A new survey reveals that airline disruptions and delays are hurting Americans wallets - Insuranks
It’s no secret that air travel looks different in 2022 than ever before. With the airline industry trying to balance crew shortages, a bounceback in travel demand, inflation, and ever-changing pandemic safety measures, it’s been nothing short of a mess for travelers.
We wanted to know how Americans feel about their air travel experiences so far in 2022, and just how many are planning to travel for the upcoming holiday season. We surveyed over 1,000 people to get details about their travel plans. We learned how much money Americans have lost to travel disruptions and delays (it hasn't been cheap!) and how many are buying insurance to protect themselves in this chaotic period of air travel.
You heard it here: travel has made a comeback! Almost half (44%) of Americans have flown at some point already this year. Considering how the COVID-19 pandemic halted travel plans across the nation during the past two years, this is good news for airlines.
As Americans return to the sky, some are remembering how stressful traveling can be, but it looks like most are just glad to go on an adventure. When asked how they felt about their travel experience, most Americans felt either happy (35%) or neutral (45%). A small 15% felt annoyed, and 5% felt frustrated.
We wanted to know if Americans stay loyal to a single airline, or if affordability matters more. The most popular airline among survey respondents is Southwest Airlines (18%), followed by Delta Airlines (17%), and 15% just book whichever airline is cheapest.
Of those who haven’t traveled by air this year, 1 in 3 plan to at some point in 2022. Most are planning to travel for a vacation (53%), to see family (34%), and to see friends (25%). Others plan to travel for Thanksgiving (9%), Christmas (13%), Labor Day weekend (4%) or a different holiday (5%).
Many Americans turned to road trips during the pandemic, but that may be changing due to rising gas prices. Unfortunately, airfares haven’t been immune to price hikes. In fact, 79% of Americans feel that flights are too expensive this year.
Speaking of spending money on travel, Americans who have flown or plan to have spent an average of $729.86 each on flights this year. Almost 3 in 4 (72%) bought one round-trip ticket. 18% bought two round-trip tickets. Just 1 in 10 bought more than 2 round-trip tickets.
71% of those who plan to travel are worried about delays and cancellations for their upcoming trip, but 77% do not plan to purchase travel insurance.
Those who haven’t traveled and don’t plan to say it’s mainly due to how expensive travel is and inflation (67%). 44% are worried about COVID-19 and monkeypox, 32% don’t have a reason to travel, 25% never planned to this year anyway, 16% are worried about delays and cancellations, and 13% just don’t want to.
Air travel hasn’t been smooth for Americans this year. 39% of those who’ve flown have had a flight delay. 4% have had their flights canceled. An unlucky 8% have had flights delayed and canceled, and 6% have had their luggage lost by an airline.
Almost 1 in 10 (8%) of American travelers have lost money because of delays and cancellations this year and lost $243 each on average. It’s no wonder that 7% regret not buying travel insurance prior to their trip.
When asked if they themselves canceled or delayed their travel plans due to disruptions, 16% say they postponed their plans, 6% canceled, and 6% both canceled and postponed their plans.
But travel disruptions aren’t exclusive to taking off and landing on time. 1 in 5 Americans have had their luggage lost by an airline in the past. 27% have stopped flying with a particular airline because of a previous bad experience. 39% have had a bad experience at an airport (and 26% avoid certain airports when booking travel).
Travel insurance is affordable and covers different travel-related expenses, from lost luggage to delays and sometimes COVID-19-related interruptions. Almost half (48%) would consider buying travel insurance after seeing the airline disruptions this year.
Of those who traveled this year, 79% did not buy travel insurance. 6% did, and spent $121.18 on average (travel insurance should cost about 4%-6% of your total trip cost.) 17% plan to buy travel insurance for their upcoming trip.
Almost 1 in 5 (16%) of those planning to later this year have actually purchased travel insurance, and spent $332.83 on average. The top reasons they bought insurance include COVID-19 concerns (13%), airline disruptions (11%), and to cover the costs of lost luggage (5%).
Over three quarters (79%) of Americans would be more likely to purchase travel insurance if it was under $50 per trip. In fact, 70% would pay up to $50 per trip. 24% would pay up to $150, and 6% would pay over $151.
Since airline disruptions hit the news earlier this year in March, Google searches for travel insurance have risen 22%. Considering many Americans are planning to travel and airlines are still struggling with crew shortages – it’s probably money well spent.
