K

    OP could have purchased “cancel for any reason” insurance and when the coup happened, cancelled her trip and pocketed the refund.

    Which Cancel for Any Reason policy allows cancellations within 48-hours of departure? Per the article, the OP’s stopover in Istanbul coincided with a coup attempt. Not clear if she had already begun her trip, but the airport wasn’t even closed for 48 hours after the coup.

    [Nevermind that you wrote that paying “nothing for travel insurance” was an “expensive lesson learned” without any mention or reference to CFAR or any other specific insurance product]

  • Kevin Nash

    Why do I have to mention or reference CFAR in my initial post? The fact remains that OP paid for NO travel insurance, CFAR or otherwise. To expect to be reimbursed under an insurance policy requires that one actually purchase an insurance policy.

  • Michael__K

    Why would an “expert traveler” expect to be reimbursed in this scenario if they paid for a policy, with or without CFAR?

  • Kevin Nash

    Because CFAR would allow OP to recoup some of the expense.

  • Michael__K

    Which CFAR policy would have allowed the OP to recoup even one cent in this scenario (coup after departure or <48 hours before departure)?

  • Kevin Nash

    You have no idea when the flight was cancelled so stop making up scenarios.

  • Michael__K

    Do you have an idea when the flight was canceled, to support your assertion that the OP could have used CFAR to recoup some of their expense?
    Why would you believe that the OP had 48+ hours notice before their initial departure from their point of origin, given that the coup started on Friday afternoon and the airport resumed flights on Saturday?

  • Kevin Nash

    Please point where the article OP says when the flight was actually cancelled.

    I’ll wait.

  • Michael__K

    “McIntyre’s flight was cancelled (for which she was later
    refunded)”

    Why don’t you explain how you determined that “CFAR would allow OP to recoup some of the expense”?

  • Kevin Nash

    Let me repeat again “when the flight was actually cancelled.”

    Still waiting.

  • Michael__K

    You tell me. I didn’t assert that “CFAR would allow OP to recoup some of the expense”
    Which flight on which airline was canceled because of the coup more than 48+ hours after the first news of the coup?

  • Kevin Nash

    No, you tell me since you are the one making up scenarios. You have no idea when the flight was cancelled and are ASSUMING a time.

    I will repeat for the third time. Where does the article say WHEN the flight was actually cancelled?

    Still waiting.

  • Michael__K

    If you bother to read what I write I’ve been merely asking you questions about your own assertions about travel insurance and what the OP could have recouped….
    Are you questioning the factual accuracy of the news reports as to the coup’s timeline and when airlines resumed flights?
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-flights/istanbuls-airport-reopens-flights-resume-after-coup-attempt-idUSKCN0ZW0R5

  • Noah Kimmel

    remember, EU 261 has an exception if “the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided by any reasonable measure.” which an attempted coup could fall under

  • Kevin Nash

    Still waiting.

  • Michael__K

    No doubt this was an extraordinary circumstance, but the Article 8 right to re-routing at the earliest opportunity, and the Article 9 right to meals and hotel accommodation apply even in extraordinary circumstances.
    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32004R0261&from=EN

  • Michael__K

    So am I… Which scenario did I “make up” and how did you determine “CFAR would allow OP to recoup some of the expense”?

  • Kevin Nash

    Still waiting.

  • Alan Gore

    Why isn’t there a standard way of asking for this kind of coverage on major trips? Having to pay walkup when a prepaid airline will not deliver is a standard risk that travelers want to insure against. Instead, we have travel experts arguing over whether this sort of coverage even exists. Not exactly a starring moment in the marketing of trip insurance.

  • Alan Gore

    This is exactly the sort of which-walnut-shell-is-the-pea-under nonsense that infuriates people about the travel industry.

    So you’re saying that Cancel For Any Reason, which is presumably the most expensive option because it covers everything, is worthless in a case like this? What exactly does “any reason” mean if it does not mean, you know, any reason?

  • Michael__K

    Even if you can cancel for any reason, you need to satisfy the requirements, which includes giving notice and canceling all your reservations before the deadline, which is generally at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure date. And then you can get back 50% or sometimes 75% (depending on the policy) of your non-refundable deposits.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Nope. I never have, and I never will.

    In all of the years I’ve been taking expensive vacations, never once have I had a single incident that would have been covered by travel insurance. So, if you count up all of the money I *would* have spent on trip insurance for all of those expensive vacations, that’s an awful lot of money I *didn’t* throw away.

