After a somewhat disastrous 2017, when the budget airline cancelled almost 50 flights a day due to an error with staff holiday, Ryanair has come under fire again today after announcing customers could face huge delays over the Easter and Summer period.
Continuing disputes over pilot working conditions and pay are thought to be the cause of the expected delays and are likely to mostly affect flights in and out of Ireland and Portugal.
Despite it’s recent problems passengers continue to book the airline’s cheap tickets, so what cover can they expect if their flight is affected?
Under EU laws, if an airline cancels a flight it is responsible for either offering a full refund of any unused tickets or providing a seat on the next available flight. If a flight is delayed, passengers are entitled to claim compensation from the airline to cover the cost of refreshments and additional accommodation that may be required.
How can travel insurance help?
Most travel insurance policies will offer a small amount of compensation for each set period of time you are delayed, up to a total amount to cover the cost of refreshments (i.e. £20 for every 12-hour period you are delayed, up to a total of £100). It is worth bearing in mind that some travel insurers will offer compensation after a 6-hour delay, as opposed to 12 hours, so if departure delay is something you are concerned about, it may be worth looking for a policy that has a lower qualifying time.
If you chose to cancel your holiday after a 24-hour delay (or 12-hour delay with some travel insurers) and are not able to claim back your holiday costs from the provider, you may be able to claim for cancellation under your travel insurance provided you checked-in on time and the holiday costs have not been refunded by an alternative source.
Some policies will also cover the cost of additional expenses such as pre-paid, non-refundable excursions and car hire so it is worth reading the policy wording carefully before buying to ensure you are covered for all your needs and not left out of pocket should the worst happen.