Turbulence related travel insurance claims up 700% since 2022, new data reveals

aerophobias concept. plane shakes during turbulence flying air hole. Blur image commercial plane moving fast downwards. Fear of flying. collapse slump, depression, downfall, debacle, subsidence, trip.
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Turbulence has hit the headlines following the tragic death of a passenger on a Singapore Airlines flight last month and experts have warned incidences of turbulence are set to increase as a result of climate change.

    Heavy turbulence kills one with dozens injured on Singapore Airlines flight

    The increase in turbulence-related claims is has been reflected in data from Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI), which has found claims related to turbulence have increased significantly since 2022 (+700 per cent) with the insurer paying a total of $27,067 to turbulence claims since the start of 2023.

    However, Aussies shouldn’t be alarmed as claims related to turbulence only account for 0.1 percent of the total claims paid since 1 Jan 2023. Of those claims paid, the vast majority (80 per cent) are related to subsequent changes to the journey and only 12.5 per cent are medical (the remainder are related to baggage and personal property).

    “Aussies are understandably worried about the risk of increased turbulence given recent events and our data also shows that turbulence claims are on the rise,” Southern Cross Travel Insurance CEO Jo McCauley said.

    “It would be incredibly scary to experience severe turbulence and even more so to become injured as a result.

    “Should turbulence impact your travel plans or cause injury, having travel insurance means there’s one less thing to think about, while you navigate a highly stressful situation.”

    Usually, travellers are covered for claims relating to turbulence for things like cancelled or rescheduled flights, out-of-pocket expenses and in rare cases, any medical expenses due to injury caused by turbulence during a flight. SCTI has paid 85.7 per cent of claims relating to turbulence since 2023.

    “We have covered our customers for claims relating to turbulence, including a claim for over $20,000 when a customer was injured during a flight due to turbulence and had to cancel all travel plans and return to Sydney.

    “These unexpected circumstances are exactly why we always recommend people shouldn’t travel without travel insurance,” McCauley continued.

    The two most expensive claims related to turbulence since the beginning of 2023 involve:

    • A customer travelling to Japan encountered turbulence on the first leg of the journey from Sydney to Hong Kong, suffering injuries in flight and forcing them to cancel planned tours of Japan and Korea. The customer was flown back to Australia once fit-to-fly. The total claim cost was more than $20,000.
    • Another customer travelling to Japan suffered an injury while asleep inflight during turbulence, forcing an adjustment to their planned journey. The total claim cost was almost $5,000.

    Latest News

    • Regional
    • Tour Operators

    On Foot Holidays launches Ligurian Hills hiking tour promotion

    Australians can explore Italy’s Ligurian Hills on foot on a self-guided, inn-to-inn hike with Onn Foot Holidays new promotional rates. Liguria is a coastal region in north-western Italy near the French border, known for its mountains, rolling hills and seaside ports. On Foot Holidays’ seven-night holiday begins with two days of walking through vineyards and […]

    • Products

    Mandarin Oriental takes a dive into swimwear with $360 board shorts

    If you were inspired by The Inspired Unemployed’s Liam Moore limited-edition pair of Budgy Smugglers but want a bit more coverage, then here’s your chance. The Orlebar Brown brand has introduced an original design of the Bulldog swim short for Mandarin Oriental hotels – yours for a snip at US$242.25 (AU$360). They have been “designed […]

    • Health & Wellness
    • Luxury

    Trisara showcases sustainable dining via wellspring program

    Phuket-based resort Trisara is transporting guests from resort to farm to table then back again courtesy of a new limited-time program, Wellspring. The package is a collaboration with Tri Vananda, a US$182 million (AU $270 million) wellness community in northern Phuket, conceived by Montara Hospitality Group, the owners of Trisara. In addition to entitling guests […]

    • Aviation

    Emirates SkyCargo expands fleet with five Boeing 777 freighters

    Emirates SkyCargo announced an investment of US$1 billion (AU$1.484b) to expand its fleet with an order of five new Boeing 777 freighters. The investment follows a strong performance in the first quarter of the 2024/25 financial year. Emirates SkyCargo expects the new freighters to increase its capacity by 30 per cent. The increase enables the […]

    • Events
    • Tour Operators

    ITE HCMC 2024 focuses on sustainable tourism for creating a future

    The 18th annual International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC) will take place from 5 to 7 September at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center. Under the theme “Responsible Travel, Creating Future”, the expo will highlight its dedication to promoting sustainable tourism practices and showcasing innovative tourism products and services to meet rigorous […]

    • Appointments

    Seasoned pro Chris Waite goes out on his own in corporate affairs & communications

    Seasoned tourism and hospitality industry corporate affairs and communications professional Chris Waite has unveiled his new consultancy. Drawing on his 25 years of experience across Australia, Europe, and Asia, Chris Waite Corporate Affairs & Communications is dedicated to helping businesses build and safeguard their most valuable asset: their reputation. Waite will focus on delivering results through […]