Does travel insurance pay if Mother Nature causes trouble?
BURLINGTON, Vt. -
No, that's not batman or a bird; it's a plane taking off on time, a rare sight these days.
Chris Kraft came home to Vermont on leave from the Navy over the holidays. So far, his flight has been pushed back four days.
"I came up, they said the same thing: All morning flights have been canceled," Kraft said.
Luckily, Kraft bought insurance for his flight for about $20. So the airline is covering the cost to re-book him on other flights. The farther you're going, the more insurance costs.
"I try to every time I can because I don't schedule this to happen, but it does happen," Kraft said.
And it is happening. Conditions in Burlington are cool but calm, but a polar vortex is still plaguing travelers because anywhere they're trying to get passes through the weather system.
"It was the perfect storm for them. It got them in a really tough jam that wasn't their fault," said Ted Child of Child Travel.
Child says the crazy weather pattern and new flight rules limiting pilots' time in the air are both fueling this problem.
When it comes to travel insurance, Child says the majority of travelers don't buy it for a flight home for the holidays, but rather for major trips like a cruise. But extra hotel nights and meals while stranded in a strange city can add up.
"Say you flew to Burlington and you were trying to get out it would pay your expenses in a hotel and your living expenses. Typically there's a limit," Child said.
But some travelers say they shouldn't have to pay to reschedule or for flight insurance. They say costs for these inconveniences should be part of the whole package.
"That should be something that is covered somewhere, at least something should be taken care of in my opinion," traveler Erik Anderson said.
Travel experts say flight travel should clear up by the end of the week, but it will be a long time before passengers forget about this wait.