Canadians are returning to airports in droves as travel restrictions have been lifted after two years of pandemic clampdowns, but headaches at the airport have left many rethinking their travel plans altogether.  
The latest Leger survey conducted on behalf of RATESDOTCA and BNN Bloomberg found that 35 per cent of potential plane travellers have made changes to their plans due to recent problems at airports, such as rampant delays and cancellations, lost luggage, or luggage that fails to arrive at the intended destination on time.  
The survey polled 1,516 Canadians between July 15-17. It found that 54 per cent of respondents are planning to travel by plane or car this year. Of the 35 per cent of plane travellers making changes, 56 per cent said they have delayed travel plans, 18 per cent have changed their destination, and 13 per cent have decided to drive somewhere instead. Another 13 per cent said their flight was cancelled or their itinerary was changed by an airline. 
That won’t come as a surprise considering how miserable flying out of Canadian airports has been recently. A study this month found that Toronto’s Pearson Airport is the world’s worst airport for flight delays, with 52.5 per cent of flights not leaving at their scheduled time. That was the only global airport where the majority of flights tracked were delayed between May 26 and July 19.  
Chaos at the airport appears to be prompting more Canadians to protect themselves from disruptions with insurance. The survey suggests that 46 per cent of Canadians planning to travel opt for travel insurance — and that number rises to 78 per cent among those who have recently made changes to their travel plans. 
Insurance companies will no doubt be thrilled to learn that even Canadians who don’t usually buy travel insurance are now deciding to purchase coverage. The survey found that 11 per cent of those who are planning to protect themselves said they don’t usually purchase insurance, but they’re now reconsidering because of problems at airports.
Meanwhile, more Canadians are also considering additional insurance beyond emergency medical, including buying trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. Fifty percent of those travelling said they were considering this insurance, with that number higher among those flying versus driving (57 per cent versus 34 per cent).  
These sorts of coverages are designed to complement basic travel insurance, and can help reimburse you for the cost of your trip if it’s cancelled, delayed or interrupted for reasons outside of your control.  
BNN Bloomberg has teamed up with RATESDOTCA to take the pulse of Canadians every month on key pocketbook issues as we strive to better understand how households are navigating COVID-19. This is the latest instalment in monthly special coverage.