Does my travel insurance protect against airline strikes?

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Published:
2:08 PM July 5, 2022



Holidaymakers have faced huge airport delays and flight cancellations in a turbulent few months for the travel industry.

To add to the holiday woes, more than 700 British Airways workers could go on strike over the summer school holidays and EasyJet and Ryanair staff in European destinations have also threatened to take industrial action.

While many would think that travel insurance would cover them for these delays and cancellations, passengers actually risk being caught off guard and having to pay for new flights themselves.


Who? has warned holidaymakers to check their travel insurance policies ahead of the planned strike this summer
– Credit: Press Association Images

Research by whom? showed that four out of 10 travel policies do not cover travelers in the event of a strike by airport or airline staff.

The consumer rights watchdog has urged customers to be extra careful when shopping for insurance ahead of disruptions forecast for the summer.

Who? evaluated 199 policies offered by 71 providers and rated them on the level of protection offered in 61 key areas for its annual travel insurance review.

He found that only 60% of policies covered travelers if a trip had to be canceled due to strikes.

That means many could end up unprotected.

Covid coverage is another area where which? found huge disparities between policies.

With the increase in cases caused by the spread of the Omicron variant, this is another area of ​​concern and travelers should be careful to ensure they have the right protection for their holiday.


File photo dated 17/03/20 of British Airways planes at Heathrow Airport as they have welcomed the measures

British Airways staff threaten strike over summer school holidays
– Credit: PA

What should vacationers do?

Jenny Ross, which one? money editor, said: “With many airlines warning of widespread disruption this summer and rising Covid cases, travelers should ensure they have adequate insurance to cover any unforeseen losses or costs they may face. could be faced.

“Who? Analysis of 199 policies shows that levels of cover can vary wildly in important areas like strike or Covid disruption.

“We advise travelers to always check policies carefully to ensure they offer the most appropriate cover for their trip and to ensure they have cover in place from the time of booking.”

Who? also advises that wherever possible holidays should be purchased by credit card, as your credit card provider is legally obliged to refund you any purchase over £100 if the services provided are not as advertised, and the responsible company will not reimburse you.

Tips for making sure your travel insurance gives you the coverage you need

Before purchasing insurance, always check the wording of the policy to make sure you understand what it offers and any limitations.

If there are specific reasons why you are purchasing the coverage, review these sections to make sure they meet your expectations.

Some policies specify – and thus limit coverage – certain causes of delay or cancellation such as strike, mechanical breakdown or bad weather.

Although airlines must reimburse you for the cost of a canceled flight or reroute you and pay compensation if the flight was canceled less than 14 days before departure, additional costs incurred such as emergency accommodation and meals will not always be covered by your carrier.

It is important to check the claim limits to ensure they meet your individual needs, as these can vary widely. For example, in the event of cancellation due to significant delays or disruption of transport, Which? found that the average claim limit was £4110.22, with the most generous policies offering up to £15,000.

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