What's a fair rate for being held hostage? One Jetstar passenger was surprised to learn they'd get $750 a day - but only for a maximum of 10 days.

Fine print of the airline's $10.95 travel insurance for domestic flights reveals a "distress allowance" - passengers who are kidnapped or if their flight is hijacked would be paid $750 per day, for a maximum of 10 days.

That works out to $31.25 an hour for a full 24-hour ordeal.

Herald political reporter Jason Walls discovered the Jetstar allowance after purchasing their insurance and wanted to know what it "actually bought".


"It wasn't something I was specifically looking for. It was good to have but I was surprised to see it, I wasn't expecting it.

"We'll laugh about it but full credit to Jetstar for having some sort of insurance policy because nobody would be surprised if they didn't have one."

The allowance falls under section six of the Ticket and Baggage Protection insurance. Photo / Jetstar
The allowance falls under section six of the Ticket and Baggage Protection insurance. Photo / Jetstar

Air New Zealand refused to specify what it would pay customers, instead, it would assess hijacking and kidnapping situations if they arose, a spokeswoman said.

However, the airline and its third party travel insurance provider, Cover-More, did have policies surrounding international travel.

If passengers were kidnapped during the period of insurance the airline would pay them $300 for each day they were held captive.

However, passengers would need to prove they had been kidnapped. The maximum benefit limit for kidnapping was $20,000.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand could also provide passengers unlimited cover if they were detained during a hijacking. The maximum benefit for hijacking was unlimited, the policy said.

The ICNZ spokesperson said if travellers were concerned about hijacking cover they should get in touch with their chosen insurer to better understand their options.


"Insurers will state in their policy documents whether they provide it, and copies of these can be downloaded from their websites.

"Each insurer offers different levels of cover at different prices, and each policy contains different inclusions, exclusions and sub-limits.

"We recommend people read several policies, compare them against each other and choose one they can afford that gives them the cover they will need for the trip they're planning."

List of aircraft hijackings

July 23, 1968: Passengers onboard El Al Flight 426 from London to Rome were held captive for 40 days.

June 14, 1985: One person of 153 onboard is killed when Lebanese Shi'a gunmen divert TWA Flight 847. The hijacking ended after 17 days.

April 5, 1988: The hijacking of Kuwait Airways Flight 422 lasted 16 days and spanned three continents. Two people, of 97 passengers and 15 crew, died in the siege.


March 2, 1981: A Pakistan International Airlines flight en route to Peshawar from Karachi, and diverted to Kabul, was hijacked for 13 days. One passenger was killed, 143 survived.