Dream Holiday to Dreaded Delay: Causing Havoc for a Third of Travellers

Now that the weather is really starting to cool down (kinda), Australians are retreating from their heaters in favour of warmer climates overseas.

But new research by Southern Cross Travel Insurance paints a rather dim picture, with 37 percent of travellers experiencing some kind of flight delay or cancellation during their trip. 23 percent have experienced delays for more than 10 hours, while 5 percent were stranded overseas for more than 72 hours.

The USA (17%) Bali/Indonesia (9%) China (6%) and the UK (6%) topped the list as the most common destinations for delays.

Extreme weather was the cause of almost a quarter (24%) of delays, while other common issues include mechanical problems (23%), late arrivals (19%), air carrier delays (15%) and natural disasters (7%). 8 percent of passengers say they were not told the reason for their delay.

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CEO of Southern Cross Travel Insurance, Craig Morrison, says the best thing you can do in the event of a delay is hold on to your receipts.

“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,” he says.

This extra time overseas hurt the wallets of more than half (58%) of the travellers surveyed. The biggest expense was food (35%), followed by accommodation (16%), ground transport (10%) and missed connections (8%). 7 percent of unlucky passengers had to dish out for alternative flights, while 3 percent were left with airport parking fines.

34 percent of travellers under 30 years of age had no insurance at all, something that Mr Morrison says can take the pain out of these unexpected situations.

“If there’s one lesson to be learnt, it pays to always be prepared,” he said.

“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!”