Passengers travelling to and from Goa have faced delays of 36 hours due to airspace restrictions caused by the on-going dispute between the US and Iran.

Holidaymakers booked on a Tui flight due to leave Gatwick on Saturday evening were delayed by 36 hours. The knock-on effect of the delay also affected passengers due to travel back to the UK on Sunday. According to the Independent, passengers on both ends of the route were told: “due to recent political issues in the Middle East, this has resulted in airspace restrictions along the route of your flight.”

The nature of the airspace restriction remains unknown and Tui has declined to comment further.

Passengers that were delayed in Goa were given accommodation throughout the duration of the delay. The airline has also confirmed passengers will be reimbursed £513.00 as compensation for the disruption, despite the delay being caused by an ‘extraordinary circumstance’.

Ordinarily, if a delay is classed as an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ the airline is under no legal obligation to pay passengers compensation. They do, however, have to provide refreshments and accommodation is necessary.  It is unknown why Tui are offering to compensate its passengers in this instance.

If you are due to travel to areas surrounding the Middle East over the coming weeks, we advise you contact your airline or tour operator regarding any possible changes to your route.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated their travel advice for Iran and Iraq following the assassination of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani. Both countries are now restricted to no travel or essential-only travel. Travelling to a country that has been deemed unsafe by the FCO will invalidate your travel insurance policy. Some travel insurance companies will offer cancellation cover if the FCO advises against travel before you are due to depart – provided your travel insurance policy was purchased before the updates was made.

If you have been caught up in the delays on your return to the UK, your travel insurance offers a small amount of compensation. Most travel insurance policies will offer to reimburse the cost of refreshments for delays over 12 hours, however amounts and eligibility will differ between policies so be sure to check your policy wording carefully.

The policy may also provide cover for trip cancellation. If your outbound flight has been delayed for more than 24-hours and you no longer wish to travel, you are entitled to a full refund on all unused-parts of your ticket as well as pre-paid expenses – provided that you were unable to recover the cost from alternative sources.