Flight Delays & Cancellations Disrupt 2021 Holiday Travel

Last updated on 03/28/2023

WARWICK, R.I., Dec. 27, 2021 -- Thousands of flight delays and cancellations were reported over Christmas weekend as the omicron variant and winter weather impact flight schedules. Today, holiday travel woes may continue, according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) traffic alert. InsureMyTrip explains how travel insurance benefits may apply for affected passengers.


  • Winter weather and omicron variant impact flight schedules
  • Policyholders may have coverage under travel delay, missed connection, and trip interruption benefits due to flight delays
  • Flight cancellation policies vary by airline and circumstance

Travel Delay
Travel delay benefits vary with each travel insurance provider, generally between a 5 and 24-hour window. The benefit is designed to provide reimbursement for reasonable meals and accommodations while unable to travel.

Tip: Travelers must be delayed for a certain number of hours before this benefit can be applied. When comparing travel insurance, look for the minimum delay time (typically, starting at 5 hours) to start qualifying for coverage as soon as possible.

Trip Interruption
Trip interruption benefits are designed to provide travelers reimbursement of their unused portion of their pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs in the event they must unexpectedly cut their travels short — or the trip is extended due to unforeseen circumstances.

Missed Connection
For those concerned about a delayed flight adversely affecting a cruise or tour departure, travelers may also want to ensure a missed connection benefit is included under a selected comprehensive travel insurance plan. This benefit is designed to provide travelers with coverage if a delayed flight (for example, of 3 hours or more) causes a traveler to miss a cruise departure.

Flight Cancellation Policies
Flight cancellation policies vary by airline and circumstance. When an airline cancels a flight, most will try to rebook passengers on the next available flight.

Airlines are also not required to reimburse travelers for losses incurred as a result of a canceled flight, such as prepaid, non-refundable:

  • Hotel room
  • All-inclusive vacation or resort
  • A cruise
  • A tour or safari
  • Concert or entertainment tickets

Travelers concerned about protecting any trip expenses should consider travel insurance.

Dealing With Flight Delays
Each airline has its own flight delay policy for passengers waiting at the airport; there are no federal requirements. Passengers with departing flights at busier airports should consider travel insurance with robust travel delay benefits.

Meghan Kayata
[email protected]

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SOURCE InsureMyTrip