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Our family will be going to Rome this November. As in a previous question, I am worried about missing my return flight home.

Is there travel insurance that will help us find a return ticket home if that happens? I'm talking about us missing a flight with no fault of the airline. Like if the train breaks down or we get stuck in traffic.

This policy would need to buy us return tickets home and since there might not be a ticket available, I imagine it would have to be able to do some clever negotiating with the airline and hotels.

Does that exist?

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It's a good general rule to only buy insurance against things that would cause you severe financial hardship if they happened. So always insure your house, because nobody can afford to buy a replacement. Unless missing your flight would be a serious financial problem, rather than just having to take a few thousand dollars out of your savings, don't buy that insurance. You'll save money in the long run. –  DJClayworth Mar 23 '12 at 18:04
    
In my experience, most airlines will accommodate you and put you on another flight if it really was beyond your control and you call in advance of missing it. However, it isn't guaranteed. –  JohnFx Apr 1 '12 at 1:43

2 Answers 2

Most travel insurance policies will cover delayed or missed flights, but you need to read the fine print very carefully to find out exactly what they will cover and in what situations, as it varies dramatically between policies.

Most policies will only cover instances where the missed flight was beyond your control. eg, they may cover your train breaking down and you being stuck on it for several hours, but not you simply sleeping in. In most cases the burden of proof is going to be on you to prove that missing the flight wasn't your fault, so even if being stuck in the worst traffic jam for 10 years is a valid reason - how do you prove it?

The payout/assistance offered in such situations also varies. Some policies will only cover the price you originally paid for the ticket, which will probably be far less than it will cost for a last-minute replacement. Other policies will cover the cost of the new ticket, as well as hotels for the delay, etc.

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These are my thoughts too. I missed a flight one time in New Orleans because the lady told me the wrong terminal. When it was time to board, I had to run across the airport and didn't make it. But I had a hard time "proving" that I just didn't simply go to the wrong place. Ugh. –  cbmeeks Mar 22 '12 at 18:41

I have experience with this today. We were delayed because of multiple miscommunication about the taxi pickup time, and unexpected traffic problems. We did not have the opportunity to speak to the airline (who may indeed have given us a free ride home the following day). Instead, we bought new tickets to leave the same day, and attempted a claim against travel insurance.

In my case, the policy only allowed a missed flight in the event: 1. A scheduled flight, bus or train service led to the missed connection; 2. The taxi was in an accident or broke down.

Basically, events that can be documented in some way to have deviated from the expected service level. Slow traffic isn't a missing of a service agreement, but a bus arriving late is.

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