Worried that your drone will suddenly fall from your command and fly on its own, never to return? It’s a scary possibility, but the fact is that it is a possibility.
Flyaways are never good. The drone will inevitably crash somewhere, which could create a dangerous situation on its own. And assuming you never find your drone, you’re out a lot of money.
Luckily, DJI has a guaranteed solution to one of those problems. While DJI is working on improving its software to make flyaways less common, there’s no guarantee they won’t happen, particularly if you’re flying in complex environments. But DJI does have a guarantee that you won’t completely lose your drone (and all the money you spent on it).
Chinese drone maker DJI announced in January 2021 that it is now including Flyaway Coverage automatically when you purchase DJI Care Refresh service for either the DJI Mini 2 and/or Mavic Air 2 drones. DJI Care Refresh is the company’s extended warranty plan that grants you additional coverage should you choose to purchase it (of course, there’s an additional fee).
The good news: Flyaway Coverage is also now automatically included for customers who have already purchased and currently hold DJI Care Refresh service for those two drones. Previously DJI Care Refresh only covered scenarios where you could return the drone, such as water damage, collisions, and dropping.
Purchase the DJI Mini 2 starting at just $449 now from:
How does Care Refresh work in the case of a drone flyaway?
Purchase coverage: First, you must actually purchase DJI Care Refresh. And don’t wait. You must purchase DJI Care Refresh within 48 hours of it being activated (and the drone must be brand new and cannot have been previously activated). You can purchase coverage for either one or two years.
The one-year plan for the DJI Care Refresh costs $49 for the Mini 2, or $70 for the Mavic Air 2. After that, you can purchase DJI Care Refresh +, which extends your replacement service for one more year.
Activate coverage: Purchasing is not enough. You’ll have to activate it too. In order to use Flyaway Coverage, users must have bound their DJI account and remote controller with their aircraft using the DJI Fly app. If this binding operation has not been completed prior to experiencing a flyaway incident, Flyaway Coverage cannot be used.
Fly (and hopefully not have a flyaway): Once you have it, you’ll be eligible to order a replacement product should damage occur.
In the event of a flyaway, you won’t have to send back the broken drone. Simply pay the corresponding service fee to obtain a replacement product (note that replacement products might actually be refurbished products, not necessarily brand new ones).
What is the service fee on a flyaway?
Since a flyaway means you won’t be able to return the drone (thus allowing DJI to repurpose the still workable parts), the replacement fee is much higher than, say, the gimbal broke.
Even with DJI Care Refresh, you’ll have to pay a $225 fee to get a replacement Mini 2, and $399 for the Mavic Air 2.
That price tag is also steep enough to likely discourage drone owners from saying they ‘lost’ their drone just to get a second one for free or cheap.
Is DJI Care Refresh worth it for flyaways?
It’s hard to say, and it’s a personal decision based on your risk. Let’s assume you bought the Mini 2 for the standard price tag of $449. The cost of a replacement should you enact flyaway coverage plus the cost of Care Refresh itself totals $274. That’s 61% of the total cost of the drone.
Why you shouldn’t buy DJI Care Refresh with flyaways in mind: Given how quickly DJI upgrades its products, you might be better off just accepting that your Mini 2 flew away, and holding out for the Mini 3, or upgrading to something different like the Mavic Air 2. After all, DJI launched the Mini 2 almost exactly a year after launching the original DJI Mavic Mini. At that pace, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect a Mini 3 hitting shelves by the end of 2021. If that’s the case, paying 61% of the original price tag of your Mini 2 for a replacement might be a worse deal than paying 100% of the cost for a brand new Mini 3.
Why you should buy DJI Care Refresh with flyaways in mind: If you’re flying drones often and you’ll need a replacement quickly, DJI Care Refresh can help. You’ll have access to a dedicated customer service number that can ship you a new drone ASAP, so you’ll be ready for your next drone shoot. DJI covers the cost of shipping both ways.
Additionally, if you’re flying in complicated scenarios where risk of flyaways might be higher, it can be worth holding it.
And while DJI Care Refresh can be expensive for flyaways, it’s worth having if you anticipate engaging it for one of the many other covered scenarios, such as water damage or collisions. If you can retrieve and send back a broken drone, replacement fees start at just $49 for the Mini 2, which is generally a much better deal than dealing with a tech repair shop (or worse, buying a brand new drone).
What do you think? Is DJI Care Refresh worth it? If you experienced a flyaway, would you pay the fee for a replacement, or just buy a completely new drone? Leave a comment below!