Last week, a United flight from Denver to LA was diverted as an emergency landing into Grand Junction, Colorado. Many people on that plane had to make changes to their travel plans. Some folks had short stopovers in which to make connections, which is where travel plans can go awry.
What happens when the plane you’re traveling in makes an emergency landing?
Each traveler on that plane has their own schedule and because the plane’s mechanical failure was the reason for the emergency landing, i.e., it wasn’t bad weather that caused the emergency landing, the airline is responsible for getting passengers back on schedule as best they can. It’s also up to the airline to handle accommodations, meals, etc. for the passengers who are in that spot, but every airline has their own policies.
When the airline is responsible for the delay, travel insurance won’t be of too much help because it’s not their responsibility. The travel assistance services, however, may be able to help you get routed onto another flight or make other travel changes, but if the airline is going to pay you for the delay or missed connection, then that money will come out of any compensation or reimbursement you receive from travel insurance.
When the airline is not responsible for the delay – that is, in cases of weather or natural disaster for example, that’s when travel insurance can be your best friend. In those instance, the airlines aren’t responsible and travel insurance can help.
For those travelers who would face a missed connection, see what the airlines owe you when a missed connection occurs for more information on how this works.