Missed your connection? Want $500?

When I first read about Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection’s new AirCare plan, I was speechless. The tagline pretty much sums it up:

“It’s travel insurance, but it feels like magic.”

No joke. For just $25 per trip, the plan will pay you:

  • $500 for missed connections due to flight delays
  • $1,000 if you sit on the tarmac for over two hours
  • $500 if the airline takes more than 12 hours to deliver your luggage
  • $1,000 if your luggage is lost or stolen
  • $50 if a flight is delayed for more than two hours

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The company tracks flights automatically, so you’ll get electronic notifications and assistance via your smartphone. If you end up using the insurance for a flight disruption, you won’t even have to submit a claim…you’ll simply get an automatic deposit into your bank account.

Currently, this is only available domestically in the United States, via iphone, Android, and online.

You can purchase insurance for both revenue tickets and award tickets.

Want more info? Visit their website here.

I can hardly wait to try this out! What do you think?

Comments

  1. You have to book thru their site? Bummer

    • Points Pixie says:

      Ryan – You don’t have to book your flight through their site…but if you want to use their insurance, you do need to buy that insurance through their company.

  2. Shannon says:

    I have a 45 min layover in DFW next month … I think I’ll gamble with $25 and say AA is going to be late getting in 🙂

  3. It is not worth it, in my opinion. Travel protection — like most other types of insurance — is little more than legalized gambling. In this case, Aircare is betting that you will spend well more than $500.00 — $25.00 at a time — before you miss your connection for the first time. The “house” — in this case, Aircare — has better odds than you.

    Of course, you might be lucky and beat the odds — but that is the chance you take.

    I will pass, thank you.

    • Alan C. says:

      Most types of insurance are not legalized gambling at all, they are risk transfer. The differences between the two are night and day. With risk transfer I have a contract that indemnifies my loss, making me whole. For a small consideration, a premium, I have no risk, or have covered a specified risk. If I don’t have a loss, I remain whole, if I do have a loss I am made whole….no risk. The premium is not a bet, it is a fee to transfer risk, to create no risk for you.
      Gambling is nothing but risk, there is no transfer, there is no indemnification, no remaining whole or making whole.
      If you don’t understand this, read up, educate yourself, learn relevant information you can use to improve your life and well being.

      • Keep telling yourself this, and keep paying premiums on everything you buy to indemnify you from potentially losing something. And go broke doing it.

        • Who’s talking about buying insurance on everything? Apparently you missed the point about the difference between insurance and gambling. A most basic and elementary principle addressed in any intro to finance or risk.

  4. This is such a horrible investment it is not even funny. In many cases similar coverage – particularly for accommodation on a misconnect or delayed baggage – can be had for free from the CC you used to buy the ticket. And the odds of a misconnect or 2 hour tarmac delay are so incredibly low that betting on it is quite similar to throwing money away.

    You have better odds at a craps table in Vegas.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Wandering Aramean – I guess I have terrible luck then!

      Also, I think you forget that most people are not “professional travelers” like you are. This service is convenient, very user-friendly, and doesn’t require any knowledge of sometimes-obscure credit card benefits.

      • BigDaddyJ says:

        No, you don’t have bad luck — it’s that your main airport is SFO, which has serious design issues which exacerbate delays (it’s the #1 delayed airport in the country). You should read the fine print to see if SFO’s interminable problems (made even worse with runway construction starting yesterday) are covered in this insurance plan.

        Wanding Aramean is absolutely correct. Flights are generally a lot more on time than you may think, otherwise they by definition would not be offering an insurance service. Keep a flight log if you don’t believe me. As long as you’re not flying through SFO.

      • Nick Summy says:

        It truly depends on where you fly to. A lot of my connections are through ORD which can be a nightmare for stuff like this. My last flight from Minneapolis with a connection in chicago would have netted me $1000 if I would have bought into this plan. Yes it is gambling but if you have a short connection in an airport that is known for delays this would be a no brainer.

    • caveman says:

      I disagree with Wandering Aramean totally. I think the odds are pretty good specially during busy holiday season and late in the evening flights.

    • @ Seth — You obviously don’t fly on American. 🙂

  5. I would not bet against Charlie Munger.

  6. Wonder how far in advance you need to purchase the insurance.
    Seems like a gamble to me too but perhaps could work in favor of seasoned travelers who fly the same route regularly, especially during periods where weather can impact reliability.

    Hmm.

    Thanks for posting Pixie!

    • The website states to purchase at least one hour before flight.

