More than a third of Aussies suffer flight delays and it’s hurting their wallets

Peter Terlato 31 May 2016

flight delay cancellation

Food, accommodation, transport and missed connections are costly.

Flight delays are a frustratingly common byproduct of airline travel nowadays and new research reveals more than a third of Aussies travelling overseas are inconvenienced by these setbacks, especially financially.

A survey of 1000 Australians by Southern Cross Travel insurance found that more than one third (37%) experienced a delay or cancellation when flying abroad. Of these, almost one quarter (23%) said they had suffered delays of more than 10 hours.

The most common explanation for a delay was extreme weather (24%), followed closely by airline mechanical issues (23%) and late arrivals (19%). Other reasons for stoppages included air carrier delays (15%) and natural disasters caused by mother nature (7%).

The study revealed 8% of passengers claimed they were not given any explanation as to the cause of their delay.

Aside from the disruption to their plans, more than half (58%) of those surveyed said they had to fork out extra dough while delayed, paying for food (35%), accommodation (16%), transport (10%) and missed connections (8%). Some (7%) were forced to cough up cash for alternative flights and a small number (3%) incurred airport parking infringements.

And the countries where you're most likely to be stranded? The USA (17%) were responsible for the most delays, followed by our South East Asian neighbour Bali/Indonesia (9%), with some blame likely attributed to last year's ash cloud catastrophe. China (6%) and the UK (6%) were also common culprits.

Travel insurance can often be helpful in these circumstances, however, 34% of travellers under 30 claimed they had none. Search Travel Insurance Finder to obtain coverage information and detailed comparisons of the best available policies. If you're after more specific protection there are flight-only insurance plans and instructions on how to claim for delays, missed flights and cancellations.
Picture: Shutterstock

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