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Seen At 11: Insured Travelers Collecting Payouts For Their Troubles

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Passengers dread miserable experiences during air travel, such as lost luggage or getting stuck on the runway.

But travelers are getting paid for their trouble, and you can too.

Stuart Kritz’s plane was stuck on the tarmac for nearly two hours. But he was paid for his delay.

“I say, ‘I’m going to trigger this policy now right on the plane,'” Kritz said.

As CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois reported Wednesday night, Kritz is talking about a new travel insurance program called AirCare. Kritz contacted the insurer by email while he was still waiting for the plane to take off.

By that evening, after Kritz arrived in Phoenix five hours late, the insurer had already responded saying it was depositing money into Kritz’s PayPal account.

Kritz said he and his wife received $2,000.

“It’s a gamble. I never thought it would pay out,” Kritz said. “You know, it’s like hitting the lottery with this thing.”

Travel expert George Hobica said AirCare covers what no other travel insurance policy does.

“If you’re stuck on the tarmac for more than two hours, they will wire $1,000 to your banking account,” he said.

“The difference between AirCare and most standard travel insurance is it’s basically compensation for inconvenience and distress,” Hobica added.

AirCare costs $25 for a domestic and covers all legs of a trip, compared to regular travel insurance, which can cost $50 to $500.

“It’s taking the gambling out of traveling, because you gamble with your time and money by not having protection,” said John Noel, president of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, the company that runs AirCare.

In addition to $1,000 for a tarmac delay, the company offers
• $500 for a missed connection;
• $50 for a two-hour flight delay;
• $500 for a checked bag delay of more than 12 hours;
• $1,000 for a checked bag that is lost or stolen.

“This is a payment in addition to, over and above what you might be paid from the airlines,” Noel said.

Some credit cards also offer travel insurance.

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