Portugal Air Traffic Controllers Strike threaten flight delays

comments Comments Off on Portugal Air Traffic Controllers Strike threaten flight delays
By , May 17, 2012 1:41 pm
Facebook Twitter Email
Portuguese Flag

Travel insurance for strikes in Portugal

With news of more strikes causing flight delays in Portugal, here’s a reminder of what cover travel insurance can provides for strike action.

Passengers flying in or out of Portugal today should expect to flight delays as Portuguese Air Traffic Controllers start three days of strike action. There is a 24 hour strike taking place today and two more planned for the 24th and 25th of May.

The strikes are expected to result in cancellations and delays for thousands of passengers.

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has advised travellers who may be affected by the strikes to contact their tour operator or airline for the latest information.

Travel insurance cover for strikes

If your travel plans are affected by strike action you should have cover under the travel delay section of your travel insurance policy, so long as you booked your holiday and bought travel insurance cover before the strike dates became public knowledge.

The level of cover for strikes provided by travel insurance will vary from policy to policy, so you should check the terms and conditions of your own travel insurance policy for details. However, in general the travel delay section of a travel insurance policy allows you to claim a benefit for every 12 or 24 hours that you are delayed. You should also get the option to abandon your holiday and make a claim for the cost if the delay exceeds a certain amount of time.

Facebook Twitter Email

Another airline insolvency highlights the need for travel insurance insolvency cover

comments Comments Off on Another airline insolvency highlights the need for travel insurance insolvency cover
By , May 4, 2012 11:19 am
Facebook Twitter Email

Danish no-frills airline Cimber Sterling declared bankruptcy on Thursday after its owners pulled financial support from the company.  The notice stated that passenger’s tickets are now worthless and all future flights have been cancelled.

The insolvency of another airline highlights the need for financial protection against the insolvency of airlines and other holiday suppliers, especially in these times of recession and uncertainty. We invest a lot of money in our holidays, so it’s important to make sure that our money is protected.

Travellers booked to travel with Cimber Sterling who bought travel insurance with insolvency cover or scheduled airline failure included should be able to make a claim on their travel insurance policy to recoup the cost of their lost ticket, although they will still need to arrange alternative flights to complete their journey.

Unfortunately the extension of ATOL Protection which came into force on Monday would be unlikely to protect passengers in this instance as passengers on low cost airlines tend to book direct their tickets with the airline rather than via a third party retailer.

Flights and holidays booked direct with airlines still fall outside of the ATOL Protection scheme, which means that your money is unprotected against the insolvency of the airline unless you buy travel insurance with insolvency cover or scheduled airline failure.

To find out more about protecting your holiday read our posts about travel insurance and insolvency cover.

Is your holiday protected for insolvency? Find out using our quick check infographic

Facebook Twitter Email

New ATOL Regulations: Gaps in protection mean travel insurance with insolvency cover is still vital for many travellers

comments Comments Off on New ATOL Regulations: Gaps in protection mean travel insurance with insolvency cover is still vital for many travellers
By , April 27, 2012 10:28 am
Facebook Twitter Email

From Monday 30 April the ATOL Protection Scheme is being extended to cover what is known in the travel industry as Flight Plus Holidays.

We explain what types of holidays will now be protected by ATOL, what types of holiday are still unprotected and why travel insurance with insolvency cover or scheduled airline failure cover is still important for many travellers.

Is your holiday protected or do you need travel insurance with insolvency cover?

Find out if your holiday is ATOL Protected

If your holiday is ATOL Protected the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) will ensure that you can claim your money back, or get home safely in the event of the insolvency of an airline or holiday supplier.

See our quick check diagram to see whether your holiday will be protected or whether you need travel insurance with insolvency cover/scheduled airline failure cover.

Find out if your holiday is protected >>  (Updated with new ATOL Flight Plus)

 

ATOL Protection extended to cover Flight Plus Holidays

From April 30, the Government is extending the ATOL Protection Scheme to include what is sometimes known as a Flight Plus holiday or Dynamic Packaging.

This means if you book a flight plus accommodation, or a flight plus car hire abroad from a high street or online retailer, your booking will be ATOL Protected.

