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Old 18.01.2009, 21:27
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Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

In the summer we plan to travel to the US (using Virgin) via Heathrow. Although I'm leaving 3 hours to make the connection at Heathrow I still feel a little queasy, because if my CH>Lon flight is delayed or cancelled, and I miss the connection, I would have to buy a new pair of single tickets to the US ($$$$).

My standard Allianz travel insurance only covers you for 300CHF for a missed connection, and the caveat is that you need to have left > 6 hours for the connection. Any other ideas?

Cheers
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Old 18.01.2009, 21:29
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

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In the summer we plan to travel to the US (using Virgin) via Heathrow. Although I'm leaving 3 hours to make the connection at Heathrow I still feel a little queasy, because if my CH>Lon flight is delayed or cancelled, and I miss the connection, I would have to buy a new pair of single tickets to the US ($$$$).

My standard Allianz travel insurance only covers you for 300CHF for a missed connection, and the caveat is that you need to have left > 6 hours for the connection. Any other ideas?

Cheers
Is it not worth your while travelling the day before, and staying in a hotel at Heathrow?

It would be cheaper than buying a new airline ticket, at least.

Or have you booked already?
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Old 18.01.2009, 21:37
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

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Is it not worth your while travelling the day before, and staying in a hotel at Heathrow?

It would be cheaper than buying a new airline ticket, at least.

Or have you booked already?
Thankfully we haven't booked yet, so that could certainly be an option
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Old 18.01.2009, 21:46
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

I agree with DB Castro. Most flights seem to have delays of some sort and the stress of worrying if you are going to miss your flight is not worth it - especially if you then have to change terminals at Heathrow - that can take time too.
If you do go the day before, I can recommend tha "Crowne Plaza" at Heathrow.
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Old 18.01.2009, 21:49
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

It sounds like you have a reason to go with Virgin but if it were me, I would just book it all on one ticket so I wouldn't have to worry about it. Does Virgin have a partner airline that could get you from CH to London so that you can book it on one ticket?
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Old 18.01.2009, 21:49
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

Famous last words, but I wouldn't worry too much. I travel every week and I have yet to be on a flight delayed by more than 20mins, especially if you fly Swiss. You would not to be in Heathrow for any longer than 3 hours, it is not a pleasant place to wait in unless you love shopping and have plenty of space on your VISA card.

If you are very worried book a through ticket from CH to US and then if the flight is late the airline are obliged to get you to the end destination.
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Old 18.01.2009, 21:50
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

I think you are OK if you are using the same airline for the whole trip. But I would check it out just in case....



What if I miss a connecting flight due to a delay?
If the connecting flight is with the same airline then they are duty bound to get you to your final destination but with no guarantee as to time of arrival.
If, however, the missed connecting flight is with another airline then they can, in theory, refuse you a seat on a later flight.
However, in the cut-throat world of airlines where passenger traffic is at a premium, an airline taking such a stance is rare, although they may ask for a supplement.
In such cases, yet again, the onus is on the passenger to seek compensation for costs incurred by a delay from their travel insurer.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2159240.stm
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Old 18.01.2009, 21:56
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

I missed a connection due to the aeroplane nearly crashing and having to divert (which was a very entertaining journey). Because it was the same airline for both legs, they put me up in a rather delightful hotel at Vienna airport, and fed me and everything! I had to get up at five the next morning, though, which wasn't so wonderful...

Having said that, if going the evening before is possible, it is certainly the least stressful approach. I did it last spring to ensure that I could get a flight out of Geneva, leaving at six, and had a very relaxing journey (and arrived at my auntie's in time for a proper cooked breakfast... how cool is that?).

So I'd still do the hotel thing, even if you are using the same airline for the whole journey.

It's chillin' innit?
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Old 18.01.2009, 22:00
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

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I missed a connection due to the aeroplane nearly crashing and having to divert (which was a very entertaining journey). Because it was the same airline for both legs, they put me up in a rather delightful hotel at Vienna airport, and fed me and everything! I had to get up at five the next morning, though, which wasn't so wonderful...

Having said that, if going the evening before is possible, it is certainly the least stressful approach. I did it last spring to ensure that I could get a flight out of Geneva, leaving at six, and had a very relaxing journey (and arrived at my auntie's in time for a proper cooked breakfast... how cool is that?).

So I'd still do the hotel thing, even if you are using the same airline for the whole journey.

It's chillin' innit?
I would agree with you if it were anywhere but Heathrow. I only fly through there if it is absolutely necessary (which unfortunately is too often).
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Old 18.01.2009, 22:07
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

I chose Virgin because I am booking an open-jaw ticket, flying into San Francisco and flying out of New York. Even with my BA flights from Basel to Heathrow, the same caper using BA or Swiss would cost almost 400 CHF more.
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Old 19.01.2009, 00:31
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

So your BA flight goes into Terminal 5 and the Virgin flight is probably T3. Taking into account the distance between both terminals, 3 hours should be okay and have in your mind it will take an hour to 90 mins.

