With winter drawing in, Aussies love nothing more than jumping on a plane to escape to the sun. However, new research shows that not all holidays have been smooth sailing, with 37% of travellers experiencing flight delays and cancellations.
Research conducted by Southern Cross Travel Insurance shows that nearly a quarter (23%) of holidaymakers have been delayed for 10 hours or more, with a handful (5%) stranded overseas for over 72 hours.
The USA (17%), Bali/Indonesia (9%), China (6%) and the UK (6%) topped the list as the most common destinations for delays.
With a string of storms and cyclones disrupting departures this year, extreme weather accounted for almost a quarter (24%) of delays. Other common causes included mechanical issues (23%), aircrafts arriving late (19%), air carrier delays (15%) and natural disasters (7%). 8% of passengers were left in the dark as to why they were stuck with a prolonged wait, stating that the cause was unknown.
World of Wanderlust travel blogger, Brooke Saward, has travelled to more than 60 countries in the past four years and knows only too well the frustrations of a long delay.
“The worst delay I have ever experienced was flying from New York to Los Angeles via Philadelphia. The weather was atrocious and we couldn’t fly out for hours, followed by three hours sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off.
“I had a connecting flight to Australia late that evening from Los Angeles but missed it by an hour or two, so I had to stay overnight in LA to catch the flight the following day.
“Travel insurance covered my flight change, accommodation and meals for the two days, which I certainly wasn’t complaining about!”
Craig Morrison, CEO of Southern Cross Travel Insurance, says:
“Flight delays are unpredictable and a common bugbear for Aussies. Frustrations aside, long delays also come with unexpected costs. From having to pay for accommodation, to feeding the family and keeping everyone entertained while you wait, it quickly mounts up, so make sure you keep all your receipts.”
Extra time overseas and unplanned expenses hurt the hip pocket of more than half of travellers (58%) who experienced a delay or cancellation. Costs stemmed mainly from food (35%), accommodation (16%), ground transport (10%) and missed connections (8%). Some travellers (7%) had to foot the bill for alternative flights, while a handful (3%) were left with parking fines.
“Don’t let a delay put a damper on your holiday. If there’s one lesson to be learnt, it pays to always be prepared. As research shows, more than a quarter of travellers who had no insurance at all were left high and dry. While a travel insurance policy won’t take the boredom out of a delay, it will take the worry out of the potential dent in your back pocket!” Craig added.
For more information visit www.scti.com.au