Posts tagged: industrial action travel insurance

UK Strike: Flight delays & travel insurance cover

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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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General strike in Portugal: Does travel insurance provide cover?

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By , November 24, 2011 1:08 pm
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A rare 24 hour general strike in Portugal today is causing major disruption to fights and other transportation.

This again highlights the importance of buying travel insurance with strike cover as soon as you’ve booked your holiday. If your holiday and your travel insurance were both booked before the announcement of a strike you should be covered under the travel delay and abandonment section of your travel insurance policy. Once a strike date is announced you will not be able to buy travel insurance to cover it.

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, you can choose to abandon your holiday and make a claim 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.

The strike in Portugal is expected to have an impact on transportation today and tomorrow. Air traffic controllers are participating in the strike causing flight delays and cancellations. Many public services including trains and other public transport are also affected.

If you are in Portugal or travelling to Portugal today or tomorrow you should be prepared for delays and keep in touch with your airline for the latest information.
Unlike in France and Spain, strikes in Portugal are very rare and this is believed to be one of the biggest in the country’s history.

In the current economic climate it pays to buy travel insurance cover to protect your holiday against strike action as soon as possible – you never know when a strike is going to be announced that could affect your travel plans.

A public sector strike in the UK next week is expected to affect travel into and out of UK ports and airports as Border Agency staff walk out for a day.

More information about travel insurance for strike action

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Delays due to strikes: Travel insurance cover & your rights

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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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Travel Insurance Tip No. 3: Two good reasons to buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday

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By , September 26, 2011 1:55 pm
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Many of people leave buying travel insurance to the last minute, if you’re one of them,  I’m going to give you two very good reasons why you should buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.

1. You or a family member falls ill and you need to cancel your holiday

Here’s the scenario, you research your holiday carefully, you book your holiday, pay for it and then you get on with the rest of your life whilst in the background dreaming about your upcoming trip. 

Then, the week before you go, you have a last minute panic about all the things you need to sort out before you go, such as currency, how you’re getting to the airport, who’s feeding the cat and buying travel insurance. You rush around getting everything sorted out and then jet off on holiday to relax and enjoy your break.

Now, consider a change in this scenario, you book and pay for your holiday, get on with the rest of your life and dream about your forthcoming trip, then two weeks before you are due to go on holiday, your daughter gets chicken pox and is not allowed to travel.  The result is that you have to cancel your family holiday.

If you’d already bought travel insurance, you’d be able to make a claim for the cost of the holiday under the cancellation section of the travel insurance policy.  You wait for your daughter to recover and re-book your holiday for a convenient date.

If you hadn’t already bought travel insurance, you’d be forced to cancel your holiday, you’d be out of pocket and may not be able to afford to book another holiday.
We all know that the most important aspect of travel insurance is to cover you for any unforeseen medical expenses whilst you’re away, but another important part is the cancellation cover that you get on your policy.

Cancellation cover is designed to provide financial protection for you in the event that you need to cancel your holiday due to various reasons such as illness or redundancy. The exact definition of this cover will vary with different travel insurance policies, so should always check the terms and conditions.

The key thing to remember is that when you book and pay for a holiday in advance, you should buy travel insurance immediately to protect that investment and when choosing which travel insurance policy make sure that the amount of cancellation cover included reflects the cost of your holiday.

2. A strike is announced that affects your travel plans

Another reason to buy travel insurance cover as early as possible and something I have touched on before, is to ensure that you are covered for travel delays due to strike action. For example the recent general strikes in Italy and Greece which affected air traffic control and caused cancellation and delays for many travellers.

If you booked your holiday and bought your travel insurance before any strike dates are announced you should be covered for travel delay and abandonment due to strike action.  This will usually take the form of a set benefit per 12 or 24 hours of delay to help cover additional expenses, such as food and drink, plus most travel insurance policies will also give you the option to ‘abandon’ your holiday after a delay of 12 or 24 hours and make a claim for the cost. This will be up to the amount specified in the policy, so make sure you buy cover that reflects the cost of your holiday.

If you buy travel insurance after a strike has been announced you will not be covered by your travel insurance if your holiday is affected. Once a strike has been announced it becomes a known risk, travel insurance is designed to cover unforeseen events.

The only way to ensure you would be covered is to buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday. Look at it as a way of protecting the money you’ve invested in your holiday.

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Another day, another strike affecting UK holiday makers . . .

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By , September 22, 2011 8:51 am
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Public Transport Strike in Greece

It seems like barely a week passes before another strike is announced which could affect UK holiday makers. Qantas staff walked out over pay last week, and today Greece is being hit by another strike.

A 24 hour public transport strike is the latest protest against the Greek Government’s austerity measures.  Train, bus and taxi transport will all be affected and air traffic controllers will also walk out for several hours, causing disruption to flights.

Now I know I’ve said this before, and am going to sound repetitive, but this again highlights the importance of buying travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.  

Most travel insurance does cover strike action under the delay and abandonment sections of the policy, but only if your holiday was booked and your travel insurance policy was purchased before the strike was announced.

Once a strike is announced you are very unlikely to be able get travel insurance travel insurance that would cover you if your holiday was affected.

So, the really important thing is to buy travel insurance cover as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.

For more information about how travel insurance covers strike action read my post about the recent general strike in Italy.

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General strike in Italy: Does travel insurance cover you for strike action?

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By , September 7, 2011 12:39 pm
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Strikes or other industrial action can affect anybody’s holiday, it doesn’t matter how well organised you are, it’s completely out of your control. What you can control is the travel insurance you buy and when you buy it – and this could make a difference if your holiday is effected by strike action.

POMD: January 17, 2009 by Rosa Say, on Flickr

POMD: January 17, 2009 by Rosa Say, on Flickr

Although the on-going battle between BA and it’s cabin crew appear to have been resolved for the time being, this summer has seen industrial action in several countries, such as Spain, Greece and now Italy, caused by economic conditions and austerity measures.

Yesterday saw yet another strike which had an impact on British holiday makers. Italy’s largest trade union confederation, CGIL, staged a one day nationwide general strike as a result of the Italian Government’s austerity measures.

Strikes affecting air services ran from 10am to 6pm yesterday, with many flights in and out of Italy being cancelled, and the disruption is likely to have a knock on effect over the next couple of days.

With the threat of industrial action impacting travel arrangements ever present, it’s important to know what your travel insurance should cover you for, and how to make sure you get the most benefit from your travel insurance cover.

Buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.

The most important thing to do is to make sure that you buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday, or if you have annual travel insurance, make sure you don’t let the cover lapse. If you’ve paid for a holiday in advance, you should have travel insurance in place to protect that investment.

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.

Once a strike is announced you are very unlikely to be able get travel insurance that would cover you if your holiday was affected. Think about it, travel insurance is designed to cover you if something unexpected happens, therefore if you already know that your flight is likely to be affected by industrial action before you buy the policy, you won’t be covered.

The travel delay section of your 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 policy wording to see the terms and conditions of your own policy.

The best way to ensure that you will be covered is to buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday. This will mean that you’re covered by the delay section of the travel insurance policy if a strike is announced; it also means you get the full benefit of cancellation cover, for instance, if you are unable to travel because you become ill.

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