Travel Protection Plan: needful, or waste of money?
May 19, 2011 3:18 PM   Subscribe

Flying overseas, just bought crazy-expensive tickets to do so. Should we also buy a Travel Protection Plan at an extra $72 per person?

At $216, it's a big chunk of money from a budget has already taken a hit, but I won't blink (much) if it's a very good idea.
posted by moira to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can normally buy much better travel insurance for a lower price from a different company rather than through the airline.
posted by orangeseed at 3:22 PM on May 19, 2011

Response by poster: (I should maybe add that otherwise, these are non-transferrable, non-refundable etc. tickets.)

Could you elaborate?
posted by moira at 3:22 PM on May 19, 2011

Response by poster: "Could you elaborate" was directed at H. Roark, sorry.
posted by moira at 3:24 PM on May 19, 2011

Best answer: Are the odds of you not making the trip moderate? Does anyone have a chronic illness, or know anyone who has a chronic illness for whom you would need to cancel your trip? is the area you are traveling too high risk in any ways?

I've gotten the American express travel insurance, and it really came in handy once out of the many times I've flown. I got full refunds of over 3k when I ended up missing a flight and paying out of pocket for a flight the next day and lodging... and it cost $200 for trans pacific flights, covered 21 days lodging, travel delays, refunds etc. Other time's I've gotten it, and it's never even gotten touched. I only get travel insurance if the cost of the trip (net) is over 1k.
posted by larthegreat at 3:39 PM on May 19, 2011

Best answer: This year I've bought three expensive, non-transferable, non-refundable international travel tickets and needed to change all of them. Unfortunately the "protection plan" doesn't cover the reasons for the changes in these cases, "voluntary changes", so even though I'd bought insurance for two flights I was not able to claim. Ymmv.

(I couldn't find the much better deals recommended by orangeseed.)
posted by anadem at 3:49 PM on May 19, 2011

Response by poster: Sounds like trip insurance is a good idea, given the cost of the tickets and the unpredictable nature of reality. We'll go through a cheaper insurer than the airline. Thanks for pointing out that option; I don't have a lot of experience with travel.
posted by moira at 3:52 PM on May 19, 2011

Best answer: With domestic flights I've never bought travel insurance. You can (in my experience) usually cancel and get a voucher for future flights. That's plenty good since I make on average 3 to 4 round trips per year.

But with international I get it. It's such a small percentage of the total cost, and the situations surrounding an international trip are much more volatile. Plus, if I had a voucher for (say) Air France, the chances of me flying Air France again in the future are pretty slim.
posted by sbutler at 3:59 PM on May 19, 2011

Best answer: I usually get it when I fly to Europe, though I've never used it. After hearing horror stories from friends stranded overseas by the huge volcano last year I pretty much always will.
posted by gerryblog at 4:11 PM on May 19, 2011

Best answer: We got it for our trip to Europe earlier this year, and even though we didn't end up needing it we had a few close calls with major delays and I was SO relieved that we had one less worry. Totally worth it for major flights.
posted by brilliantine at 8:12 PM on May 19, 2011

Best answer: I always buy travel insurance for international trips (more usually to cover for medical while overseas, but potentially useful if something goes wrong with the travel arrangements).

Here's a question that deals with a scenario where you might want travel insurance.
posted by AnnaRat at 3:31 AM on May 20, 2011

Best answer: Oh, and check to see if your credit card company gives free travel insurance for trips where you have bought the flights on your card (obviously if you didn't pay for it that way, this is of no use).

World Nomads says $175 for a worldwide family policy for a trip of three weeks.

I'm not familiar with other insurers that cover US residents, but I'm think that if you shop around, you will get a better deal. The World Nomads one is a full travel insurance policy (e.g. emergency and medical and travel), but I know in Australia, some companies do policies that just cover the flights and travel stuff, which would be cheaper again.
posted by AnnaRat at 3:38 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

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