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Stranded at the Airport? UStiA Suggests What To Do.January 20, 2010 By: George Dooley
Each year, thousands of travelers are stranded in airports due to bad weather. For example, the Christmas week snowstorms that shut down airports from the east coast to the Midwest, grounding hundreds of flights, underscored the plight of many air travelers. What if your clients flight is cancelled or delayed because of bad weather, and they can’t fly out until the next day? Clients are separated from checked baggage, faced with where to sleep overnight, and having to lay out money for food and incidentals. Take heart, travel insurance can help, the US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA) reports.
With weather delays and cancellations --unlike those caused by mechanical problems – airlines are not required to provide assistance. In some cases the airline may refer you to a phone number or web site for discount accommodations, but they will not pay for your hotel or any associated expenses.
That’s where travel insurance can help save the day. If you are stranded because of a weather delay or cancellation:
¥ The 24-hour assistance hotline will help you locate a hotel room, and help track your baggage so that it can be located upon your arrival, and help facilitate the rebooking process and help notify business and family of your delay.
¥ The travel insurance policy will reimburse you for hotel, food, and incidental expenses up to a set amount, usually $200 - $500, depending on the plan.
“Clearly, passengers with travel insurance have an edge when it comes to weathering a storm,” says Mike Ambrose, president, US Travel Insurance Association. Ambrose advises travelers to always carry the customer service number for their insurance policy with them so they can promptly contact the insurance company for assistance, and to keep all receipts for expenses associated with a covered flight delay or cancellation.
The UStiA promotes fairness, integrity, and a commitment to excellence in the travel insurance industry. With a mission to educate the public on travel insurance while maintaining high industry standards, UStiA is a non-profit association of insurance carriers and allied businesses involved in the development, administration and marketing of travel insurance and assistance.