Storm Ciara has left half a million households in the UK at risk of flooding and power cuts after more than a month’s worth of rain fell within 24 hours.
The Met Office has put amber warnings in place for several parts of England and Wales until Wednesday 12th February 2020 as the after-effects of the storm are expected to cause further disruptions.
Yesterday, 190 flights were grounded at Gatwick airport, whilst hundreds more were cancelled at Heathrow airport due to winds of up to 97mph. Several easyJet flights to Bristol were also cancelled.
British Airways released a statement on their website on Sunday 9th February 2020 after several flights were cancelled: “If you are short-haul flying to/from London Heathrow or London Gatwick on Sunday, February 9 or Monday, February 10, and wish to change your plans, you can rebook your date of travel to another flight to the same destination to another time from Monday February 10 to Thursday February 13, 2020, inclusive.”
Gatwick airport has also released a warning affirming: “some flights on Monday will be subject to delays and cancellations. Passengers should check with their airline for the latest information on their flight.”
South Western Railway, TfL Rail and London Northwestern Railways were among the train services affected by Storm Ciara. Commuters were advised by Network Rail and train operators to “only travel by train this Sunday if absolutely necessary.” Train companies are still advising travellers to check before they travel and prepare to make alternative arrangements.
Manchester City’s Premier League match against West Ham was also called off due to the severe weather conditions.
Holidaymakers who are travelling over the coming days are advised to contact their airline or tour operator directly. If flights have been delayed or cancelled, airlines will offer to either; rebook or reroute passengers on alternative flights at a time when it is safe to travel or provide a full refund on all unused parts of the ticket.
If passengers have been delayed, they may be entitled to claim a small amount of compensation from their travel insurance company provided their policy offers cover for departure delay.
If a delay has lasted longer than 24-hours, and passengers have not been offered alternative travel options, they may be able to claim any pre-paid holiday costs that cannot be recovered from any other source under the ‘Travel Abandonment’ section of their policy. As cover differs from insurer to insurer, holidaymakers need to read their policy wordings carefully.
It’s worth noting, holidaymakers will not be covered to cancel their trip if they no longer wish to travel due to severe weather conditions as ‘disinclination to travel’ is not covered under travel insurance policies.