October 2019 has been one of the rainiest on record and it doesn’t look to be letting up anytime soon. It seems as though the entire month has consisted of rainfall, thunderstorms and flooding – and according to the Met Office, we have Typhoon Hagibis to thank for it!
Back on the 11th October 2019, the Met Office Science (@MetOffice_Sci) tweeted: ‘As warm moist air from Typhoon Hagibis comes north to clash with a cold front pushing south-east across Russia, the strengthening #temperature contrast will accelerate the Jet Stream by 100mph in 48 hours!’
The Jet Stream heavily affects changes in the wind and pressure high overhead and is a key component in the weather being dry or rainy.
Here at TIE we know that travelling can be the most stressful part of the holiday. So, with this in mind, and as winters on its way, we’ve put together a guide to travelling in bad weather.
How Does the Weather Affect Flights?
While airports try to flights running to schedule, storms, heavy snow and flooding can mean this may not possible. Delays can last anywhere from an hour to a day and in extreme situations flights are cancelled all together.
Whilst the airline is obligated to provide refreshments or accommodation if a flight is delayed or cancelled by adverse weather, they do not have to pay any compensation to passengers. However, almost all travel insurance policies will cover you for delays to your flight and will pay a set amount to you per 12 hours (this will differ between insurers) you are stuck in the terminal. However, normally your policy will state that a minimum amount of time must pass before you can start claiming – this is usually between 12 and 24 hours. But, check your travel insurance provider’s terms on this.
If your flight is cancelled, the airline will try to book you onto the next flight to your destination where possible. However, if you are delayed for 24 hours or more, you may be able to claim for cancellation of your trip, in which case your insurance will cover non-refundable flight and accommodation costs. There are a few policies that will also cover additional holiday expenses such as pre-paid car parking and excursions.
What If My Flight Is on Time, But I’m Late to Check-In Due to The Weather?
This is where things can get a bit more confusing.
Heavy rainfall, snow and ice often cause havoc on roads as driving conditions become more dangerous. Motorways, in particular, are known to have been brought to a standstill in bad weather leading to heavy traffic.
When it comes to missed flights, most travel insurance companies will cover you if your car has broken down, you are involved in an accident or your pre-booked public transport is disrupted. However, very few policies will cover you if you miss your flight due to heavy traffic, providing the reason for heavy traffic wasn’t an issue when you left your home – and you had allowed significant travel time for your journey.
If you do miss your flight due to poor weather conditions, your airline may be able to book you on the next available flight, but this will be at your cost. You may be able to be claim this back from your travel insurance company, depending if you have the cover mentioned above.
We always recommend you allow plenty of time to reach your destination. While airport terminals can be dull and no one really likes waiting around, it’s far better to spend an extra half-hour in the coffee shop than having to pay out for another flight!