UK Strike: Flight delays & travel insurance cover

By , November 28, 2011 3:49 pm
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Passengers have been warned that if they are due to fly into the UK on Wednesday they could face delays of up to 12 hours as UK Border Agency staff join a large scale strike protesting against changes to public sector pensions.

In response to this some airlines, such as BA and Virgin, have given their passengers the option to switch to an alternative flight at no extra cost.

If you are due to fly into or out of the UK on Wednesday you should contact your airline for further information.

Strike Disruption: How can travel insurance help?

If your travel plans are affected by the strike you should have cover under the Travel Delay section of your travel insurance policy as long as you bought your travel insurance policy before the strike dates became common knowledge.

The travel delay and abandonment section of a travel insurance policy generally provides a fixed benefit for every 12 or 24 hours you are delayed due to strike or industrial action. It is designed to cover extra expenses such as food and drink whilst you are waiting at the airport.

Alternatively, if you are delayed for over a certain period of time, usually 24 hours, you can choose to abandon your holiday and make a claim from your travel insurance for the cost. Check the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy for more details – You usually have to have checked in for your flight in order to make a claim, and you will need to get a letter from your airline confirming the delay.

Advice to passengers from the UK Border Agency

The UK Border Agency has issued the following advice to passengers arriving into the UK on Wednesday:

“The 4 Home Office unions are participating in a strike which will affect border control from the beginning of the evening of Tuesday 29 November until 23:59 on Wednesday 30 November. Starting times will vary as each port has different shift patterns.

We will aim to keep disruption at a minimum but our priority remains the security of the border and we could see longer waiting times at some ports and airports. We have put contingency plans in place and will work hard to keep delays to a minimum.

You may wish to check with your carrier if you are travelling on 30 November.”

Passengers arriving in the UK can assist the UK Border Agency by:

  • having travel documents, including passports, available and taken out of any wallets;
  • using automatic e-Passport gates (where available);
  • having landing cards fully completed and ready; and
  • staying in family groups.
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