I have been pretty lucky leaving T5, super quick from plane out but T5 is a distance from the other terminals.
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Old 19.01.2009, 17:27
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

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In the summer we plan to travel to the US (using Virgin) via Heathrow. Although I'm leaving 3 hours to make the connection at Heathrow I still feel a little queasy, because if my CH>Lon flight is delayed or cancelled, and I miss the connection, I would have to buy a new pair of single tickets to the US ($$$$).

My standard Allianz travel insurance only covers you for 300CHF for a missed connection, and the caveat is that you need to have left > 6 hours for the connection. Any other ideas?

Cheers
The last couple of times BA booked us a 4 hour connection at Heathrow for a change of terminal. Going through flight connections can be a pain in peak times with every second person forgetting that they are carrying the water bottle from their last flight I missed one flight because I was carrying baby food that needed to be personally checked and I was stuck behind a lady that had hair dye in her carry on bag!

I now avoid Heathrow and use City airport or transfer in Frankfurt instead.
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Old 19.01.2009, 18:25
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

My main concern would be if you are trying to change terminals as well - we went through Heathrow about two weeks ago- and we had a hotel room booked at the Hilton, but the Hilton is at terminal 4, not T5 (there is at least one hotel at T5, but I wasn't the one who booked the tickets, and I wasn't paying either )...

BUT it took well over an hour to just get from T5 to the Hilton at T4 - by the rail connection...including 35 minutes waiting for the two trains we needed to catch - it was HOPELESS! - of course the Hilton has a courtesy bus every 30 minutes, but we wanted to test out the public transport... just to be certain that we would never want to do it again...

So, gotta change terminals, there's gotta be a faster way!

Three hours connection including changing terminals, I wouldn't be comfortable with...

However, on our return flight we got a delay from London and ended up spending about 5 hours in Heathrow - we were glad my 'sponsor' decided to pay for Qantas Club membership before she left Australia - and got us both in (and our bubs) for a comfortable, quiet spot to sit, plenty of free food and drink, free internet, and a shower...Worth every penny...

For the record, my mum almost missed my 21st birthday in Sydney because she went to the wrong terminal, missed her flight and Qantas could only get her on 24 hours later...to a welcoming party of a different sort - one well-dressed Venetian Merchant, someone closely resembling Friar Tuck and a Baldrick look-alike decided the drinks were better in the Airport bar than at the party.

But I digress. In theory, 3 hours should be plenty of time if no terminal change. We had 3.5 hours on our two sets of BA flights (booked at different times) and they were happy to check us and our baggage right through on the day...
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Old 19.01.2009, 18:29
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

just an idea but if your flight is delayed from CH ,you have the security blanket of checking the other airlines as there are numerous airlines flying to LHR at that time -BA and easyjet i imagine from there? If yours is delayed you could jump on one of the others... may cost a bit but not as much as a transatlantic trip
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Old 19.01.2009, 18:36
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

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flight is delayed or cancelled, and I miss the connection, I would have to buy a new pair of single tickets to the US ($$$$).
Single? it might even mean you have to buy the return as well.

I once didnt fly with my outbound ticket (swiss) but took another airline instead the next day. When i wanted to return with Swiss, they said because i wasnt on the original flight, they cancelled it . This was even after i sent them a mail saying i would not be on that flight.

Anyway argued about it for a while, and then they made me pay for another ticket. That was the only time i have had a bad experience with swiss.

(at the time, nowhere in their terms and conditions via email, did it ever say that my flight would be cancelled if i didnt take the outbound flight, but such is life --> i wasnt going to tear the place apart over 170 francs)
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Old 26.02.2009, 12:17
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Re: Missed flight connection Travel Insurance

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I once didnt fly with my outbound ticket (swiss) but took another airline instead the next day. When i wanted to return with Swiss, they said because i wasnt on the original flight, they cancelled it . This was even after i sent them a mail saying i would not be on that flight.

Anyway argued about it for a while, and then they made me pay for another ticket. That was the only time i have had a bad experience with swiss.
I've done that several times and always had the return honoured (eventually). I am surprised that they insisted.

On flights in general, local flights to out-of-sector (e.g. LH from ZRH to LHR to SFO with BA will be cheaper than LHR to SFO with BA because they are getting you out of another airlines homebase (ditto ZRH to AMS to SFO with KLM vs AMS to SFO).

Unfortunately Virgin doesn't do this due to its lack of code-sharing-air-partners. Very annoying.

Your onward journey is only guaranteed if it is the same airline (some airline partners) are delayed. E.g. Swiss and Lufthansa no problem, Swiss and Singapore won't normally work despite them both being *A (star alliance).

The EU covers you against denied boarding with massive EUR compensation but not for delayed flights.

I also agree with the fly-the-day-before crowd, especially London or Amsterdam and both are used to long delays. Most other Euro centres are better (less the French strikes in which case no one flies).

Generally I wouldn't fly Virgin for all these reasons even though in the UK they'd be one of my first choices...
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