Under the previous ATOL regulations holidays where a flight and hotel were chosen and priced separately, even if they were booked through a single company, were not covered. Under the new rules this type of holiday will get the same kind of protection as a traditional package holiday – Great news for holiday makers.

From October 2012 you should receive a certificate to confirm that your booking is ATOL Protected. (The travel industry has been given until October to start issuing certificates because of the amount of work involved in updating their systems to be able to do this).

The extension to ATOL Protection is good news, however there are still some big gaps in the legislation which means many holidays will still not be protected by ATOL.

Holidays and Flights Sold by Airlines are still not protected.

There is one important omission from the new regulations, and that is that holidays and flights sold by airlines, which remain unprotected.

You don’t get the same level of protection if you book a flight and hotel ‘package’ direct through an airline, as you would choosing the same flights and hotel via a third party such as an online or high street travel agent.

The extending of the ATOL Protection Scheme to Flight Plus and Dynamic Packaging holidays is a significant step forward in bringing ATOL up to date and in line with our changing ways of booking holidays. However extending it further to include holidays sold by airlines is essential if UK holiday makers are to get clear and fair financial protection for their holidays.

Although the Government has stated that it is committed to extending ATOL Licensing to include holidays sold by airlines, it would require a change in the law so is not included in the latest set of reforms.

Travel Insurance with Insolvency Cover is still vital for many travellers

So the question is, with the extension of the ATOL Scheme is there still a need for Travel Insurance with Insolvency Cover?

The simple answer to that is yes, definitely. Travel insurance with insolvency cover or scheduled airline failure plugs the gaps that still remain in the financial protection provided by the ATOL Scheme.

For instance, holidays or flights sold by an airline will still be excluded from the ATOL scheme, so if you book a flight and hotel from an airline rather than from a high street or online retailer your holiday would not be financially protected.

Also if you were to book flights and accommodation separately through 2 completely separate companies, your holiday would not be protected under the new ATOL rules because you have not booked the flight and accommodation from the same supplier.

In these instances your holiday would not be ATOL Protected and travel insurance with cover for insolvency can provide the financial protection you need to protect the money you have invested in your holiday.

In short the Government’s reforms extend the ATOL Scheme to protect more holidays than it did before, however it still only provides protection for if you book your flights and accommodation or flights and car hire from the same company, and it still excludes flights or holidays sold by an airline completely.

This means there are still many instances where travel insurance with insolvency cover is a good option to provide cover against the risk of your airline or holiday supplier becoming insolvent.

Some travel insurance include insolvency cover (scheduled airline failure) as standard, others offer it as an additional option that can be added to your travel insurance policy.

Facebook Twitter Email

ATOL Extended to Protect more Holidays: Is your Holiday Protected?

comments Comments Off on ATOL Extended to Protect more Holidays: Is your Holiday Protected?
By , April 27, 2012 10:09 am
Facebook Twitter Email

Use our quick check diagram to see whether your holiday is protected or whether you should consider buying travel insurance with insolvency cover.

From Monday (April 30 2012) the Government is extending the ATOL Protection Scheme to include what is sometimes known as a Flight Plus holiday or Dynamic Packaging.

Under the previous ATOL regulations holidays where a flight and hotel were chosen and priced separately, even if they were booked through a single company, were not covered. Under the new rules this type of holiday will get the same kind of protection as a traditional package holiday – Great news for holiday makers.

Find out if your holiday is protected or if you need travel insurance with insolvency cover

Find out if your holiday is protected or if you need travel insurance with insolvency cover

 

Facebook Twitter Email

Stansted Baggage Handlers Call off Strike: Great news for travellers!

comments Comments Off on Stansted Baggage Handlers Call off Strike: Great news for travellers!
By , April 4, 2012 9:15 am
Facebook Twitter Email

Good news for travellers getting away for the long weekend: The threatened Easter strike by ground handling staff at Stansted airport has been suspended as talks between the GMB and Unite unions and Swissport continue.

If you are worried about other strikes, such as the upcoming pilots strikes in Spain, disrupting your holiday plans you can find out more about your rights under EU law, and how travel insurance can help with strike action by reading our recent post.

