DJI is now selling a warranty to replace your drone if it flies away

Technology

DJI is now offering flyaway coverage for its Mini 2 and Mavic Air 2 drones, should they develop a mind of their own and take off. The cost of replacing the escaped drone is $225 for the Mini, and $399 for the Mavic, which is on top of the price of DJI’s Care Refresh extended warranty. For that, you’ll pay $50 for the Mini, and $80 for the Mavic. If you already own one of these drones and the extended warranty, you’re eligible for flyway replacements going forward.

The extended warranty also lets you replace your drone if you damage it, twice per year, for $50 each. For flyaway coverage, there’s a one-time limit — if your replacement also goes AWOL, you’ll be on the hook to replace it, though there is a two-year version of the warranty that costs more and covers three accidents and two flyaways.

At half the price of a new drone, the replacement costs are rather high compared to something like AppleCare Plus with Theft and Loss, which only charges $149 to replace a lost or stolen iPhone. DJI’s coverage doesn’t cover you if your drone gets lost or stolen, only if it’s taken by the sky, but it also costs less to start: adding Theft and Loss coverage to an iPhone 12 is $219, or $269 for an iPhone 12 Pro, for example.

Of course, you would hope that the drones would simply not fly away on their own in the first place. On the announcement page, DJI says that “some accidents are inevitable when flying in complex environments, or in locations with signal interference, strong winds, or obstructed views.” If I were buying an expensive drone, I would hope that it would know what to do in most of those situations (though wind does seem like a valid factor in a flyaway event.)

It seems like DJI has made progress in this regard, though — Googling “drone flyaway” brings up several stories from 2018 and before, but they seem to be less frequent nowadays. Still, if you’re worried about losing your nice drone, it’s good to have more options, should it ever decide to slip the surly bonds of Earth to visit the great drone factory in the sky.