American Airlines’s pathetic operational reliability record isn’t exactly a new development, and complaints have long been streaming in from major media outlets, “higher flyer” bloggers, and angry mobs in the Twittisphere. Now the Dallas Cowboys, as of the evening of December 22, have every right to complain as well. In addition to the delays that it has subjected its many millions of passengers to, AA has now failed one of the most famous (or rather infamous?) sports teams in the world.
When you go to book a flight, it’s not uncommon to be prompted to purchase trip insurance on top of your fare. If you decline the option, you might get a warning: “You may be responsible for cancellation fees and delay expenses” or, if that doesn’t scare you enough, “The average out-of-pocket costs of medical emergency transportation outside the United States can be as high as $25,000.” Those are potentially frightful consequences, but you should think twice before handing over the extra money. It’s probably not in your best interest as a higher flyer, and believe it or not, getting it might cost you more than it’s worth.