Many travelers decline the add on airfare when participating on a tour or cruise and choose to buy their own airline tickets. Their motivation is usually to save money or to provide additional flexibility while traveling. However, declining add on airfare and buying your own might result in unanticipated and uninsured consequences.
The unintended consequences occur when the tour operator or cruise line either cancels or alters the trip’s travel dates. In the event that the trip has been cancelled by the tour operator or cruise line then they bear the responsibility to refund you the cost of the tour or cruise but they have no responsibility for the traveler’s airfare since it wasn’t one of the arrangements made through them. It is the same if they change the travel dates which then requires date changes to the airline ticket. Since the airline ticket is separate from the tour or cruise than they are not responsible for any airline rebooking or rewrite fees.
Can travel insurance come to the rescue? Maybe if you’ve chosen carefully. Since these unintended consequences occur prior to departure coverage, if available, would be found under trip cancellation, a coverage found in most policies. However, trip cancellation is a “named peril” coverage and only a very few travel insurance plans provides reimbursement of airline fees for trips cancelled or changed by the tour company or cruise line.
Most travel insurance plans don’t cover this type of loss. Travelers should be aware that if they buy separate airfare rather than from the cruise or tour company than they should seek the advice of a travel insurance professional in order to choose the best travel insurance for their trip.