Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, part of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, has announced that AirCare™, the low-cost, fixed-benefit flight-protection coverage introduced last year for US domestic flights, is now also available for US residents flying internationally. AirCare™ Abroad will be made available directly to consumers through the company's website, call center and award-winning mobile app, as well as through travel suppliers and agents, up to 24 hours prior to a flight's departure.
According to the Department of Transportation, 2014 was one of the worst years for flight cancellations since 2007. Nearly four percent (69,257 flights) of U.S. flights were cancelled, compared to 1.8 percent in 2013. This year there have been nearly 50,000 flight cancellations, or 2.54 percent of all U.S. flights. According to FlightStats, in just the last 30 days there have been more than 35,700 flight cancellations around the world – including nearly 9,000 in the United States this July alone.
In response, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Insurance has enhanced both its domestic AirCare™ product and the just-launched AirCare™ Abroad with flight-cancellation coverage to compensate customers when a carrier cancels their flights.
"With the strong dollar, more Americans are travelling internationally, and we're pleased to offer a new version of AirCare™ designed specifically to meet the needs of the international traveler," said Dean Sivley, president of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. "As travelers continue to experience increasing flight cancellations due to an air system that appears to be stretched to its limits, we are also pleased to come to their rescue with our newly enhanced AirCare™ products that include travel assistance and our new flight-cancellation coverage for both domestic and international flights. This will ensure that our customers are protected and compensated for the most common yet most annoying disruptions wherever they travel."
AirCare™ Abroad is priced starting at $46 per round trip, per person. The policy pays $250 for flight cancellation, $50 for a delay of two or more hours and $1,000 for a tarmac delay of two or more hours. A baggage delay of more than 12 hours pays $500, and a baggage loss pays $1,000.
Domestic AirCare™ is offered starting at $34 per round trip, per person. The domestic policy pays $150 for a flight cancellation, $50 for a flight delay of two or more hours and $1,000 for a tarmac delay of two or more hours. If travelers miss their connection (only available on domestic routes) they will receive a payment of $100. If a traveler's baggage is lost or delayed for more than twelve hours, they will receive $500.
Both AirCare™ products include proactive travel-assistance solutions through MyAssist™, a global assistance and concierge service.
In addition, both AirCare™ products will feature an industry first. In addition to electronic claims processing and fast, direct-deposit payment straight to a bank account or PayPal, customers now have their claims paid directly to any U.S. debit card. Insurance claims are made in real time. Travelers can access their payments directly from their accounts moments after the claim has been processed and approved.