      “Unlike most travel insurance plans, you can purchase AirCare at the eleventh hour.
      Literally. Up to one hour before your flight’s scheduled to depart. And no matter when you buy it, the coverage you get is always the same.”

    • Points Pixie says:

      Peter – according to their website…

      You can buy an AirCare policy up to one hour prior to departure. So suppose your flight is scheduled to depart at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The latest you would be able to buy an AirCare policy is 1:59 p.m. on Tuesday. There are a couple of caveats to that: The flight cannot already be affected in some way – cancelled or delayed because of weather, for instance – and the trip and travelers have to meet all eligibility requirements.

      Hope that helps!

  7. I had so many delays & issues coming back from recent trips to Charlotte & San Francisco that Charlie & Warren would have lost this bet big time.

    It is a gamble, of course, but such is life. Don’t suppose I can apply now for reimbursement on my last trips? 😉

  8. Maybe it is worth it on trips with tight connection, and I deliberately choose to be as late as I can to help delay the flight.

  9. Is it for revenue ticket only?. I don’t see anywhere from their Web site stating if reward tickets are eligible

    • Points Pixie says:

      Jason – Excellent question. I’m reaching out to them to ask.

      • Points Pixie says:

        I learned that the answer is yes:

        Dear Pixie Points,

        Thank you for contacting Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection! I am very happy to hear that you are as excited as we are with our new AirCare product.

        I have great news! AirCare can be purchased for both revenue tickets and award tickets.

        Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

        Sincerely,

      • Sathish says:

        No brainer. Airline ticket type (Revenue \ Award) does not matter for this insurance as it does not cover your ticket fare.

        Sounds like a great insurance protection plan for WINTER TRAVEL (Especially for East and Midwest) !!!

        • the terms states weather related delay is not covered

          • Points Pixie says:

            Jason – Hmmm, I couldn’t find that in the terms. Maybe I’m missing something? I also asked via chat and they confirmed that weather-related delays were covered. Did you get different info?

  10. I have a half hour connection between United and US airways next month. Three connections on one ticket as well. All under two hours. This might be worth the gamble.

  11. Allison says:

    As soon as it is going international, I’m signing up!

  12. What if you are going to miss a connection because your flight is delayed and as a result the airline automatically puts you on a direct flight or route you through some other city?

  13. Might as well book a few flights with <1 hour connections at ORD during the winter months 😉

  14. Can you get a link to the Coverage Terms and Conditions and Exclusions. This is a great product.

  15. This could be gamed pretty easily. Just book one of those flights that get cancelled or delayed 80% of the time, and you should be good to go. Or, book a mufti-leg mile run with a bunch of tight connections.

  16. Sonomawine says:

    Just tried to book it as a resident of California & Florida and got this:

    We’re Sorry
    The product you are looking for is not currently available in your state.

    Provide your e-mail address so we can notify you when it becomes available!

  17. This is interesting. The $500 pay out for a delay-induced missed connection prices the risk at 20-1, without giving credit to the value (potentially limited) of the other coverages.

    I have not read their full policy to see if there are minimum connect times required which are greater than the airline schedule-imposed minimums. Also, it would be helpful to understand just how delayed the flight has to be….let’s say it arrives late, but you still have 15 minutes net between flights. At some airports, that would be very difficult to make it. The policy language on this sort of stuff is key.

    If you were flexible with your time, I suspect you could schedule some very tight connections and trigger the $500 payment far more often than one in twenty trips.

    Of course, few will actually try to book flights that misconnect….but there are probably a few in our nutty circles who would!

  18. Richard Haven says:

    Silly people. Insurance companies don’t lose money. They have lots of smart people figuring the offs, and they are much better at it than you are.

    If we were immortal, no one would ever buy insurance because, in the long run, it costs more than it pays out. We get insurance because we fear a “short-term” loss.

  19. Oooh, this is so interesting! I can’t wait to hear about peoples’ experiences with it!

  20. JosephStern says:

    Could be good for a mileage run or other trip with many legs. For the $25 flat fee, if you can get six or eight legs, you significantly up your chances of cashing in.

Trackbacks

  1. […] SMARTER THAN WARREN BUFFET?: Here’s a chance for you to match wits with Berkshire Hathaway! Thanks to Point and Pixie Dust (whom I didn’t get a chance to say hi to in Charlotte, unfortunately) for bringing to my […]

  2. […] This article was originally published on 20 May 2014 by Kendra Collins. […]

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