    Even if I book a super expensive vacation today, and lose every penny, I will STILL be ahead of the game.

    Totally not worth it, at least for me.

    I can kinda see how someone who rarely travels, and is taking the trip of a lifetime that they’ve spent years saving up for, might want to buy it. But for someone like me, who travels frequently, the odds are in my favor.

  • J M

    You must be fun at dinner parties.

  • Alan Gore

    That’s for a passenger-initiated cancellation, though. How can you ‘give notice’ when you come off a connecting flight and find that your international carrier is not flying today?

  • Michael__K

    Then it’s too late to cancel for “any” reason.

  • BubbaJoe123

    The coup started Friday evening, and they closed the airport then. The airport reopened on Saturday. At about 9PM NYC time on Friday night, the US FAA banned Turkish from flying to the US, but lifted that restriction on Monday. Net/net, all Turkish flights to and from the US for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were cancelled. Turkish was up and running on Saturday, so would have flown most if not all of those flights if the FAA ban hadn’t been in place.

    If her flight was scheduled for Saturday, she definitely didn’t have 48 hours, since the cancellation couldn’t have come before late evening on Friday, and probably didn’t come until the FAA ban was announced (early AM Saturday IST time/late evening Friday NYC time). Ditto for a Sunday scheduled flight. A Monday flight might be within the 48 hours, if Turkish cancelled it immediately upon hearing of the FAA’s ban. A Tuesday flight would have flown.

    So, unless the flight was scheduled for Monday, she DEFINITELY didn’t have 48 hours. Even if was a Monday flight, it’s not at all clear that she would have had 48 hours, depending on when Turkish decided to cancel the Monday flights.

    Do we know for sure that she didn’t have 48 hours advance notice? No, but it looks VERY likely that she didn’t.

    https://skift.com/2016/07/18/turkish-airlines-could-resume-u-s-flights-soon/

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-usa-flights/faa-bans-flights-from-turkey-to-u-s-after-failed-coup-idUSKCN0ZW15C

  • Lindabator

    IF you have the right policy, you never run into an issue — been at this over 20 years, and as long as you submit all the right paperwork (I help with that), never had a non-payment. And I hat to say it, but have seen some not take it, and then have a death or major injury/illness needing an airlift wipe out their savings for a good couple years. Its not just the cost of the trip, but coverage in catastrophic events that is important.

  • BubbaJoe123

    You said that, if someone doesn’t buy insurance, they shouldn’t expect to be covered by insurance.
    True.

    Michael__K said even worse than paying nothing for insurance and not getting any benefit is paying for insurance and not getting any benefit.
    Also true.

    What the “expensive lesson” is here depends on what the facts of the matter are. If the cancellation was more than 48 hours ahead, then the letter writer would have been better off buying CFAR insurance. If the cancellation was less than 48 hours ahead, then the letter writer would have been even worse off had she bought a CFAR policy. Two very different lessons.

  • BubbaJoe123

    As discussed above, it’s very likely that anything she paid for travel insurance would have been a waste of money.

  • jim6555

    You may not have had an incident covered by travel insurance, but countless other people have. I’m one of those people. In May of this year, my wife and I were on a European trip. We had spent a couple of days in Dublin and were scheduled to board a flight early the next morning which would take us to Hamburg, Germany to catch a Baltic Sea cruise leaving from the nearby port city of Kiel. A few hours before the flight departure time, my wife became ill and had to go to an emergency room at a nearby hospital. Her treatment took several hours and she was cleared by the doctor to travel on the following day. To make a long story short, we had about $4,000 in medical, hotel and rerouted travel expenses (we caught up to the ship a day later in Copenhagen). The travel insurance cost about $300. Well worth the price in my opinion.

  • Noah Kimmel

    while I agree with your intention, I am not sure I agree that article 8 still applies. I see the following. Above any article is the blanket statement of qualification for EU 261 which references extraordinary circumstances (which we agree on).

    “(12) The trouble and inconvenience to passengers caused by cancellation of flights should also be reduced. This should be achieved by inducing carriers to inform passengers of cancellations before the scheduled time of departure and in addition to offer them reasonable re-routing, so that the passengers can make other arrangements. Air carriers should compensate passengers if they fail to do this, except when the cancellation occurs in extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.”

    But even if we said article 8 still applied, she didn’t follow the proper procedure for it.
    Article 8 allows passenger a choice of carrier offered re-routing or refund. She chose refund and made her own re-routing choice.

