May I Buy a New Flight if My Flight is Cancelled?

by Steve Dasseos on January 6, 2024

Hi Steve, Uncle Lenny takes off tomorrow and there are high winds expected. If they cancel his flight and can’t put him on a new flight for some reason is he able to buy a new flight even if it’s a higher cost? Will his travel insurance cover him if there’s only a flight available on a different airline? Hopefully, it won’t be an issue, but he wants to make sure. Thanks, Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth, There’s no need for him to buy a new flight. His airline ticket is a contract and the airline is required to get him to his destination even if there are delays. He’s obligated to take whatever substitute flight the airline offers him. This means he can’t refuse the substitute flight and expect his travel insurance to reimburse him for the extra cost for buying a new airline ticket.

Just to be clear, if you are on a trip and your flight is delayed, changed or cancelled, your airline is required to get you to your destination. Your travel insurance won’t reimburse you for the purchase of a new airline ticket if you refuse that flight. And, if you’re flying Standby you don’t have a confirmed reservation, but the airline will still try to help you. I only know one company that will insure your other travel arrangements if you are flying Standby.

Inclement weather is a common reason flights are delayed or cancelled. Nearly 10 years ago, my customer Jon from Massachusetts was facing a potential trip cancellation when his flight was cancelled. Here’s what Jon sent me on May 9, 2014 (it’s also here at

Hi Steve,

I wanted to follow up with you on your very helpful telephone calls as it relates to the claim that we ended up filing with Travel Insured. As you may recall, my family of nine (wife and 7 children) were supposed to go on a Sunday to Sunday Royal Caribbean cruise from February 16, 2014 to February 23, 2014 out of Galveston, Texas.

We had been planning to fly in Sunday morning on a non-stop flight from Boston but a snowstorm the Saturday night before caused our Sunday morning flight to be cancelled outright. The ship was to spend Monday and Tuesday at sea and arrive Wednesday in Jamaica and then Thursday in Grand Cayman. Because there had been a string of snowstorms in the Northeast, we weren’t able to get any flights on Monday to Jamaica and the only Tuesday flights had overnight stay-overs en-route making catching the ship on Wednesday risky. Candidly, I wasn’t so thrilled about staying in Jamaica with my wife and young children so I wasn’t that upset. Miraculously, we were able to patch together a set of three flights starting Monday morning at 6 am landing at 10:30 pm in Grand Cayman. We were also able to book a hotel in Grand Cayman for the three nights while we waited for the ship.

Thanks to all of the details about the fine print on your web site (and the advice you gave me on the phone the Friday before when the storm was coming in), Travel Insured paid ($16,300 check came today) for EVERYTHING (except a local cab we took to a restaurant and a few cash gratuities we didn’t have receipts for totaling about $100), including reimbursing us for 4 of the 7 lost days on the ship. What could have been a total disaster ended up becoming a very nice trip for my family (other than the crazy travel day getting there after the snowstorm).

I can’t thank you enough for the phenomenal information and advice on your web site and on the phone. Understanding the fine print in advance made all the difference in the world for our claim. We will be lifetime customers and we recommend you to everyone that we know!

Thanks again and best regards!

Jon L. and Family, Massachusetts
May 9, 2014

I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

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