A new flight insurance plan, called AirCare, is a new angle on conventional travel insurance policies, which generally cover individuals who might have to cancel expensive trips, like high cost flights, tour packages or cruises, for medical or other emergencies. But AirCare’s protection is designed exclusively for airline-related problems. For the cost of only $25 per trip (payable up to an hour before departure), the flyer qualifies for an immediate payment for a variety of flight screw-ups, starting with $50 for a delay of more than two hours. The payment increases in proportion to the inconvenience: For a missed connection caused by a flight delay, AirCare pays $500; also for luggage that’s delayed for more than 12 hours. For fliers stuck on the tarmac for more than two hours (one hour less than the federally mandated trigger for penalties on the airlines), users get $1,000. Although some airlines do offer limited refunds or vouchers for some of these situations, the AirCare protections are in addition to whatever the airline eventually pays up—assuming they do at all.
The AirCare plans are being sold by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, a spin-off of one of billionaire Warren Buffett’s many enterprises. The new company is being run by John Noel, who launched Travel Guard.
The plans are currently available only for U.S. domestic flights, but plans are in place for expansion of protection for most international travel. Mobile apps are available for IOS and Android devices.