    Not trying to nit pick, and I may be wrong as I am not an EU citizen or EU 261 expert (only filed and received 1 claim), but like those that reference trip insurance here, I worry that we don’t always do the digging to make sure the “solutions” we offer would actually work. I see 261 in this case as being either denied, or fulfilled via refund.

  • Noah Kimmel

    I think to your point, it is about having the choice and making the decision that works best for you. I also don’t insure most trips (beyond my credit card coverage) and will live with the results. Insurance is not a silver bullet and between the cost of insurance the reimbursement limits, it also may not solve the core issue (i.e. re-routing on last minute walk-up airfare).

    I’m also sure I will get flack for this one, but some things are about attitude as well. Things go wrong. You can either be stressed, make quick decisions, threaten social media, and hope for help/reimbursement later, or you can be slower and more flexible, and seek some sympathetic help while in a bind (much easier than getting retro help). While not everyone has the luxury of waiting, not every company has the virtue of unlimited funds. And yes, I know that sometimes that still doesn’t work – but again, it is about tradeoffs and risk tolerance.

  • Michael__K

    I’m not an EU citizen either but the letter of the law on this is as clear as day, and far shorter and easier to follow than any airline contract. Airlines have repeatedly battled to twist and evade the letter of EC 261 to get around their Article 8 and 9 obligations, starting with the volcanic eruption in Iceland and more recently in the Denise McDonagh vs. Ryanair [Volcanic ash and ‘super extraordinary circumstances’] case. Of course the airlines lost every one of these cases.

    The letter of the law also very clearly and thoroughly contradicts your characterization that the passenger “didn’t follow proper procedure.” Per Article 14, the process burden is on the operating carrier which has an “Obligation to inform passengers of their rights” in written form. And per Article 15:

    “if the passenger is not correctly informed of his rights and for that reason has accepted compensation which is inferior to that provided for in this Regulation, the passenger shall still be entitled to take the necessary proceedings before the competent courts or bodies in order to obtain additional compensation.”

    I used to be amazed, but now I find it thoroughly predictable how the same posters who read airline contracts super expansively and consistently lecture passengers for not reading airline contracts and fare rules carefully enough, are quick to claim non-existent exceptions in laws in order to condone and excuse airlines when they ignore their legal obligations.

  • IGoEverywhere

    Torn Achilles, broken tooth while traveling, once a week flight missed connection, illness. Travel guard Gold insurance took care of it all. They took care of rebooking new flights a day later through another airline, found me a great dentist, and made cancellations painless. All of this in 3 years. For 5-8% of the cost of a trip, unless you are over 69, when premiums sky-rocket, why wouldn’t you take insurance. I averaged 145.00 per person coverage for 2000.00 per person trips. I do not see any reason not to be covered.

  • IGoEverywhere

    My favorite question….did Kellie use a travel agent. We are not out to take all of your money, but any agent that sells insurance, should be trained in different insurance and should be aware about credit card insurances. AX Black, Platinum, and automatic insurance options added to your travel purchases may do the trick. Discover, and Master cards ( there are 1000’s of different types) just may cover cancellation, not re-booking. We take the guesswork out of that decision. I love my Sapphire card, but I still know what it covers.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Well you certainly won’t get flak from me! Because I agree with you 100% about how attitude can affect your trip.

    I’ve read too many complaints from travelers in here who freak out over the smallest bump in their trip, and expect someone to pay for it…either the airline, hotel, other travel company, or insurance. Whereas if they would just be flexible, roll with it, or take a bit more time to work out a solution, all would be fine. It might not be perfect, or exactly what they were expecting, but they’ll still have a wonderful trip.

    And there’s also the fact that most trip insurance policies are so limited that the chances of something going wrong that is actually covered are slim. And even if it does, you can be sure most insurance companies will fight you before they will pay out. Just look at how many articles there have been in here in which Christopher had to go to bat for a traveler whose insurance was refusing to pay out for an obviously covered issue.

    I’ve had many things go wrong on trips – some minor, some major. But so far, not one of them would have been covered by anything but the most expensive cancel-for-any-reason insurance…and I’m not even sure that would have covered it. But see, I *expect* things to go wrong, and I go with the flow. I’ve had to miss excursions, skip sites I wanted to see, stay in a different hotel than I wanted, or re-route my trip. And sure, I’ve lost money…but never close to what I would have paid for insurance. But I didn’t freak out – I let the bumps happen, and sometimes those bumps have resulted in a delightful unexpected outcome!

