Imagine if your flight was delayed and the airline sent you a text at the two-hour-delay mark to claim your cash as a “sorry, but please fly with us again” gesture of good will.
Unfortunately, it is never that easy, even for issues that are clearly the airline’s fault like aircraft maintenance. After you get home, there is the inevitable series of calls, emails, and tweets to the airline that end up wasting your time. Then, your frustration is escalated when all you get in compensation for the hours (or days long) delay are a measly few miles.
However, Air France is now offering proactive insurance and compensation in the event the airline has delays of more than two hours — that is, if you purchased insurance at the time of booking.
Air France Partners With Allianz Insurance
Many airlines have long offered travel insurance as an option during the checkout flow. However, the claims process and how the insurance actually worked in practice was often not very clear. Air France and Allianz Insurance have teamed up to change that — the claims process will actually be as straightforward as ever in the case of a flight delay of more than two hours.
This applies to all flights operated by Air France, whatever the destination, on both outbound and inbound flights.
Here is how it would work:
- You purchase Allianz “Assistance” insurance coverage directly on Air France’s website at the time of booking a flight.
- If there is a reported delay of more than two hours, you will receive a text message and and email with a link to receive payment.
- You enter your booking reference number and bank account details.
- You receive a payment of 50 euros per customer within a maximum of 5 days.
This is what appears during the checkout process. The cost for insurance will vary based on the flight but I received a quote for 23 euros for a round-trip flight between London and Paris.
What About EU Compensation Rules?
The European Union probably has the most consumer-friendly protections in the case of delays or cancellations when flying either from a European Union airport OR flying to a European Union airport on a European-based airline. The regulation is commonly referred to as EU261, or Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004.
With EU261, you can claim up to 600 euros (depending on length of delay and flight duration) with the airline. One Mile at a Time has a great write up on how EU261 exactly works and how to submit a claim.
Air France says that yes, you can still claim for EU261 with the airline AND receive your travel insurance claim money if you opted into the Allianz service.
Credit Cards That Come With Travel Protection And Trip Delay Coverage
You can skip out on opting into the insurance (or supplement it) by using one of these credit cards that already come embedded with some form of trip delay and travel protection coverage.
However, the trip delay coverage for these cards don’t kick in until past the two hour mark and each have specific limitations. Also, Citi’s trip delay coverage will be ending on September 22, 2019. Click on the cards below for more details on their benefits.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
- Citi Prestige (Protection ends on September 22, 2019)
- Citi Premier (Protection ends on September 22, 2019)
Of course, unlike Air France and Allianz’s process, you’ll also actually have to submit a claim for the delay with your credit card.
While EU compensation is already quite generous, this seems like an attractive proposition for customers and will likely help push some flyers to purchase insurance in the first place.
As long as EU261 can still be claimed, I’m all for this new initiative from Air France which just makes the insurance claims process more customer-friendly and just plain old easy.
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