There are various excuses as to why people can miss flights, ranging from accidentally going to the wrong terminal, failing to hear their flight being called and under-estimating how long it would take them to reach their boarding gate through to accidentally waiting at the wrong boarding gate, falling asleep at the boarding gate and forgetting their suitcase keys. However the couple who accidentally booked holiday flights from the ‘wrong’ Birmingham airport broke the mould in our book. Yet once the laughter died down the smile was put back on their faces after it emerged that Virgin has offered them free flights, so that they can jet off on their dream break after all. You may or may not have heard of their well-publicized faux pas of late, whereby the Sutton Coldfield couple mixed up their Birminghams (the UK’s second city and the self-same named city located in Alabama, America to be precise), who became front page news of late after they mistakenly booked their outward flights from the American one, as opposed to their nearby Brum, England namesake.
Their travel calamity quickly went viral as a result, as people acknowledged the hapless couple’s woes with either sympathy or, we’re afraid to say, raised eyebrows. Still, the couple are having the last laugh – despite their original flight operator telling them they couldn’t have a refund in light of their glaring booking error – as Virgin offered them a 5-night stay in Vegas along with return flights; providing of course they fly from Manchester Airport. That’s the Manchester which is geographically situated in the north west of England as opposed to the alternative one found in Connecticut, USA.
Virgin Came to Rescue of Hapless Holidaying Couple, Yet the Story Could Well Have Ended Not So Happily from a Travel insurance Viewpoint
Joking apart, this particular story (which in this case happened to end well, in spite of the initial blushes) highlights the importance of getting the basics right at every stage of the holiday-making process, because if you don’t then you put yourself at serious risk of missing out on a holiday (perhaps of a lifetime, as was the aforementioned couple had planned from the outset). Although all’s well that ends well on this occasion, the Birmingham blunderers would not have been able to claim on their travel insurance; and therefore been left significantly out of pocket. Asked what the rules of play would have been in similar instances, a number of travel insurance policy providers duly informed news sources that the couple would categorically NOT have been covered in this given scenario.
Naturally, if for example someone had missed their intended and pre-booked flight because they hadn’t been told about a changed departure time, then the chances are they’d be able to make a claim against the carrier. That said, the whole area of missed departures is open to confusion in some parts, as in terms of travel cover certain policies fail to recompense for both outbound and inbound journeys. Indeed, there have been reported cases where holidaymakers were left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after missing flights home – often through no fault of their own – and were, ultimately accountable for the costs. In fact, a little research recently undertaken by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association discovered that a couple of leading players in the travel insurance sector didn’t cover inbound journeys whatsoever, whilst others noted regimented rules and regs on the amount of time customers had to allow to reach the airport and what reasons for missing the flight would be covered.