    On one trip to Bali, the driver arranged for by my travel agent didn’t show. He was supposed to transport us from Pemuteran to Tulamben. We had already checked out of our hotel, and were waiting in the lobby with all our luggage and dive gear…no show. By the time we realized it, it was too late to find alternative transportation. But the hotel we were at was full…except for one remaining top level suite, which we couldn’t afford.

    But we’d befriended the staff there, and they took pity on us, and gave us that suite for the same price as our smaller room. And what a luxurious suite it was! It was a huge cottage with a private pool and hot-spring-fed spa. And that night, while dining in the restaurant, a group walked in that I happened to recognize from a scuba dive message board…we recognized each other from our profile pics! We ended up skipping Tulamben entirely, staying in Pemuteran for three nights, diving with this wonderful group of online friends, and having the time of our lives. We missed Tulamben, which was at the top of my list of places to dive in Bali, so that was a disappointment…but we went back to Bali three years later and spent 5 days in Tulamben. Which was one of our best trips ever, and wouldn’t have happened if we’d gotten to Tulamben on that earlier trip.

    Obviously not all glitches work out so well…but you never know. Of course I’ve had bumps that didn’t work out like that. But freaking out and then demanding payback is not going to get you anything but frustration.

  • jerrymandel

    I buy it to cover the worst and way most expensive risk-evacuation back home. Not for something trivial like delayed bags.

  • Michael__K

    So which is the right policy that covers every issue including coups?

  • Michael__K

    So which insurance would a travel agent recommend for covering the walkup costs of re-routing around a sudden coup?

  • LeeAnneClark

    We actually have DAN insurance because we’re divers. It’s $90 a year. Most of our trips involve scuba diving. DAN covers catastrophic injury/illness needing an airlift (even non-diving-related, as long as the trip involved diving). All divers should have DAN insurance, due to the unique medical needs of diving-related injuries. DAN will take over your medical care to ensure you are treated appropriately. That’s the only insurance that’s worth it to me. Of course it’s unlikely that I’ll ever have to use it – but what’s at risk is not just my money, it’s my life. So I’ll happily pay for that.

    We’ve had this conversation before, but my opinion hasn’t changed. Given all of the money I’ve spent on travel over the years, at this point I’m so far ahead of the game that there’s little that could happen that would change that.

    And yes, if you have the “right policy” that can certainly make any claims go smoother. But how many of them are “right”? How many articles have we read in here about travelers having to fight for their legitimate claim? How many times have travelers submitted all the right paperwork and then continued to be asked for ever more documentation…even for those they’ve already submitted?

    Nope…I’m good. :)

  • LeeAnneClark

    Okay, valid point.

    But what if you’d taken trips like that annually for 20 years? Times that $300 by 20, and that’s $6000. So even if you’d never bought insurance, and had to pay the full $4000, you’d still be $2000 ahead of the game.

    That’s my point.

    I’m really happy that your wife’s illness was quickly treated and you were able to resume your trip. :-)

  • LeeAnneClark

    I pretty much explained this in another response in this thread. Someone else says their insurance cost $300, and ended up covering the $4000 charge for treatment for his wife’s illness.

    So I pointed out: what if you’d taken similar trips every year for 20 years, and paid $300 for insurance each time? Over 20 years, that’s $6000. So this year you got hit with that illness, cost you $4000. You’re still $2000 ahead of the game.

    That’s a reason not to be covered.

    Sure, it’s a risk. But the odds are absolutely in my favor. Given all of the decades I’ve been traveling, if I added up all the money I would have spent on insurance, it would take a HUGE financial hit to even come close to that. Even if I end up losing every penny I spend on my next vacation, that wouldn’t come close to the amount of money we *haven’t* spent on trip insurance over the years.

    As for medical coverage – we have that taken care of. If either of us gets sick or injured while on a vacation, either our medical insurance or our DAN (divers) insurance will kick in.

    But as always, YMMV. As I stated earlier, if someone has been saving up for years for the trip of a lifetime, and doesn’t travel frequently, it might make sense for them to protect their money on this trip. For me, it doesn’t.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    Most travelers are NOT like you…they won’t buy travel insurance and then expect the airline, cruise line, tour operator, hotels, car rental companies, etc. to pay for their lack of planning or lack of taking responsibilities.

