With the Easter holidays nearing an end the last-minute holiday rush begins. For many it is a time to head away for the long weekend and relax before returning to normality, but those who have chosen to travel to Portugal are facing severe disruption.
Fuel tanker drivers in Portugal are going on strike in dispute of workers’ rights, just as the need for fuel for both road vehicles and air travel peaks.
Both Lisbon and Faro airport have announced they are running low on aviation fuel. Reserves at the airport are low, so several flights will be required to stop and ‘top up’ on fuel. These stops will increase flight times, with some planes needing to ground overnight, which is likely to cause delays and disruption to airports across the UK and Europe.
Holidaymakers that are due to travel to Portugal over the bank holiday weekend should check with their airline for possible delays. Although it is the airlines responsibility to re-book any flights in the event of cancellation it is not likely compensation will be provided as the strikes will be classed as an extraordinary circumstance.
Having said that, most travel insurance policies will offer to cover delays provided the delay wasn’t announced before you checked-in for your flight and you checked-in on time.
The compensation provided by travel insurers in the event of delays will differ between companies. Most will offer a small amount of compensation (usually between £50-£100) for every set block of time you are delayed (usually 12 hours). However, there are some travel insurers that will offer up to £600 for every 6 hours you are delayed. More on delays can be found here.
Similarly, if you have been delayed for longer than either 12 or 24 hours (depending on your policy) your travel insurer may cover you for cancellation of the holiday if you no longer decide to travel. This will be termed as trip abandonment.
Strike action on the railways and airport security will also be taking place in Spain this weekend so holidaymakers should ensure they prepare for any delays and check with their airline or travel company for any updates.