HOTEL — April 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm

No Flight Fright

by

waiting in airportEven in the digital age trip planning can be a stressful ordeal. Whether it’s a month long trek through Europe, or a weekend getaway to NYC, the last thing anyone needs to worry about is taking a bank account hit because the airline you booked with has gone bankrupt.

With shrinking profit margins and an ultra competitive market, airline service interruptions and bankruptcies are becoming more common place and something to consider when travelling. Back in 2005, it was a shock when low-cost Canadian carrier JetsGo went bust over the March break, stranding thousands of travellers. This year’s eerily similar Direct Air fiasco seemed more of a sign of the times. Popular in the Niagara area because of it’s cheap flights out of Niagara Falls International Airport to sunny Florida, Direct Air left thousands of March break travellers either stranded or lighter in the pocketbooks, when it grounded flights suddenly because of unpaid fuel bills. With unexpected flight incidents like these, or even more unexpected incidents ( like, say a giant cloud of volcanic ash shutting down flights over Europe for a week ), it has become important to take steps to protect yourself.

The first step in travel protection is purchasing the trip with a credit card. While it doesn’t always ensure you will be refunded, many major credit cards do have policies to deal with cancellation incidents of this nature. Even if they don’t, in most cases the charge can be disputed as services not rendered.

The second, more fool-proof way to protect your trip is to purchase trip cancellation and interruption coverage. But be sure to understand exactly what is included in the coverage before purchasing it, as there are all sorts of variations, restrictions and inclusions that differ on a case by case basis. You may even need to purchase something extra, specifically for airline bankruptcy coverage if it is not mentioned in the standard insurance. A great place to shop around for insurance policies online is kanetix.ca, where you can browse competitively priced options for virtually any scenario you need covered.

While the future is never entirely certain, a little bit of planning ahead can go a long way in making sure you get to where you want to go, and that your travels are always a pleasant experience.