    To me, it is like people who purchase a house in a flood plain, hurricane area, etc…they don’t buy flood insurance, hurricane insurance, etc. then they expect other to pay to rebuild their homes, etc. Can’t afford flood insurance, hurricane insurance, etc. then don’t buy a house in that area.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    As I have posted before, my wife used to make arrangements for medical shuttles from Alaska to Washington when she was working for an insurance company. These air shuttles ranged between $ 75,000 to $ 150,000 with $ 90,000 to $ 100,000 being the average.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    It seems like the OP was a DIY travel agent…if the OP had a professional brick & mortar travel agent, the OP could have received some good advice on how to proceed.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    Take direct flights is another lesson from this article. Of course, it is not always possible to have direct flights but when you have a chance for direct flights…take them! More connections, the more chances for problems (i.e. flight delays, miss connections; lost luggage; etc.).

    Another lesson from this article…avoid flying through countries in certain parts of the world IF possible. No one can predict the next coup, terrorist attack, etc…but there are good indicators out there.

    It seems like the OP was a DIY agent…if the OP dealt with a professional brick & mortar travel agent, the outcome could have been different (i.e. a direct flight; advice from the travel agent to wait a day or two for the ban to be lifted; insurance review; etc.)

  • Michael__K

    Except travel insurance doesn’t cover many of the dangers of travel. If you can’t afford to lose everything, then you can’t afford to travel with or without travel insurance.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Well, I can’t account for “most” travelers, and I’m certainly not speaking for “most” travelers. I spoke for myself. I stated my own personal view of travel insurance, and how it doesn’t make financial sense for me.

    But everybody is different. I can’t speak for everybody else.

    As I’ve stated numerous times when commenting on this issue – I am well aware of the risks involved in not buying travel insurance. And I take those risks willingly. So far it’s worked out in my favor. Does that mean I’m just lucky? I don’t think so. If the odds weren’t in this direction, then travel insurance wouldn’t exist. The insurance companies need to make a profit, and that only happens if the odds are such that they will always take in way more than they pay out.

    As for comparing it to buying a home in a high risk location – I completely disagree with that analogy. Travel is not “high risk”. The chances of something going wrong are slim. So I fail to see how it’s being irresponsible to not hand my hard-earned money to an insurance company.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    The terms for CFAR is clearly defined in the policy upfront and most policies give you a 10-day lookreview.

    There are some travelers that don’t read the terms and assume that it will cover everything. If there wasn’t the 48-hour clause, the rates will be higher because there will be more claims.

  • Michael__K

    1) Unless she was headed to Johannesburg, what direct flights exist to any of the top safari destinations?
    2) According to the article, Turkey was not a connection but a “stopover”, so she apparently intended to spend some time there.

  • Richard Mengelkoch

    Try Med Jet Assist for evacuation coverage. I used it once and they were great about evacing me on a Lear jet

  • Alan Gore

    I’m getting really tired of the “If [Stupid Restriction] didn’t exist, then rates would be higher” answer to every request for a little more reason.

    Advertise how much, exactly, it would cost to remove a restriction, and let the customer choose whether to spring for the extra amount. In this case, what would it cost to insure against non-performance by a connecting airline in a trip including more than one carrier?

  • BubbaJoe123

    The risk in the case you’re describing is a function of the carrier, the flight, the time of year, the length of the connection, the availability of other tickets, the cost of those tickets, etc. It would be priced on a flight by flight basis, and it wouldn’t be cheap, since there would be a huge adverse selection problem: someone who’s connecting through ORD with a connection right at MCT on the day before Thanksgiving would be more interested than someone who’s connecting through LAX with a five hour layover on a Wednesday in April.

    Doing a bit of back of the envelope math, if you assume a 1% cancellation rate (pretty typical for the US), and a 10x multiple between cheapest ticket and full Y, and a 50% payout rate (pretty typical for travel insurance), then you’d be looking at insurance that costs about 20% of the price of the ticket for a trip with one connection each way. Not cheap.

  • BubbaJoe123

    This is kind of like saying “my ticket won, so buying lottery tickets is a good investment.”

  • Alan Gore

    But if it means saving an expensive trip, some people are going to opt for the expensive policy rather than risk having to pay thousands of dollars walkup fare in mid-voyage. Others might opt for a connection through a European carrier – more expensive than Turkish, but more options and consumer protection in case of trouble – rather than pay for the extra policy.

  • BubbaJoe123

    What if it had been $300 per trip? $600? $1000? $2000? Clearly, there’s a price at which it wouldn’t make sense, right? So, what’s your basis for deciding that $145 is below that price?

