As football enters its championship season, Travel Insured International® urges fans to think before booking the big college bowl or pro playoff game.
East Hartford, CT (Vocus/PRWEB) December 09, 2010
Travel Insured International® reminds football fan travelers, however excited about their team's success, to think wisely in making travel plans to attend a college BCS or other bowl game, a pro playoff game, or other winter sports event. Big game tickets are expensive, with bowl and playoff tickets priced from the $100 range to several thousand. Game tickets, along with sports travel arrangements such as fan packages or individually booked trip components, can be insured up to the full, non-refundable, prepaid cost of the trip.
As an example, official travel packages for Oklahoma Sooner fans heading to the Jan. 1, 2011 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, AZ, cost from $1,775 for a three-night air-inclusive plan, and from $1,035 for land only, with game tickets costing extra at over $100 per seat. University of Connecticut Huskies fans going to the same game will pay from $2,265 for an official three-night charter package, or from $715 land only, with tickets an added purchase starting from $111 per seat. Virginia Tech and Stanford Cardinal fans following their teams to the Orange Bowl in Miami on Jan. 3, 2011 can buy official multi-night fan packages starting from $900 to $1,000, including air, with tickets starting at $95 extra per seat. Oregon Duck fans going to the BCS National Championship Game vs. Auburn in Glendale, AZ on Jan. 10, 2011, are paying from $1,575 per multi-night fan package, including a game ticket.
Fans wanting to protect these expensive sports travel purchases, including seats, against loss due to a bad weather trip cancellation, personal or family illness, or even an unforeseen default or bankruptcy by a travel supplier, should strongly consider insuring their package. Booking through a professional travel agent, such as a member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), is a recommended step, especially when spending thousands of dollars on a travel purchase. Here are other sports travel tips, including recommendations from ASTA and the major credit card companies:
- Verify the validity of game tickets before booking a package. The U.S. Government's 2006 "Truth in Ticketing" law states that an operator offering an airline flight in connection with game tickets must be in physical possession of sufficient tickets, or have a written ticket contract traceable to the event sponsor.
- Many team fan travel packages do not include seat tickets, which are bought separately from the same or possibly a different tour operator, such as a ticket service. But both packages and tickets can be insured.
- Make sure the operator has a consumer protection plan, such as by being a member of a major industry association such as ASTA or the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA). Verify membership.
- Do not wire cash to pay for tickets or a fan package. Use a major credit card, but not before verifying the validity of the ticket seller. Get all package details in writing before paying.
- Be sure to have game tickets in hand before leaving home. Be wary of will-call pick up arrangements at the stadium or hotel.
Insuring Tickets and Packages
Traveling fans can fully protect high-priced tickets as an included prepaid expense within a trip they insure under Trip Cancellation / Interruption coverage. The coverage is included in each plan from the Worldwide Trip Protector product line from Travel Insured International®. Whether the tickets are purchased as part of a travel package or bought separately from the event box office or a ticket service, they can be covered when included in the insured trip cost and prepaid before departure. Consult the description of each Travel Insured plan to find a list of specified reasons that can trigger coverage. Reasons may include, depending upon the selected plan, personal and family illness including for pre-existing medical conditions with a qualifying plan purchase, severe weather delays, and operator financial defaults or bankruptcies. All plans offer a Cancel for Work Reasons option that can provide coverage when a job conflict, documented by an employer, forces the insured traveler to cancel.
Being defrauded, however, is not a covered reason for a Trip Cancellation, even when the prepaid game ticket proves bogus after being included in the travel insurance plan. The buyer is responsible to beware of a ticket scam. Travelers who want some ticket protection, however, can opt for a Cancel for Any Reason upgrade, which can cover up to 75% of the prepaid, non-refundable trip cost, including tickets, provided the insured sports traveler cancels their trip 48 hours or more prior to scheduled departure.
The message from Travel Insured International® is to book the fan trip to the big game wisely. Missing the team trip due to a last-minute need to cancel can mean a big loss for the grounded, uninsured traveler with unused game tickets. Nothing takes the place of being there at kickoff, and having their trip fully protected will help keep fans cheering when their team takes the field on game day.