Your first port of contact would be your airline as they would be responsible for providing you with compensation.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), you can claim compensation for any unused parts of your booking i.e. return flights and a flight to your departure airport if you have already completed part of your journey.
To be eligible for compensation, your flight must be either be departing from an EU airport and operated by any airline or arriving at an EU airport and operated on an EU airline.
Providing your flights are covered by EU laws, airlines have a duty of care towards customers in the event of a delay. If you are not eligible for compensation you are still entitled to care and assistance. This usually includes the cost of food, drink, phone calls and accommodation where necessary.
You may also be able to claim expenses back from your credit card company if your airline does not provide compensation.
If your flights are not covered by EU laws, you should contact your airline directly for more information on rearranging a way to get back home.
Failing this, you can see what cover is available under your travel insurance policy. Cover will be entirely down to individual travel insurance providers’ terms and conditions which is why we advise you to read your policy wording carefully to see if you are eligible for cover.
Which travel insurers will cover me to come back home if I’m abroad and my flights have been cancelled?
The following insurers will provide cover in the event you need to cut your trip short and return to the UK earlier than planned because the FCO has advised all British people to return home as soon as possible.
You will be able to claim back the cost of additional travel and accommodation up to the policy limit as long as you purchased ‘Travel disruption’ cover. It’s worth noting, you will only be able to claim if you were unable to recuperate the costs from your airline or tour operator. The travel insurance provider has also said,
‘If you have purchased optional Airspace Closure cover, you can claim a daily benefit of £200 per insured person per day up to the policy limit or necessary and reasonable additional travel and accommodation expenses up to the policy limit, if you are unable to fly back to the UK as planned due to an airport or airspace being closed.’
Aviva has also said that those who are unable to return home before their travel insurance ends will receive cover for up to 30 days without paying an additional premium.
AXA has said, those with travel disruption cover may be able to claim for additional costs such as accommodation, however, the cover will depend on the policy itself along with its limits. Compensation will also be affected if holidaymakers receive a refund from their airline.
Insure and Go
“As per FCO advice, if you are currently abroad, there is no need for you to come home immediately. However, we would encourage you to be mindful of the risks, including delays and short notice cancellations to your travel arrangements, and to plan accordingly.”
Insure and Go will consider claims for curtailment in the event the country you are in goes into lockdown or further travel restrictions are put in place.
Cover will only be available if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against travel and holidaymaker are encouraged to return home as soon as possible. If the country goes into lockdown, holidaymakers will be able to claim for additional expenses incurred including accommodation and transport however, food will not be covered.
‘If your flights have been cancelled and there’s no alternative available within 24 hours of your original departure time, you may be able to claim for irrecoverable costs if you choose to abandon your trip.’
We advise you to read your policy readings to see what cover you are entitled to. This will have been sent or emailed to you at the time of your booking.
If you cannot get return flights home because the country you are in has been quarantined, then your travel insurance will be extended to cover medical costs.
*Information correct at time of publishing this post (Thursday 26th March 2020.)