Whether or not you plan to travel this year, make sure you are prepared. Plan to arrive at the airport earlier than normal, keep updated on your flight times through airline apps, and consider buying insurance to cover you in the worst case scenario – which may be more common this year than before.
In August 2022, we surveyed 1,007 people to ask about their travel plans and opinions. Respondents were aged 18 to 84 years old, with an average age of 37 years old. Respondents were 49% men, 48% female, and 3% transgender/non-binary.
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Artanis Z. Insuranker
Policy Type: Travel Insurance
Company name: AIG Insurance
The travel insurance is absolutely useless. My luggage was lost when I reached my destination on international travel. I submitted the lost luggage forms the airline provided immediately. Got the automated "we handle all claims in order received, typically within 10-15 business days." It's now pushing two months and my claim status hasn't changed since the day I submitted it. Even after multiple contacts with customer service. AIG did absolutely nothing. Still is doing nothing. I had to replace everything including my medications out of pocket which were incredibly expensive. God knows what would happen if someone actually had life threatening emergency and has to go to the hospital with the travel insurance. They'd be in deep trouble. I actually had to submit two claims. The second was because I did need to see a doctor on my trip. All AIG did was tell me to pay for it up front and save the receipts and call me a couple times to ask if I paid a doctor to examine me and refill my medications, and if I made it home okay. Why? So they can ignore me more after I return home? I truly don't know what the purpose of travel insurance with them, if their clients are in their own regardless of the insurance that we PAY FOR. No one has even contacted me to ask for additional supporting documents on my claim. I only found out what I should submit through my own research! They're literally ignoring my claim and pocketing the money from my policy purchase. All of this so more than likely they will just deny my claim anyway. I'll never purchase AIG travel insurance again and I don't recommend it to anyone. It's useless. Especially for someone who doesn't have to pay for medical treatment ever again as a retired veteran. They did absolutely nothing to help me or render service I can actually use. Useless
I have purchased travel insurance for a trip that was to take place in early June 2020. The pandemic and Europe closing its borders made it impossible to travel. Although I had no use for the insurance the company refused to refund us even after several requests.
Axa Singapore customer service is awful. There is nobody who seems to care. We submitted a Medical Travel Insurance claim for an emergency on 8th-Jan-22. There has been no resolution and minimum help despite multiple follow up requests and the supporting documents being submitted months ago. MAS states you may consider filing a complaint via the FIDReC: emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. FIDReC is located at 36 Robinson Road, 15-01 City House, Singapore 068877. We submitted a complaint today.
Khim Higgins Photography Insuranker
Policy Type: Travel Insurance
Company name: Generali Insurance USA
If I can give a negative star I would. We planned a trip to Sanibel in Nov. As everyone knows, hurricane Ian destroyed the island in Sept. When we booked a beach rental property in Sanibel I bought travel insurance from Generali Global Assistance. After seeing in the news the destruction on the island I filed a claim after hearing back from VRBO that the house we had rented was destroyed by the hurricane. Today I received an email from Generali Global Assistance that said they will NOT cover my trip b/c they have a 15-day window clause for the trip cancellation. They are aware the house I rented in Sanibel no longer exists because of the flood. But because the flood happened on 9/27/22 and my trip is on 11/21/22 , my travel days are more than 15 days from the time of the flood so they will NOT honor my claim. What the fuck is this? I didn't read any fine print regarding the 15 days when I sign up for this insurance. I printed out everything and still didn't see the 15 day clause. This 15-day clause only showed up after I filed a claim. This company is a disgrace. I am filing a complaint with the BBB next. Stay away from Generali Global Assistance!! They are SCAMMERS!
