World Nomads Poll: 44% of Summer Flights Delayed or Cancelled

Travel delays and cancellations may be getting worse. Airlines provided no assistance according to 64 percent of poll responses.


A dejected traveler whose flight has been cancelled sits in an airport. Photo © Getty Images / David Prado

Key Findings of Pulse Poll

  • 44 percent of responses indicate flights were delayed or cancelled in past three months.
  • Airlines provided no assistance according to 64 percent of poll responses.
  • More than a third (38 percent) say they spent up to $250 on flights, meals, and hotel stays not covered by their airline; 12 percent spent $500-$1000.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) with lost/delayed luggage received their lost bag in one day or less; 35 percent said it took one to three days and 12 percent waited one to two weeks.

Media Release: New York, NY – A World Nomads’ 24-hour snap Instagram Pulse Poll indicates travel delays and cancellations may be getting worse, with 44 percent of poll responses indicating that their flight was delayed or cancelled over the summer.

The snap poll followed data from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that shows in the past six months, 24 percent of domestic flights were delayed, and 3.2 percent cancelled.

World Nomads conducted its poll just days in advance of the scheduled launch of the DOT’s new dashboard aimed at exposing the lack of flight delay/cancellation assistance provided by the nation’s carriers, and after a horror peak travel period marked by lost luggage, delayed and cancelled domestic and international flights and low levels of customer assistance, as evidenced in the World Nomads poll.

World Nomads finds that 64 percent indicate they received no assistance from their airline during the past three months. As a result, travelers had to dip into their own pockets to cover expenses such as flights, hotel stays, and meals due to delays or cancellations. Thirty-eight percent of responses showed travelers spent up to $250 on such expenses and 12 percent reported spending up to $1,000.

World Nomads is a fast-growing travel insurance and assistance provider offering simple and flexible travel insurance and safety advice to help consumers travel more confidently. This most recent Instagram Pulse Poll is part of an ongoing series of snapshot polls taken in a 24-hour period, aimed at tracking trends and surveying travelers on hot topic issues.

Following a summer characterized by images of unclaimed delayed and lost baggage at airports around the world, and World Nomads’ lost baggage claims soaring 122 percent in the past three months (compared to pre-pandemic levels for the same period in 2019), a bright spot in the poll is airlines seem to be improving at returning lost bags more quickly. Nearly half of responses (47 percent) indicate that they received their lost/delayed bag in less than one day, while 35 percent responded that it took one to three days and 12 percent said the wait to have their bag returned was one to two weeks. The vast majority (60 percent) of travelers who responded said that for even longer trips (10 days or more) they would avoid checking luggage and travel light with carry-on bags only.

“While all eyes are on the soon-to-be released DOT dashboard, the jury is still out if this will make an appreciable difference, and if the airlines will be encouraged to do more for their passengers when it comes to flight delays and cancellations, which continue to plague the global air travel system,” said Christina Tunnah, general manager of marketing and brands, World Nomads.

“As a result, we are finding that more and more travelers are discovering the value of carrying travel insurance and having a third party such as World Nomads on their side to provide assistance and compensation when things don’t go as planned.”

Media contact:

Terra Baykal, World Nomads
Phone: (510) 838-2307

About World Nomads

World Nomads is a fast-growing online travel company that provides inspiration, advice, safety tips and specialized travel insurance for independent, volunteer and student travelers traveling and studying most anywhere in the world. Our online global travel insurance covers travelers from more than 100 countries and allows you to buy and claim online, 24/7, even while already traveling.

While we are not a healthcare provider, our insurance focuses on what is important to the traveler: emergency medical and evacuation costs, baggage, trip cancellation costs, dental and personal liability. We also cover more than 200 adventure activities and tech gear. Our policies are underwritten by a global suite of premier-tier insurers and emergency assistance providers making us the No. 1 choice for many of the world's leading adventure and youth travel brands. is a part of the nib Group. nib Group provides health and medical insurance to over 1.6 million Australian and New Zealand residents. We also provide health insurance to more than 190,000 international students and workers in Australia and are Australia’s third largest travel insurer and global distributor of travel insurance through our business nib Travel.

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