Consumer awareness campaign, Which?, has found 4 in ten travel insurance policies do not cover holidaymakers if their travel plans are affected by airport or airline staff strikes. The trusted organisation looked into 199 policies by 71 insurers as part of its annual travel insurance review. So, with 40% of holidaymakers being left without protection what can be done?

Firstly, it is important for holidaymakers to check their travel insurance policy before purchasing to make sure they are getting the cover they expect. As found by Which? most travel insurance policies will not cover strikes or industrial action that has been announced before the date of departure or before the policy was purchased. Having said that, there are a small number of travel insurers that will offer to cover a small amount of compensation for refreshments following a flight delay, provided you have already checked in. You can read more about this cover here.

Those who have been made aware of strike action prior to travelling and now wish to cancel their holiday should check their travel insurance policy for ‘cancellation for any cause beyond your reasonable control’. Generally speaking, under this cover, you can claim back the cost of any pre-paid non-refundable expense such as; excursions, car hire of accommodation.

If a flight is delayed due to strike action by a third party i.e., air traffic control or airport staff, the airline is not obligated to pay compensation to passengers.

If the flight is delayed as a result or airline staff going on strike, the airline has a duty of care to customers to provide assistance if the delay is expected to last for a certain period of time. This assistance may include; accommodation, food, refreshments and telephone calls. Those flying with an EU airline are entitled to compensation under EU law. You can visit the <CAA Website> for more information.

If the flight is cancelled due to strike action, and the airline has not given its customers at least two weeks warning, they are required to pay compensation for cancellation. Under EY legislation, there may also be a re-route option available and the airline will need to rebook you onto an alternative flight, at their expense.

As always, if you have any question regarding your travel insurance cover please get in touch and a member of our team will gladly assist you: