Couldn’t make it to Hawaii this week? Airline gift of $300

What hasn’t already been said about the airline meltdown this week, which many have said reminded them of the Southwest meltdown last December? And somehow we’re suspicious that we haven’t seen the last of the airline meltdowns this year. That given a myriad of circumstances that have Hawaii travelers’ nerves on edge, including ours.

$300 (30,000 bonus points) for those caught in the breach.

We heard from many of you who either couldn’t make it to Hawaii this week or couldn’t make it home. We saw many flights to and from Hawaii on United Airlines canceled this week. The route we will be traveling between Denver and Lihue was canceled on several days, which definitely caught our attention personally.

And, of course, so did the global news and social media. But today United raised the bar for disruption honors with their latest offer. If you were affected this week, you may have already received an email from United with an apology and 30,000 MileagePlus bonus miles per passenger. That means a family of four will receive 1[ads1]20,000 miles. The problem is that if you have spent two or more days trying to reach your destination, the extra costs will be many times higher.

Here is where our thoughts again turn to the dreaded travel insurance.

We hate buying travel insurance, and so do you. But we love when we need it, and we have it. The cost of travel insurance has increased considerably and we are now averaging 15% of the amount covered or more. On the other hand, with exposure like this week with United or earlier with Southwest, it’s no wonder why it’s getting more expensive.

Southwest previously gave 25,000 miles to those affected by their meltdown.

So this offer from United could set the bar higher for what we can expect from airlines when we experience serious problems. But is that enough? We’d say it definitely isn’t.

A model of how it works on flights to and from the UK and Europe is fascinating.

We were on a flight heading from Gatwick to JFK a few years ago. For unknown reasons, the flight was delayed for around four hours. What happened next was a big surprise. We received a credit card refund from the airline of $600/passenger – that’s courtesy of a UK rule that gives up to $600 for delays over three hours, depending on the distance.

The EU adopted a similar decision on flights both from the US to Europe and in the other directions which provides up to 600 euros for long-haul flights delayed by three hours or more.

Needless to say, social media went crazy this week with United problems.

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