Delays due to strikes: Travel insurance cover & your rights

By , October 18, 2011 12:16 pm
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This post covers more strikes in Greece, Thomas Cook staff voting on strike action, travel insurance cover for strikes and your rights if your flight is delayed or cancelled.

As the economic situation across the globe continues to cause concern it appears that we are going through what you might call an Autumn of discontent, with strike action continuing to impact UK holiday makers trying to enjoy a well-earned holiday.

Strikes are likely to affect transport services in Greece for much of this month; these can be called at short notice and are likely to cause disruption to public transport services including flights and ferries.

Air traffic controllers in Greece are currently participating in ‘work to rule’ industrial action which may result in passengers experiencing some delays and cancellations at airports. Check with your airline before travelling.

But, don’t think that just because you’re not planning a trip to Greece that you won’t be affected. Thomas Cook cabin crew are due to vote this week on strike action after news that 498 jobs are under threat of redundancy. If industrial action does go ahead it could potentially affect flights out of Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, and Stansted.

With the amount of strikes taking place at the moment, it’s important to know your rights with regards to flight delays and if you are covered by your travel insurance.

Travel insurance cover for strikes and industrial action

Generally speaking, as long as you have booked your holiday and bought your travel insurance before strike dates are announced you will be covered under the travel delay section of your travel insurance, if your flight or holiday is affected by industrial action. So it’s important to buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday, you never know when a strike could be announced.

The travel delay section of your travel insurance policy will usually allow you to claim a fixed benefit for every 12 hours you are delayed, or if you have a long delay eg. Over 12 or 24 hours, you will usually have the option to abandon your holiday and make a claim for the cost. You should check your travel insurance policy wording to see the full terms and conditions.

EU Law and your rights

Depending on the circumstances, European law requires airlines to provide assistance to passengers during delays. This includes catering, communications and overnight accommodation if necessary. If a delay extends beyond five hours, passengers can request a refund if they choose not to travel. If a flight is cancelled alternative flight options should be offered. Where these are unacceptable a full ticket refund should be provided, and in some instances compensation.

For more information visit The CAA website

 Keeping up to date on how flights are affected by strike action

If your travel plans are affected by industrial action, a good place to keep up to date with how airports are affected is the Euro Control Twitter page, which posts the latest information on airports across Europe.

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