WhatsApp Image 2024-02-23 at 15.49.22_0008a3bf

Decoding the Chaos of Fog-Related Disruptions in Air Travel & role of Insurance in Cancellations & Delays

6 min read |

Navigating the once-friendly skies has become a turbulent journey, with unexpected delays and cancellations disrupting travel plans. This winter season, harsh weather conditions, especially in North India, have exacerbated the situation, resulting in hundreds of grounded flights and frustrated passengers. In January 2024 alone, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) felt compelled to issue a new Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) to address the surge in flight delays.

Data reveals a staggering 84% of Indian passengers affected by delays exceeding 2 hours, followed by cancellations at 15% and denied boarding at 1% in 2023. Interestingly, delays beyond 2 hours accounted for the biggest share of compensation claims, comprising 43% of the total, followed closely by denied boarding at 37%, and cancellations at 20%. Analyzing year-on-year trends, 2023 witnessed the second-highest number of affected passengers in the decade, with 3.1 lakh passengers experiencing cancellations and 22.5 lakh facing delays exceeding 2 hours. However, 2023 also marked the highest compensation payouts for both cancellations and significant delays, amounting to Rs. 9.9 Crore and Rs. 26.5 Crore respectively.

What are the major factors for delays & cancellations?

  • Delayed due to airline security issues
  • Delay due to unprecedented weather changes
  • Delay due to technical issues
  • Delay due to unpunctual schedule of airline

“Delays accounted for more than 80% of the flight disruptions”

What is considered as flight delay by airlines & insurance companies?

Different insurers may adhere to varying criteria for defining flight delay. While some insurers consider the moment the aircraft leaves the parking bay or releases its parking brakes as the commencement, others set it at the aircraft’s takeoff and departure from the airport strip. Claims eligibility hinges on this duration surpassing the specified delay threshold stipulated in the policy.

Stay updated with us

What are your rights as a passenger if your flights get delayed?

1. Delay between 2 & 5 hours:

It becomes mandatory for the airline to provide free meals.

2. Delay of 6 or more hours:

You must be informed at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure. You must have an option of an alternate flight, or you should be given the option of a full refund.

3. Delay within 2 hours:

You are eligible for refreshments.

These regulations are invalid if delays occur because of reasons beyond the flight operator’s control. The reasons beyond the flight operator’s control include riots, floods, government regulations, political instability, security risks, etc. Any delay for reasons beyond the operator’s control will be excused, and the operator need not compensate the passenger in such cases.

Flight cancellations by airlines due to bad weather conditions

Flight cancellations, while relatively rare and unpredictable, can have far-reaching consequences. The specific reasons behind cancellations vary and are influenced by a multitude of factors, which may differ from one airline to another. Weather conditions, technical issues, commercial considerations, and operational challenges all play significant roles in driving cancellations.

“On an average, one of out every three cancellations are due to weather conditions in the last three years”

An analysis of cancellation rates over the years reveals that weather emerges as a prominent factor. Between 2015 and 2019, approximately 25% of cancellations were attributed to weather-related issues. However, this percentage increased to over 33% between 2021 and 2023, indicating a significant rise in cancellations due to adverse weather conditions.

If your flight gets canceled by the airline, you are entitled to receive either a full ticket refund or a new flight. If the flight is canceled after you have already arrived at the airport, you are also entitled to care service by the airline.

Is it possible to cancel a flight & get a refund due to passengers' medical or personal reasons?

Passengers are typically subject to flight cancellation charges if they cancel their flights within 24 hours of departure, often amounting to a substantial portion of the original ticket price. Such circumstances may arise due to medical emergencies or personal reasons.

In India, several ticket booking apps offer cancellation coverage at a fraction of the ticket cost, providing protection for both medical and personal reasons.

Trip cancellation coverage, a pre-departure feature, involves the travel insurance provider reimbursing non-refundable and pre-paid expenses, such as unused flight tickets and hotel bookings.

Stay updated with us

Delivering over 1M policies annually for world’s leading brands
Scroll to Top

Stay connected – Sign up for our Newsletter!

No spam, notifications only about new updates.