What to do if your flight is cancelled or delayed?

The information below will help you understand what you are and aren’t covered for, steps to follow if you’re stuck at an airport due to a delayed or cancelled flight.

As a nib customer the first thing to be aware of is that a travel delay must be at least six hours to meet the criteria for all nib policies. If you know you’ll be stuck at the airport for more than six hours you should contact the airline carrier or tour operator in the first instance to seek a refund, credit, or some form of financial compensation or arrangement specific to your needs.

What to do if your flight is delayed or cancelled

Step 1: Find out the reason for the flight delay or cancellation 

If you think it could be more than just a short period of time (at least six hours), it’s worth finding out some information which can help if you need to make a claim, or claim compensation or a refund against the airline: 

  • How long the delay will be; and 
  • What is the reason for the delay.   

Step 2: Get it in writing

You should ask the airline service desk to provide written evidence of why the flight was delayed or cancelled. nib travel insurance covers certain events, so you’ll need to show it was one of these for any claim to be successful. If it’s because of bad weather, then ask them to put that in writing for you. 

Step 3: Get a refund or get the carrier to reschedule your flight

If you have been left out of pocket or incurred expenses because of the delay, then you MUST seek compensation in the first instance. This should be through rearranging or rescheduling your plans, or a refund from the airline or scheduled public transport providers. If you decide to make a claim for any costs you've incurred, then you’ll need evidence you tried to get a refund first (keep all those receipts and documents). If you don’t have evidence, it may delay any claim you make.

Remember: In Australia you have rights under consumer protection legislation called the consumer guarantee in certain circumstances if your flight is delayed or cancelled. These are enshrined in the Montreal Convention which applies to residents from many countries. You must accept any reasonable alternative options offered by the provider.  

Step 4:  Keep all your documents

If you’re still out of pocket after contacting your airline or travel provider for compensation, you can make a claim under your nib travel insurance.  We will consider all the information available to use and make a decision on your claim.  As part of that process, the more documentation you show you have incurred expenses because of a covered event, the more quickly we will be able to determine your claim. 

If you have any further questions about what's covered and not covered, just ask us.


What am I covered for in case of a flight delay?

If there is a confirmed travel delay you are covered for this benefit under the Comprehensive, Essentials and Annual Multi Trip Plans.

What is covered?

We will cover you if during your trip any individual leg of your pre-paid, scheduled public transport is delayed for at least 6 hours due to an unforeseen reason outside your control.

We will cover you for:

  1. The reasonable cost of rearranging your travel arrangements to resume your pre-paid arrangements; and
  2. The cost of reasonable additional accommodation and meals.

What if I miss my connecting flight?

You are covered for this benefit under the Comprehensive and Annual Multi Trip Plans.

What is covered?

If you’ve missed your connecting flight, we will cover you if your trip is interrupted by an event that is not anticipated, is unexpected, and is outside of your control, and you are unable to arrive at your destination by the time originally scheduled for the purpose of attending the following:

  • A wedding
  • A funeral
  • A conference
  • A 25th or 50th wedding anniversary
  • A concert or ticketed sporting event which cannot be delayed because of your late arrival. 

We will pay for the reasonable additional cost of using alternative public transport to arrive at the destination on time.

What if I have added emergency expenses due to an unexpected event?

You are covered for this benefit under the Comprehensive, Essentials and Annual Multi Trip Plans.

What is covered?

During your trip, we will cover you for reasonable additional travel arrangements you make within 48 hours of a public warning being issued in the mass media of severe weather, natural disaster, riot, strike or civil insurrection that is likely/expected to directly impact your travel arrangements.

Grab your nib travel insurance today.

What to know if you’re making a claim for a missed, or delayed flight 

If you end up stuck at in an airport due to a cancelled or delayed flight and you intend to make a claim for unexpected and unavoidable expenses, you’ll need to provide the following: 

  • Notice from the travel supplier or carrier confirming the reason, timing and duration of the unexpected event causing the delay, cancellation or interruption; any compensation or offers made to you; and confirmation of your claim and settlement with them, if applicable. 
  • Evidence of any accident such as documentation from an official body in the country where the accident happened: e.g. a police and/or relevant transport authority report.
  • Documentation to confirm your travel itinerary, vouchers or e-tickets.
  • Valid documentation from your travel supplier, event organiser or education provider. 
  • All itemised and receipted expenses. 

  Check out the nib  how to make a claim page for more information.    

What is not covered?

Travel insurance is not designed to cover everything, so take the time to read the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Here and the main things that aren’t covered:

  • Where you have made a claim for the same costs under any other section of the policy or if you have been offered a refund or have been reimbursed by the airline carrier or other tour operator.
  • A loss arising from the cancellation, delay or rescheduling of your scheduled public transport on the part of the carrier for operational reasons, mechanical breakdown or maintenance. This exclusion does not apply to the Travel delay section or the ‘Missed connection - special events’ section.
  • If your airline offers you an alternative flight/transport, you are expected to take it, otherwise your cover may also be limited.
  • Any claim where you haven’t allowed for the minimum check in or transit time, whatever is longer.
  • Any reason for the delay or missed flight not listed as a covered event, e.g. you missed your fight because of heavy traffic on the way to the airport.
  • A loss arising from a change of mind, disinclination or reluctance to travel.
  • A loss arising from travelling to, planning to travel to, or choosing to remain in a country or region that is the subject of a ‘Do not travel’ warning issued by the Australian Government (see smartraveller.gov.au).
  • Delays caused by expected and foreseen events that have been widely covered by the media and through official government channels.
  • Costs that are unnecessary or extravagant
  • Expenses that are covered by your carrier