Tom Cleary Insuranker
Policy Type: Travel Insurance
Company name: AXA Insurance
I recently decided to write a negative review of Axa Insurance company after the company disallowed my claim and canceled my medical insurance policy. I hope this account will be instructional for those seeking travel insurance, which was my position three months ago in June2022. Axa disallowed compensation for medical bills, giving the reason that I failed to purchase a travel insurance policy the day before leaving Los Angeles for Sydney. They wrote to state that buying the policy on the same day as my departure (although it was purchased hours before the flight left the ground) disqualified me for compensation. This text below was copied from their cancellation letter sent on August 3rd, 2022: "We regret to inform you that the policy that you purchased on June 9th is ineligible due to you (sic) purchasing it the same day of your flight departure. Policies must be purchased with confirmed scheduled departure and return airfare tickets at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure date. Accordingly, we have cancelled the policy #2461716, effective immediately." I have looked exhaustively for information about this in the travel insurance policy guidelines provided by Axa and could not find any language that supports their position. In addition, I was issued an acceptance letter on June 9th, 2022. If purchasing a policy on the same day as departure disqualifies a customer, doesn't Axa have a responsibility to conduct due diligence before providing an acceptance letter? It's not as if it would have been difficult for them to find out, as the departure date and purchase date are both on the web application they provided. Axa disallowed my claim based purely on their need to avoid honoring the financial commitment they voluntarily undertook when they sent a letter of acceptance. Both documents, the acceptance letter and the travel insurance policy, fail to support their denial of my claim. I am writing an appeal to Axa to ask them to review the claim and have also engaged the services of an attorney to sue to obtain compensation. Whatever the outcome of my efforts, I hope to communicate to others about Axa's refusal to provide claim coverage. Insurance companies shouldn't be allowed to do what Axa has done, i.e., make money on a policy that offers an illusion of safety without actual coverage. Companies that deliberately and willfully place their customers in such financial danger should not be allowed to conduct business. Most people would happily pay more for insurance that does what it says it will do, and hopefully, this message will reach others in time for them to become aware of the problem before they make choices concerning the purchase of insurance. In case some background will be helpful, here's an abbreviated account of the medical issues that led to my filing a claim for compensation for bills that the Axa travel insurance was supposed to cover. I was hospitalized (July 22-25, 2022) for acute care in Northern Beaches hospital in Sydney, Australia, after experiencing a heart attack. While hospitalized, I underwent an angiogram and insertion of a stent in the left anterior descending artery on the left ventricle (also known as the "widowmaker" blockage location). I was told I had a 99 percent blockage. Such an obstruction for a first heart attack often proves fatal, but thanks to a swift ambulance trip to the emergency room, I was fortunate enough to survive. On July 22nd, AXA was initially informed of my admission to Northern Beaches hospital. Over the next week, they requested information concerning the claim via email messages and phone calls. This supporting documentation was given to them. On July 27th, Axa wrote, saying my policy might be canceled and my claim disallowed. The text on that message read as follows: "Please note for future reference that AXA Assistance USA plans are eligible for travel plans that has (sic) a defined departure and return dates purchased prior to leaving your state of residence. User (sic) are required to enter the exact dates of their itinerary as originally booked prior to traveling. There are 2 options that are available to you. We can rescind the policy and refund you the premium paid at the time of purchase on June 9th 2022, as you may have not been aware of how our AXA plans work. No claims can be filed if the plan is cancelled. If you wish to still proceed with a claim once the policy end date occurs, you can submit this for review, but please be aware if the original booking and travel documents do not match with your policy dates, the outcome of your claim may not be favorable after review. Please note we do not approve or deny claims here in customer service until they have been submitted and fully reviewed by our claims adjusters." This text information caused me stress concerning the hospital and surgery bills I would be responsible for if my claim was denied. After receiving this notice, I spent eight hours researching what could be done if Axa refused to pay, e.g., checking for similar problems on the internet and contacting persons for consultation. This process caused me considerable stress and, in my opinion, contributed to a second hospitalization I underwent after those eight hours on July 28th. At that time, I experienced angina and shortness of breath and returned to the Northern Beaches emergency room. I was admitted due to an abnormal ECG reading and blood assays of elevated troponin levels and stayed for a second time in the CCU (July 28 – 30, 2022). A second angiogram was administered on July 29th. Further surgical interventions were not required then as the cardiologist didn't see any problems from the previous stent surgery. After the hospitalization, I was advised by a local cardiologist to avoid air travel, and the doctors recommended home and bed rest before flying or doing anything strenuous. Since then, I have been living in Sydney, awaiting a return home, and feel incredibly grateful to have survived. In summary, please spare yourself the trouble I have gone through and avoid purchasing an Axa travel policy. You do not want to be in my current position of seeking compensation for a claim unfairly denied and having the stress of dealing with a hostile company’s legal team when your health has been compromised.