So, the $500 question is: what exactly is a missed connection?

A couple of days ago, I wrote about a new flight insurance product called AirCare. This insurance has piqued my interest for a few reasons:

  1. It’s cheap – $25.
  2. It’s easy to use (you don’t have to provide a ton of documentation or itemized lists with your claims).
  3. It covers missed connections.

I’ll admit that I was most interested in the last point, as I seem to have been served more than my fair share of annoying travel woes over the past few years…especially missed connections.

Apparently I’m not alone in this. According to Brad Rutta, Director of Marketing at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, the “missed connection” issue tops travelers’ lists of problems, which is why AirCare decided to offer a large, satisfying payout if it happens to you.

But what exactly counts as a missed connection?

People miss flights for a number of reasons, and while some are beyond our control (flight delays), some could absolutely be avoided (losing track of time at the airport bar).

I decided to ask Brad. Here’s what I learned:

  • Your $500 payday is automatically triggered if the first flight you are on arrives after your connecting flight was scheduled to depart.
  • The AirCare app is programmed to understand that certain airports are larger than others, and getting from one gate to another within a certain amount of time (20-40 minutes, depending on the airport) might be physically impossible.
  • The AirCare site will not allow you to purchase a policy if – according to their data – your connection is too tight.
  • If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from making a connection – even if it was technically within the window of possibility – an actual human from AirCare will happily discuss your claim with you to determine your eligibility.
  • The payouts are additive, which means that if you miss two connections on the same trip (outbound and inbound), you will get paid twice.

What does this mean for me?

I don’t know what it means for you, but for me, it means that I’m going to buy AirCare for my next trip with a tight connection.

And the next time I miss a connection, I will look forward to cashing in instead of stressing out.

Are you ready to gamble on a missed connection with AirCare?

Comments

  1. Does this include if the first flight is delayed by something like weather, that an airline itself wouldn’t consider their fault? If so this seems like it could be a good deal to me, depending on the flight.

  2. I will definitely strategically use this in the future. It seems like I usually know before United that my flight will mis-connect, so I definitely see attempting to buy this on day of departure. I will now be torn between getting $500 and getting where I’m going. The barrier for me will be guaranteeing my upgrade, which is always more important than compensation on a flight of more than two hours.

    I wonder if they will ban people who figure out how to beat the system. Fully refundable award tickets come to mind. 🙂

  3. It’s very interesting – I’m hoping to read a few experiences before I need to try it out for myself – I don’t fly again until August (Godwilling no emergencies!).

    • Points Pixie says:

      Diane – I’m excited to try it out, but until they expand to California, I can’t! So I also have to wait to hear about a few experiences.

  4. I’ll be able to offer insight, because exactly this happened to be today. I tried to initiate a claim, but got a message they are not automated yet. So the results are currently TBD.

  5. Rebecca says:

    I probably won’t use it. Rarely do I have connections, mostly travel for work, have only missed a flight once (knock on wood) and that was due to security checkpoint not a connection. I must admit, however, the 20 min layovers do make me wee bit nervous bit I’ve always made the flight (island hoppers).

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