Delays due to strikes: Travel insurance cover & your rights

Facebook Twitter Email

Fiji braced for cyclone: Travel insurance and natural disasters

comments Comments Off on Fiji braced for cyclone: Travel insurance and natural disasters
By , April 2, 2012 3:46 pm
Facebook Twitter Email

The island of Fiji is braced for the arrival of cyclone Daphne after it was battered by flash floods over the weekend.

A state of emergency has been declared after the floods forced 8000 people to evacuate their homes, although Tourism Fiji said there were no reports of damage or injuries at any major hotels or resorts.

The government had suspended flights into Fiji on Saturday and Sunday, but normal schedules have now resumed.

Tourism Fiji said: “International visitors to Fiji must also be aware that while every effort is being made to minimize inconvenience that has resulted from the current inclement weather, services and transportation within Fiji are not as yet at their optimum levels.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office are not advising against travel to Fiji, but are urging British nationals who are in Fiji or due to travel to Fiji to monitor the latest weather bulletins on the Fiji Meteorological Service website, in local newspapers and on Radio 2 on 105 FM, and to follow the advice of local authorities.

Fiji Meteorological Service

Travel Insurance for floods and cyclones

Catastrophe Cover

If you are in a country that is affected by flood, cyclone, earthquake or other natural disaster whilst you are away you should have cover under the ‘Catastrophe’ or ‘Replacement Accommodation’ section of your policy.

This section of your travel insurance is designed to cover additional accommodation and/or travel expenses if you are forced to move from your pre-booked accommodation as a result of a catastrophe such as hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake or medical epidemic. It is designed to enable you to continue your holiday or if your trip cannot be continued, return to the UK early.

Find out more about travel insurance catastrophe cover.

Travel delay

If you are still in the UK and the cyclone or other adverse weather causes your flight to be delayed you should have travel insurance cover under the travel delay section of your travel insurance policy.

The travel delay section of your travel insurance policy should pay a benefit to cover additional expenses if your flight is delayed, or allow you to ‘abandon’ your holiday and make a claim for the cost.

Find out more about travel insurance travel delay cover

Natural catastrophe cover

The other section of a travel insurance policy which could help in this situation is Natural Catastrophe cover.

This is a relatively new area of cover for travel insurance and was introduced as an optional extra by some travel insurance providers in response the volcanic ash crisis in 2010.
It is intended to enhance your policy by providing cover for cancellation, delay and additional expenses incurred due to unexpected events such as volcanic ash clouds and other natural disasters; such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes.

The FCO provides up to date travel advice by country

Wherever you plan to travel check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for the latest advice before you travel.

Travel advice from the FCO

Facebook Twitter Email

Stansted baggage handlers due to strike over Easter

comments Comments Off on Stansted baggage handlers due to strike over Easter
By , March 30, 2012 10:54 am
Facebook Twitter Email

Baggage handlers at Stansted Airport in Essex have voted for strike action over the Easter Weekend. The GMB Union have announced that 150 of its members who work for the ground handling company Swissport will strike on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday due to a row over pay and shift patterns.

Those concerned about their flights being affected should contact their airline for the latest information.

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 on flight delays and your rights 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.

Facebook Twitter Email

Strikes in Germany today cause delays at Frankfurt and Berlin

comments Comments Off on Strikes in Germany today cause delays at Frankfurt and Berlin
By , March 27, 2012 9:17 am
Facebook Twitter Email

According to Eurocontrol, The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, ground handling strikes across Germany this morning are causing major delays & many cancellations across the country. Airports that are particularly affected are Frankfurt & Berlin.
For more information about how the strike could impact your travel plans contact your airline or tour operator.

If you are delayed by strike action for more than 12 hours, you may have cover under the travel delay section of your travel insurance policy.
To find out more about how travel insurance strike cover can help if your flight is delayed read our post.
Travel insurance and strike action.

Facebook Twitter Email

General Strike in Spain called for 29 March

comments Comments Off on General Strike in Spain called for 29 March
By , March 23, 2012 1:09 pm
Facebook Twitter Email

The two largest trades unions in Spain have called a general strike for Thursday 29 March. The strike is expected to affect public transport within Spain and also impact services at Spanish airports. Public demonstrations are also expected to be held in city centres which could affect local services.

Read our article for more information about how travel insurance can provide cover for travel delays due to strike.