  • BubbaJoe123

    Some people probably will. Is it enough for an insurance company to go through the hassle of creating the policy, developing the modeling to price it, set up the ability for travel agents to get pricing based on a very specific itinerary, etc?

  • BubbaJoe123

    “You have no idea when the flight was cancelled and are ASSUMING a time.”

    When you say that “OP could have purchased “cancel for any reason” insurance and when the coup happened, cancelled her trip and pocketed the refund,” aren’t you “ASSUMING” that the OP found out about the coup at least 48 hours before her flight?

  • UAPhil

    I am another person who has traveled frequently over many years, and who has chosen to self-insure. Even if I had suffered a loss or two, I’d still be financially way ahead by not buying travel insurance.

    But now my circumstances have changed. I had to cancel two trips (one to China) this fall after I was diagnosed with a medical condition; I lost $6,000 in non-refundable costs. I had paid for the trips with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card; its trip cancellation coverage reimbursed me in full with only very minor hassles.

    I then investigated “pre existing condition” travel insurance for future trips. On the surface, it appeared I could obtain coverage so long as I was able to travel on the day I purchased the insurance. But, when I dug deeper, I learned that, if I had to cancel the trip for reasons related to my pre-existing condition, the worsening of my condition needed to be unexpected and unforeseen for the insurance company to approve a claim.

    Bottom line:

    -“Free” insurance provided through a credit card does cover a broad range of contingencies..
    -Purchased insurance covers an even broader range of circumstances, but also has many exclusions.
    -There is no “one size fits all”. Each type of insurance (self-insure, credit card, purchased policy) is suitable for some travelers.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    I was trying to compliment you since it seems like you are person that takes responsibilities for your actions, decisions, etc. You have analyzed the risks and are willing to assume those financial risks if something happens. I don’t expect to see you as an OP on this blog in regards to “I got sick at the last moment and can you guys help me get back my non-refundable deposits?” Maybe I should have written “Unlike the travelers that write to this site asking for assistance in getting refunds when travel insurance would have covered them….”

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    The article stated: “…she subsequently purchased a nonstop flight on Delta Air Lines at an additional cost of $5,728.”

  • Michael__K

    Right, but from where to where? Had she already flown any segment beforehand? Was she bypassing Turkey to catch another reserved segment?

  • LeeAnneClark

    Thanks. And sorry…I’m rather prickly lately. The fires in CA are very close to me, and we almost had to evacuate two days ago. So that’s my excuse. I read back through my comments last couple of days, and yeah…I’m definitely being less amenable that usual. I will work on that. And again, I apologize for misreading your comment.

  • Annie M

    It doesn’t have to be a brick and mortar agent- regardless of where an agents office is, this is booking 101.

    When you act as your own travel agent you need to know the rules.

  • IGoEverywhere

    I picked up the telephone, when Delta cancelled, called the insurance company, they took care of the rest. The people were in line 3-4 hours to re-route, I was done in 30 minutes and on my way again.

  • IGoEverywhere

    Everybody has to be knowledgeable about the amount of money that they are prepared to spend and prepared to lose. I travel under a lightly gray cloud, having been in the air when an airline went on strike, mechanicals, health issues surrounding me, and the lack of any common courtesies of customer service within the airline industry. both times that I filed claims this year took 20-30 minutes till fill out the claim and 2 months to get my checks. I believe that the concierge services within the insurance saved me 3-5 hours of waiting and fighting with the airline, 155 passengers are disrupted and there are 2 whole reps assisting is bad. 1 phone call and you are fixed! So what is it worth? 290.00 for protection and time was just perfect.

  • Michael__K

    Delta cancelled because of a coup? Which policy and what was the Covered Reason?

  • IGoEverywhere

    Sorry cancellation

  • Michael__K

    The insurance company didn’t ask WHY Delta canceled? They didn’t need any documentation whatsoever?

  • LonnieC

    Good luck with the fires. We have relatives in the area and have been keeping in close contact with them. So far, so good. By the way, do you have homeowner’s insurance against fire damage (kidding.😅) Actually, I happen to agree with you on insurance. (But because of my and my wife’s ages, we buy insurance. Haven’t needed it yet….)

  • LonnieC

    And another reason to use a reliable travel company (Odysseys Unlimited). My wife and I were scheduled to travel to Africa on Turkish Airlines at the time of the attack on the Istanbul airport. Then the attack in Istanbul itself. Our Odysseys called to let us know they had rebooked our tix on another airline (Lufthansa) for the same trip. No change in charges, only a small change in flight times. No problem. Great trip.

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