Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

Bali flight cancellations: Can travel insurance help?


Jetstar cancels Bali flights, leaving travellers without travel insurance stuck overseas.

Thousands of Australians' trips to Bali have been disrupted after Jetstar cancelled multiple flights.

Since 1 September, several return services between Melbourne or Sydney and Denpasar have been cancelled.

Jetstar has issued a statement saying the cancellations were due to issues including a lightning strike, a bird strike and delays sourcing a specific spare part.

Some travellers have had to wait days to be rebooked on to another Jetstar flight. Others have forked out hundreds of dollars to book with an alternative airline.

Disrupted holiday plans

Jessica Prasida, travel insurance publisher at Finder, had plans to travel to Bali from Sydney on Monday 29 August. She received a text from Jetstar on the Sunday before she was due to travel informing her that her flight was cancelled.

"The next option I had was a flight on Wednesday arvo," said Prasida. "Then that flight, which was supposed to depart at 4:40pm got delayed to 8pm. At 9pm we were all still waiting at the gate to board – the aircraft hadn't arrived yet.

"At around 9:30pm the flight was cancelled and I was sent home. Jetstar was willing to reimburse me $30 for food and transfers from the airport.

"They then scheduled a recovery flight the next day. I had my eye on the schedule the morning of, just to make sure I was prepared for anything that could happen," Prasida added.


"At around midday, I saw that the flight had been cancelled again. I freaked out and called Jetstar's reservations team to confirm the cancellation because I hadn't received an email or text from them.

"One of their staff confirmed it was cancelled and told me to contact Qantas because that's who I bought my ticket from. I called Qantas and the woman told me it wasn't cancelled!

"Luckily, I went to the airport and the flight was in fact running. It was slightly delayed but I finally got to Bali, almost 4 days later than originally planned," said Prasida.

Can travel insurance pay for cancelled flights?

A comprehensive travel insurance policy typically covers flight cancellations for events outside of your control. If you get a basic policy, you might only be covered for medical expenses.

This means that you could book a flight with a different airline and your insurer can reimburse you for the costs of the additional flight, minus any refunds or credits you can get.

For example, if you paid $1,000 for your original Jetstar flights and $2,500 for alternative airfares but Jetstar agreed to refund you, your insurance will pay you $1,500. This would put you back to your original financial position.

However, if you haven't already purchased travel insurance, you won't be covered for any expenses related to Jetstar's cancellations.

What about additional accommodation costs?

Hundreds of Australians are stranded in Bali and have had to pay for longer stays in hotels and other types of accommodation.

Travel insurance can cover these costs and other prepaid trip bookings such as guided tours. However, it's not always as straightforward as receiving reimbursement for cancelled flights.

Make sure that your insurance has a specific inclusion saying they will cover you for additional expenses associated with a flight cancellation.

For example, FastCover states that it can cover trip disruptions expenses. It's product disclosure statement (PDS) indicates, "This benefit reimburses you for reasonable additional travel and accommodation expenses which you incur while you are still on your trip if it is interrupted due to circumstances out of your control."

Keep in mind, insurers usually only cover travel and accommodation that's the same standard you originally booked. For example, if you originally booked economy, you won't be covered for business class flights.

Similarly, Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) states that it can cover you if you need to cancel or change your travel arrangements before your journey because of an unexpected event.

For example, in Prasida's case, SCTI could reimburse her for 4 days' worth of unused accommodation costs, as long as she had a policy in place before Jetstar cancelled her flights.

With other insurers we looked at, it's less clear you will be covered. For instance, InsureandGo can cover additional emergency expenses, which can include additional accommodation, meals and travelling expenses.

However, it will only cover you for specific circumstances such as an unexpected death or your passport being stolen. It doesn't mention anything about being covered if the airline cancels.

Travelling soon? Make sure you get travel insurance before you jet off and do your research beforehand.

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our 1. Terms Of Service and 6. Finder Group Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Go to site