The Foreign and Commonwealth are advising UK nationals who may be in Spain at this time to check local information for transport delays and allow extra time for transfers to and from the airport.

If you are concerned about flight delays into and out of Spain you should contact your airline or tour operator for the latest information.

You can also check the latest flight information for Europe by following Eurocontrol on Twitter.

If your holiday is affected by the strikes in Spain, your travel insurance should be provide cover for travel delays due to strike action, so long as you booked your holiday and bought your travel insurance before the strike dates were announced.

For information on how travel insurance can provide help if your flight or travel plans are affected by strikes or industrial action read our article:

Delays due to strikes: Travel insurance cover & your rights

Facebook Twitter Email

Consumers confused by Holiday Protection, ATOL and Travel Insurance

comments Comments Off on Consumers confused by Holiday Protection, ATOL and Travel Insurance
By , March 15, 2012 5:48 pm
Facebook Twitter Email

A survey has shown that consumers don’t understand if or how their holidays are protected against insolvency.

When you book a holiday it could be protected against insolvency by the ATOL Scheme, by credit card if you used it to book the holiday, by your travel insurance or not protected at all.

travel insurance

Travel insurance can provide insolvency cover

It’s important to know how your holiday is protected against insolvency, if you don’t know you could find yourself losing out if your holiday supplier stops trading and doesn’t fulfil your booking.

The survey conducted by Explore Research on behalf of Travel Weekly highlighted the amount of confusion which exists with regards to financial protection, holidays and travel insurance. Despite the fact that most respondents thought financial protection was important, few understood if or how their holiday was protected in the event of supplier insolvency.

The survey showed that 96% of UK adults considered financial protection ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’ when booking an overseas holiday, yet only 52% actively considered what financial protection would be in place for their holiday when they made a booking.

When asked how they thought holidays were protected against insolvency, 70% said by travel insurance and only 42% mentioned ATOL.

This figure highlights the confusion that exists with regards to financial protection for holidays and how consumer’s money could be at risk because of it.

70% of people surveyed thought that travel insurance would provide cover in the event of insolvency, and although it is possible it is not always the case and travellers should check whether their travel insurance provides cover for insolvency before relying on it.

Traditionally travel insurance did not provide cover for insolvency because the majority of holidays were booked as a package via an ATOL bonded tour operator. This meant that holidays were ATOL Protected and the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) would ensure that holiday makers could claim their money back, or get home safely in the event of insolvency.  So there was no need for travel insurance to provide cover for the insolvency of a holiday supplier.

Of course, these days, with low cost airlines and the internet, the way we book our holidays has changed dramatically and a large percentage of holidays booked are not protected by ATOL or the CAA.

Travel insurance can and does provide cover for insolvency, often called Scheduled Airline Failure or Dynamic Packaging cover, but you need to check. Some travel insurance policies include it as standard, some travel insurance policies have the option of adding insolvency cover at an additional price and some travel insurance policies don’t offer insolvency cover at all.

The lesson is; if you are not booking an ATOL bonded holiday, don’t just assume that your travel insurance will provide cover for insolvency, spend a bit of time choosing your travel insurance and buy a travel insurance policy that can provide the extra insolvency protection you need.

Which holidays are ATOL bonded?

The level of financial protection you have for your holiday if a supplier becomes insolvent depends largely on how you booked it, which in turn means that how you booked your holiday will also have an impact on what level of travel insurance cover you should buy. Travel insurance cover for insolvency can be called a number of different things, from something simple like ‘Insolvency Cover’ to ‘Scheduled Airline Failure’, which isn’t usually limited to the insolvency of airlines as the name suggests, or Dynamic Packaging Cover which probably means very little to anyone outside of the insurance or travel industry.

Quick check diagram - do you need insolvency cover with your travel insurance?

At the moment, the basic rule is, if your holiday was sold as a package including flights, advertised at one inclusive price then it should be ATOL Protected, if you have booked or chosen elements of your holiday separately, even if they were booked through the same company they are unlikely to be protected by ATOL and you should make sure your travel insurance provides cover for insolvency.

Find out whether your holiday is protected >>

The Government is changing ATOL to protect more holidays, read our post to find
out how the rules are changing and which holidays will remain unprotected
.

 

Facebook Twitter Email

Panorama Theme by Themocracy