Insurance is especially important when pairing a flight with a tour or cruise. When you have purchased a tour or cruise, an unexpected schedule change by an airline can be problematic when being on time for your itinerary depends on the dates and times of your flight, especially if the scheduled change occurs close to departure. You are especially vulnerable when there are limited options with an airline that can bring you to your tour or cruise on the date of embarkation and disembarkation.
Scenario 1: Schedule Change
If there is only one non-stop flight that works with your cruise or tour and the airline cancels or changes the times in advance, you would be covered with cancellation insurance if you insured both the cruise/tour and flight amounts. You would find yourself in a situation where the airline may offer only the alternative times and no refund, or a full refund, but this doesn’t help you with the non-refundable cruise or tour portion. Many people expect that if they buy the flight from the cruise company that they are covered, but this is a false assumption. Cruise lines offer flight arrangements but they do not guarantee the schedule for the airlines.
Scenario 2: Tour Cancellation
This situation occurs more frequently than we would like – when a tour company fails to sell enough seats on a specific tour departure and cancels the tour more than 30 days from departure. If you purchased non-refundable flights separately, your flights are non-refundable and potentially non-changeable, but the tour company proposes a new date or offers a refund for the coach portion. Now you have flights on a specific date but no tour. Concierge and Standard Package insurance will cover this provision with differing maximum fares. Some tour operators offer flights that can be purchased in conjunction with their tours that are guaranteed if they cancel the tour. However, sometimes these guaranteed packages are sold at a premium fare compared to the lowest fare in the market – and the savings cover some, or all, of the insurance premium needed to cover the risk.
Scenario 3: Missed Connections
It can be extremely stressful when changes and delays occur on your departure date. Concierge and Package Insurance will cover “missed connections” between your flights and your cruise or tour. Weather in your home town (getting to the airport and road closures) can impact departure flight times and cause delays and cancellations that would cause you to miss your cruise or tour. In this case, the insurance would cover the extra cost of a one way ticket on another flight to the point of embarkation, or the cost of a one way flight to the first port of call or stop on a tour.
Very few credit cards offer this kind of coverage, or have many limits and exclusions in the fine print. You have to read the fine print of your credit card company’s insurer’s policy.
Purchasing Concierge coverage when booking a cruise or tour and flights (even flights using points) will reduce worry about unexpected events that can disrupt your vacation and add additional cost.
Some Covered Risks apply that would allow you to cancel your trip, such as weather conditions, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions causing the scheduled carrier to cancel or delay by at least 30% of the planned duration of your trip.