Airline Delays

Airlines will regularly reschedule, cancel or delay flights with little regard for your travel plans. This article gives you information about delays caused by a carrier, what you'll be covered for and some things to look out for with your airline.

For cover related to severe weather, natural disasters, riots, strikes and civil commotion, please go here.

What you need to know about airlines and booking flights:

Expect that your trip will be disrupted.

It may be due to a number of reasons but most commonly due to the crew not having enough rest time, a delayed inbound flight or mechanical reasons.

What are you going to do?

If you're booking your own flights ensure that you know the minimum connecting time between flights and allow a little extra time for short delays. Keep in mind that you may need to change terminals or have to walk a long distance between gates. Where possible, book connecting flights with the same airline or within the same alliance, as they may be able to reschedule your flights with minimum fuss (and expense) if the need arises and the gates are normally nearby. Save the special wedding anniversary dinner for any night but your first night because you may not make it if the delay is significant.

Know what you're entitled to from the airline.

Most airlines will have Conditions of Carriage or some other policy in simpler English to tell you what you will be covered for when they delay your flight. Depending on the duration of the delay, the minimum compensation from them should be meals and refreshments, but with longer delays you may also be entitled to accommodation and transfers. Here are links to the Conditions of Carriage for some of the main common carriers used by our customers. There may be additional T's & C's for your particular fare that you will need to check as well. Search for 'delays' in your carrier's website and see what comes up.

Travelling to the European Union?

Carriers operating in the European Union offer some compensation to customers who are out of pocket because of: denied boarding; downgrading; cancellation or long delay.

What's covered?

This benefit is only available on The Works, Annual Multi Trip and Domestic plans up to the limits shown in the Schedule of benefits in the PDS.

When delayed 6 hours or more:

  • The cost of additional meals and accommodation
  • The reasonable cost of rearranging your travel arrangements to resume your pre-paid arrangements

Missed connection – special events

If your trip is interrupted by an event that is not anticipated, is unexpected, and is outside of your control, and you are unable to arrive at your destination by the time originally scheduled for the purpose of attending a wedding, funeral, conference, 25th or 50th wedding anniversary, concert or ticketed sporting event which cannot be delayed as a consequence of your late arrival, we will reimburse you for the reasonable additional cost of using alternative public transport to get you there on time.


Where you have a claim for additional accommodation and non-refundable pre-paid accommodation costs for the same period, we will pay the higher of the two costs, not both. We expect that you would have incurred a cost for accommodation for that night and we don't want you to be out of pocket so we'll pay for the higher expense. Expenses must be reasonable and of the same standard as originally booked. So we won't pay for an additional flight in business class to get you to your destination on time when your original flight was in economy.

What's not covered?

Costs to purchase a new flight or to upgrade your current flight to get you to your destination on time.

This is a brief summary of cover only and does not include the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. Read the PDS before purchasing.

Last updated: 1 December 2021

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