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To Insure or Not?

You have saved your money to go on your dream vacations, but you declined travel protection when you booked. typically depending on when you booked and where you are in the process your payments may not be fully refundable. I have over the years gathered a lot of stories on both sides of this decision. Typically, if client was "halting between two opinions" I would ask, "can you afford to lose it all?", If it is not going to "kill" you or hurt, then fine. Everyone has a line in their budget where losing money will start to hurt or even feel like death. Unfortunately the realization sometimes comes a little too late.

Here is a personal experience from yours truly that worked in my favor because I did buy travel protection:

I was offered the opportunity to attend a major travel conference in Puerto Vallarta in May 2019. The organizers covered my accommodations, meals and ground transfers for five days, but to save on the airline ticket I decided to fly in a day earlier and get an extra day.

I have preexisting condition, asthma triggered by allergic reactions so I am not taking any chances - My out of pocket cost from Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) plus 1 night hotel and transfer was $400. I purchased travel coverage for about $24. Yes $24.

I was so excited I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and hubby dropped me at the airport, boarded my flight with no incident a couple hours later and then it happened. My aircraft which was taxiing came a screeching halt on the tarmac at FLL, as the Captain, "this is your captain speaking due to severe thunderstorms in Houston (IAH) (where I was connecting) the flight will be delayed. He then said something which made me do a double take - offered anyone who wanted to come sit in the cockpit to come. I was a kid in the candy store - One guy beat me to it, but I had a blast. Not long after we were airborne again.

My plane landed in Houston with more than enough time to catch my connection, I would need to run, but I could do it.Not! there were no gates available for the plane to pull in. So we sat there and I even joking said as one flight took off "There goes my connection", it probably was. When we deplaned it was sheer pandemonium at the gate - it seemed like everyone missed flights. By the time I got to the representative I was informed that it would be two days before I could leave IAH The flight proceeded to depart so I sighed a breath of relief, which was short lived because once we landed the plane sat on the tarmac for another 30 minutes. As I watched plane after plane take off it occurred to me that one of those might be my flight and you guessed it. My flight had left and it seemed like effect as everyone else appeared to be in the same situation.

By the time I got to Customer Service I was told there were no available flight to PVR for two days. Panic started to set in. Every time a cIient experienced a delay or cancellation I had to calm them and then go into "fix it" mode. I was literally talking to myself, to calm down while my brain tried to find alternate solutions to give to the agent. I lucked out - she diverted me through Mexico City (MEX). As I sat at the new gate on a new airline I called the hotel knowing already what the answer would be - My booking was non-refundable non-changeable. I had to book and new hotel, exchange money and figure out transportation.

Fortunately, I didn't pay anything for the ticket changes, but guess what I arrived in MEX and my luggage was missing (they said it had gone to PVR) - All I had was my computer bag in which I usually have at least one clean underwear when I travel (I am anal). The hotel staff heard my plight so they provided me with some amenities and I used the robe that night after eating in the restaurant.

I left the hotel at 3:00 a.m. exhausted because I refused to sleep, I rejected to notion of napping in the airport, because I was so exhausted I would have slept through the boarding calls. So I stood resting on the handle of the computer bag. I arrive in PVR after a 30 minute flight only to discover - my luggage never left Houston. I had to pay for my transfer from the airport since would have had transfers on my original hotel which was cancelled. Plus two other trips to and from the airport in search of my suitcase.

With the help of some amazing Aeromexico reps I was able to get my suitcase and enjoy the rest of my time in Puerto Vallarta, but I know you won't believe me when I tell you going home it was like deja vu. I had to book another hotel in IAH because the entire airport shut down.

I flew home the next day gathered my receipts and submitted a claim to the insurance company. Two months later I received two checks for a sum of $100 each.

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