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What to do if you are affected by strike action this summer

Strikes can happen at any time and more often than not, holidaymakers are given plenty of notice and are able to make alternative travel arrangements, claim compensation or cancel their holiday. But what happens when these strikes happen unexpectedly – and, more importantly, who should holidaymakers turn to cover any money they have lost as a result?

Will my airline compensation me for delays due to a strike?

Airlines have a duty of care to customers to provide assistance in the event of a delay. This assistance may include; telephone calls, accommodation, food and refreshments. Airlines will have their own terms and conditions regarding the length of delay and assistance available so it is always worth doing a little bit of research prior to booking flights.

Having said that, if the delay is due to strike action, you may not be entitled to any compensation. Strikes can be classed as ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and, if the delay is due to a third party such as air traffic control or airport staff strike, airlines are not required to offer compensation. Please see below for how our Insurancewith travel insurance cover can help in this instance.

If the strike is not deemed an ‘extraordinary circumstance’, i.e. the airline’s staff go on strike and the airline has not given its customers two weeks’ notice, they must pay compensation if there is a delay. You can visit the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website for more information on the rules and regulations around this.

If my flight is cancelled due to strike action, will I get any compensation?

According to the CAA if a flight is cancelled due to the airline’s staff going on strike, and the airline has not given its customers at least two weeks warning, they are required to pay compensation or reimburse customers for the cancelled flight.

Under EU legislation there may also be a re-route option available if your flight has been cancelled due to strike action. If the airline is unable to arrange an alternative flight on the original departure date or the day after, they are required to book you a replacement flight with another airline, at their expense.

Does Insurancewith cover strike action on their policies?

Yes, Insurancewith customers may be entitled to claim compensation if they encounter a delay whilst at the airport, this includes delays which are due to strike action that was not a known event at the time of check-in. The cover you need to look out for in your policy wording is “Departure Delay” and is summarised below.

Our Emerald Travel Insurance offers customers £15.00 for each 12 hour period they are delayed, up to a total of £150. Our Sapphire Travel Insurance offers customers £20.00 for each 12 hour period they are delayed, up to a total of £300. Finally, our Platinum Travel Insurance policy offers customers £50.00 for each 12 hour period they are delayed, up to a total of £500.

For cover to apply you must have travelled to your place of departure to check-in, so you will not be covered if the delay or flight cancellation is announced in advance. Cover will also only apply if the policy was purchased prior to strike action being announced.

Insurancewith customers may also able to claim for trip abandonment  costs that they cannot get back from elsewhere (i.e. though a package holiday provider, the airline, etc). Again, this is if the strike action was not announced prior to check-in and customers have been delayed for over 12 hours. The cover to look out for in your policy wording is “Travel Abandonment” and is summarised below.

Our Emerald Travel Insurance will reimburse customers up to £1,000 (please note there is an excess of £75 per person on this policy), our Sapphire Travel Insurance will reimburse customers up to £3,000 (please note there is an excess of £75 per person on this policy) and our Platinum Travel Insurance will reimburse customers up to £5,000 (no excess applies).

Claims can now be submitted online 24/7 with certain claims receiving an instant decision. You can read more about our claims process here.

Posted on: Jul 13, 2022

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