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How to Conquer Flight Delays with TravelSmart

woman whose flight has been delayed
Allianz - woman whose flight has been delayed

Let’s start with some good news: in many ways, air travel is improving. Commercial air travel has gotten safer.1 New technology has helped airlines do a better job of handling luggage, so they’re losing fewer bags.2

There’s one problem airlines just can’t seem to solve, however: delayed departures. More than 18 percent of domestic flights are delayed each year.3 There’s only so much airlines can do to improve, because there’s a wide range of reasons for flight delays: bad weather, mechanical problems, crew problems, heavy air traffic and late-arriving planes. But that’s not very comforting if you’re the one sitting at the gate, watching your departure time get pushed later… and later… and later.

Fortunately, Allianz Global Assistance customers have a secret solution in their pockets: the free TravelSmartTM app. This app (for iOS and Android) helps travelers make the best of annoying delays—we’ll show you how. 

Get a travel insurance quote for your next trip.

Track flight delays before you get to the gate.

You might not know that TravelSmart can also track your flight. Enter your flight info before you depart, and the app will show you real-time flight updates up to 365 days in advance. This comes in handy when you’re setting your alarm clock for 5 a.m. and then you see your flight’s been pushed back an hour. The app also can show you terminal and boarding gate information, once it’s available.

Check your plan benefits for travel delays.

You’re on your way to a resort in Antigua when mechanical issues ground your connecting flight from Miami. It’s taking forever to resolve the problem. At least you have travel insurance—but will this flight delay be covered? It only takes a second to check your travel insurance plan benefits in the TravelSmart app.

Tap “View Policy” to pull up a PDF of your policy documents. Find the definition of a covered travel delay for your specific plan in the first few pages, under “Declaration of Coverage.” You’ll see that for your OneTrip Prime Plan, the minimum required travel delay is 6 hours, and that you can be reimbursed up to $800 (with a $200 limit per 24-hour period of delay) for meals, accommodations and other eligible purchases.

Reach 24-Hour Hotline Assistance for help in emergencies.

Sometimes, a flight delay is no big deal. But it can be a really big deal if a delay means you might miss something important, such as a wedding, a funeral or the departure of your cruise ship. If you’re panicking because of a travel delay (or any other travel emergency), use the TravelSmart app to call 24-Hour Hotline Assistance. Have your policy number handy (hint: it’s in the app) and tell our expert Assistance team about the situation. They’ll do their best to help, whether that means getting you on another flight or changing your travel plans to accommodate an urgent need.

File a travel delay claim once you’ve gotten on your way.

Phew! Your plane finally took off—seven hours behind schedule—and now you can continue your trip. When you’re ready, you can use the TravelSmart app to start your claim. Tap your active travel insurance plan, then tap “File a Claim.” The app will walk you through the process, step by step.

The easiest way to save, organize and upload claim documentation is to snap photos of it on your phone (or use an app, or the Notes function on your iPhone, to scan documents). When you buy an airport lunch during your delay, take a picture of the receipt. If you end up getting a hotel room because your flight’s pushed to the next morning, scan or photograph that receipt, too.

Remember that travel delay benefits can reimburse you for more than just meals and hotels. If you end up losing some prepaid trip expenses because of a covered delay, you can file a claim for those expenses too. If a covered delay made you miss the departure of your cruise or tour, your benefits can reimburse reasonable transportation expenses (up to your plan’s limit) to help you rejoin your cruise/tour or reach your intended destination. Questions? Use the app to call customer service and check the status of your claim.

You don’t have to be an Allianz Global Assistance customer to download the app—but if you have a trip coming up soon, you should purchase travel protection now. Find the perfect plan here.

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