How to navigate holiday flights and travel this summer

by Madaline Dunn

As millions of people prepare to jet off for their summer holidays – for some, for the first time in three years- many are troubled by travel anxiety. Strike action at UK airports has been ongoing for some time now, over pay, working conditions and long hours. For these reasons, there has also been an exodus from the sector, leading to staff shortages. On top of these issues, the recent heatwave has added to disruptions, with all-time-high temperatures causing surface defects on runways.

Projections from experts such as Professor Cloke, a Government scientific advisor are also warning that there could be a further heatwave in August, and so it’s wise to prepare for this eventuality when booking upcoming flights. Likewise, while British Airways staff recently announced they had called off their strike after reaching a pay deal, Ryanair staff are set to continue with strike action, as are staff from other airlines.

It can be difficult to know where you stand with regard to compensation and insurance, which can result in a lot of unnecessary stress.

At The Salary Calculator, we’ll walk you through:

  • Whether the situation has changed since the UK left the EU
  • What happens if your flight is cancelled due to strike action
  • Whether or not you’re entitled to compensation if your flight is delayed or cancelled
  • Whether you’ll be covered by travel insurance
  • What will happen if your flight is cancelled due to the heatwave

Is the situation any different now that the UK has left the European Union?

Prior to Brexit, EU 261/2004 protected the rights of air passengers, and it meant that people could claim compensation for a delayed or a cancelled flight. While the UK is no longer part of the EU, that protection was incorporated into UK law at the end of the Brexit transition period.

This is good news because it means that you’re still protected with regard to flight compensation claims, but now you’ll be paid in UK Pounds rather than Euros.

What happens if your flight is cancelled due to strike action?

Flight cancellations are usually a nightmare to navigate and the last thing you want to encounter when envisioning the expanse of blue sea that awaits you at your holiday destination. However, the good news is that if your flight is cancelled as a result of strike action, legally, your airline is responsible for rerouting you, which could even be with another airline if the airline you booked with is unable to accommodate you. The airline will refund you for the flight cancellation if this option is also not possible.

It’s also important to note that in situations where your cancelled flight is part of a holiday package, you’ll be covered by ATOL. This is a government-backed financial protection scheme that applies to the majority of package holidays. As part of this coverage, if your flight cancellation means you have to locate alternative accommodation, you’ll be covered for this too.

Will you receive compensation?

Under UK law, if you’re due to fly and your flight is cancelled and the airline company you booked with fails to inform you of the cancellation less than 14 days from the date you’re due to fly, you will be entitled to compensation, if the cancellation is the airline’s fault.

That said, if the strike is announced more than two weeks from the date of your holiday and you’re offered an acceptable alternative that doesn’t detract too much from your original flying plans, your entitlement to compensation no longer remains. Adding to this, Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “Equally, if you decide not to travel because you are concerned by strikes, you won’t be covered in this instance either.”

Are you covered by insurance?

Unfortunately, a significant number of insurance policies don’t offer protection in cases of strike action. According to a recent investigation by Which?, four in 10 policies don’t. So, considering the very turbulent nature of travel at the moment, when deciding which insurance provider to choose, it’s important to ensure that they provide as robust coverage as possible.

Likewise, be aware that if, following the news of upcoming strikes, you book travel insurance, you might find that it’s invalidated.

Speaking about this to This is Money, Ceri McMillan, travel expert at GoCompare, ​​said: “It’s so important that you read your policy, so you know what you’re covered for and likewise, buy your policy as soon as you book your holiday as you are more likely to be covered the earlier you bought it.”

What happens if your flight is cancelled due to the heatwave?

Due to the Civil Aviation Authority declaring that the heatwave lies within the category of ‘extraordinary circumstances,’ if a flight is cancelled or delayed due to soaring temperatures, passengers will not be eligible for compensation, which typically works out as up to £500 per person.

Extraordinary circumstances cover situations that airlines deem to be out of their control, and unforseen. Other examples of situations in this category, include: political and civil unrest, security threats, medical emergencies, strikes of airport staff or suppliers, and bird strikes.

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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022 Insurance No Comments

None of the content on this website, including blog posts, comments, or responses to user comments, is offered as financial advice. Figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

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