Bad Travel Etiquette, Flight Delays, Airport Security and Lost Baggage Top Canadians Air Travel Pet Peeves

One Quarter (26%) Have Made a Travel-Insurance Claim, with Lost Baggage Most-Frequent Claim (40%)

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, June 19, 2019 — When it comes to plane travel, Canadians have a bone to pick with their fellow passengers, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of RBC Insurance. Presented with a list of possible annoyances, bad travel etiquette from other passengers is the worst offender, cited by more than a quarter (27%) of Canadian travellers. Flight delays (23%) are in second place, followed by going through security (19%). Lost or delayed baggage comes in fourth, with 15% of travellers describing it as their biggest pet peeve. Others mention getting to and from airports (8%) and the mad dash to get off the plane (8%) as their top travel annoyance.

Regionally speaking, Ontarians are most annoyed by bad etiquette (31%), while those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (31%) are most likely to cite flight delays. Travellers from Quebec are most likely to be irked by lost baggage, with one in four (25%) saying it’s their biggest pet peeve about traveling on an airplane. Travellers with kids (22%) are significantly more likely than those without kids (13%) to cite lost baggage as their top pet peeve. British Columbians are more likely than others to cite traveling to and from airports (14%) as their biggest grievance.

While one can’t be insured against the bad etiquette of other travelers, many other things can be insured. One quarter (26%) of Canadians have made an insurance claim as a result of something that happened to them while travelling, led by Quebecers (37%) and Atlantic Canadians (30%). Among those who have, four in ten (40%) Canadians have made a claim against the cost of their lost baggage. The next most common claims include visits to the doctor, hospital, or clinic (33%), and flight delays (24%). Theft and trip cancellation make up 15% of travel insurance claims respectively, while 9% gave some other reason. While unfortunate situations resulting in a claim can happen, the distribution doesn’t appear to be entirely random, as men (30%) and those aged 35-54 (31%) are more likely to have filed a claim to recoup losses incurred in transit.


Made It Home, But the Bags Are Still on Vacation

Half (50%) of Canadians say they’ve lost something while on vacation, including many who have experienced the sting of losing one’s baggage on vacation: of all the things that can get lost while travelling, Canadians are most likely to point to their baggage as their most devastating loss. Two in ten (20%) Canadian travellers say baggage is the worst thing they’ve lost, well ahead of the proportion who say they worst thing they’ve lost was their passport (13%) or mobile phone (6%). Others mention that their worst loss was a travelling companion (6%), tickets (3%), or a laptop or tablet (1%). Half of Canadians (50%) are fortunate enough to have never lost anything (or anyone!) while travelling, but only three in ten (30%) Canadians with kids can claim a clean record of no losses.

The poll finds that Canadians who travelled outside of their home province by air in the past two years did so 3.6 times in the past 24 months. Younger Canadians are slightly more likely to take the skies, flying out-of-province 4.4 times in past 24 months. Looking at those who have seldomly travelled outside of their home province by air in the past two years and those who have, it is understandable that those who have travelled only once find going through airport security to be their biggest pet peeve, more so than those who have travelled more than once. However, these individuals are also less likely to make a travel insurance claim, with just 14% of those who have travelled outside of their home province by air once in the past two years saying they’ve had to make a claim, a proportion that rises to upwards of 30% among those who have travelled more than once.


Before You Go

Despite the risk and hassle involved, few think about insuring their baggage before setting out on their travels. Asked what they thought the most important thing to insure while on vacation, only one in ten Canadian travelers (12%) say baggage was most important. A majority of travellers (72%) say it’s most important to insure themselves – a belief that increases among women (77%) and travellers aged 55 and over (81%).

When it comes to insuring physical belongings, however, it’s telling that baggage (12%) is still seen as more important than other items. For instance, only 7% think it’s most important to insure a rental car (7%), while even fewer feel the same about insuring a mobile phone (5%), laptop/tablet (3%), or sports equipment (1%) while on vacation.


Barriers to Filing Travel Insurance Claims

What about the remaining three-quarters (74%) who say that they haven’t made a travel insurance claim? Of these people, 8 in 10 (79%) are lucky enough to have never been in a situation where they have needed to make a travel insurance claim. This means that the remaining 2 in 10 (21%) have needed to file a claim but were unable to do so. The top reasons for those affected to not make a claim include:

  • Too much of a hassle (5%)
  • Not having travel insurance (4%)
  • Thinking they were covered by pre-existing insurance, when they were not (3%)
  • Thinking they were covered by their credit card, but they were not (2%)
  • Not knowing where to go (2%)
  • Having more important things to do (2%)
  • Being too busy (1%)

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs

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