When your flight gets cancelled so you party in Belfast while Pluto sorts it out
If life gives you lemons, the least it can do is provide the vodka as well so you can have a good party. That’s sort of how travel insurance can help when your flights are cancelled. As our friend Pol found out when his weekend getaway was scuppered, not once, but twice, due to airline strikes in France. Here’s what happened…
A software tester living in Belfast, Pol likes to get away as much as he can with a full time job. So when he has a holiday booked, he wants to make the most of it. While he would often travel without insurance on short trips to Europe, he decided to organise an annual policy this year because he had a longer holiday to Asia planned, and it seemed like a good idea. With no particular brand allegiance, he decided to give Pluto a whirl on the recommendation of his bank.
It was my first time buying travel insurance. I usually don’t bother with it as I generally do small trips, but this year I am going to Asia and there’s more that can go wrong. I have six flights booked for example. So I bought an annual policy for that and I just happened to have to claim on it for a different trip!
With it all planned for later in the year, Pol had been extremely well organised. A matter that came in fortuitous use when he and a friend decided to book an impromptu long weekend in Menorca. It was exactly the kind of trip he wouldn’t have normally organised insurance for.
On the Thursday night they headed straight from work to the airport, ready and waiting for a weekend in the sun. They arrived to find the flight had been delayed by 20 minutes - no big deal and nothing a pint wouldn’t fix. Except that 20 minutes turned into an hour. An hour turned into three. And eventually they were told the flight was cancelled altogether.
Undeterred, the duo got straight online to see if they could get another flight from Dublin first thing in the morning, checking into an airport hotel in the interim. Having found a flight on Lastminute.com, they booked and relaxed for the evening, pleased with the solution. Except that the following day they were told that flight too was cancelled - it’s just that the information hadn’t carried through from the airline to Lastminute.com.
Now I will keep hold of my travel insurance with Pluto, having had a good experience, and I definitely think it’s worth getting an annual policy.
Turning lemons into vodka and lemonade
While the airline refunded that flight directly and apologised for the misunderstanding, Pol’s weekend away was now not going anywhere. So the guys consoled themselves with a night out in Belfast instead. But then there was the matter of getting a refund for the cancelled flights, the hotel and the taxis in between. He gathered his receipts, with a little difficulty got details of the cancelled flight from the airline, and submitted a claim for the costs.
Within a couple of weeks, he had his money back. It didn’t make up for the cancelled holiday, but it took the sting out and it did cover a few of those drinks out in Belfast. Now he’s looking forward to that trip to Asia. Safe travels Pol!