Travel insurance

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.

Travel insurance tips this summer

by Madaline Dunn

As the summer goes on and more places open up, the prospect of finally going on holiday is incredibly exciting. That said, with policies around travel changing all the time, it’s also understandable to feel concerned that things might not go according to plan.

At The Salary Calculator, we’ll make sure that you’re all clued up when it comes to travel insurance this summer so that you can take a vacation stress-free.

This article will walk you through:

  • What should you look for when choosing travel insurance?
  • What situations are not covered by travel insurance?
  • What happens if you catch Covid?
  • What happens if the NHS app pings you?

What to look for when choosing travel insurance

Luckily, more providers are now offering covid-related travel insurance after initially distancing themselves. Now, there’s a wide range of providers to choose from, but there are a few different aspects to look out for when making your decision.

When searching for travel insurance, ask yourself:

  • Does the provider offer coverage if I test positive for Covid?
  • Does the provider offer curtailment cover?
  • Does the provider offer coverage if I lose a loved one due to Covid?
  • Does the provider offer coverage if I miss my flight because my required Covid test has not returned results in time for my getaway?
  • Does the provider offer medical cover if I fall ill with Covid?
  • Does the provider offer protection from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice changes?

Equally, to ensure that covid doesn’t catch you out, it’s best to keep updated with any rule changes and travel guidance. So, before booking a holiday, it’s wise to check in with the UK’s traffic light system.

It’s also important to remember that just because a country is on the UK’s green list, you may not be allowed entry as a holidaymaker. Checking the Foreign Office website and checking in with a country’s UK embassy website will keep you in the loop.

When am I not covered?

There are some situations where your travel insurance won’t offer coverage. If the FCDO changes its travel advice to warn against all travel, holiday providers will likely cancel and refund your trip. That said, while policy providers covered cancellation based on FCDO advice before the pandemic, now fewer policy providers are doing so. This will vary depending on your provider, so it’s important to check the details.

Also, be wary of accepting vouchers or Refund Credit Notes (RCN) from airline and holiday companies for cancellations. If you do, you can’t claim from your travel insurance cover as this is viewed as a double claim.

Additionally, you won’t be covered for ‘disinclination to travel’, which essentially means you have personally made the decision not to travel. So, for example, if you’re due to travel but hear that pandemic cases are rising in the area you are staying, you no longer wish to travel and cancel your holiday, you won’t be covered. Equally, if your hotel informs you that some of its facilities will be closed due to Covid, and as a result, you no longer wish to travel and cancel your holiday, you won’t be covered here either.

Am I covered if I catch Covid?

While coverage will vary from provider to provider, there are quite a few out there that offer Coronavirus trip cancellation cover. So, if you or a household member falls ill with Covid within 14 days of your holiday, and you have to cancel, you will be covered.

Some providers offering this coverage include:

  • Co-op
  • Asda
  • Nationwide
  • JustTravelCover
  • Staysure

Likewise, if you have booked activities for when you are on holiday, and they are disrupted due to Covid, there is Coronavirus excursions cancellation coverage.

What happens if I’m pinged

Recently, more and more people are being ‘pinged’ by the NHS app. So much so, the phenomenon has been dubbed the ‘Pingdemic,’ with record numbers reaching 689,313 in one day at the end of July.

So, it’s understandable to be concerned that your holiday may be jeopardised by coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

If you do find yourself pinged before you set out on holiday, you should identify whether or not the Test and Trace service is instructing you to isolate. While you do not legally have to isolate yourself if you have not received instruction, it is advised to do so. Subsequently, most providers will offer cover for ‘advised’ isolation. Staysure, for example, offers cancellation cover if you are unable to travel due to receiving contact from Test and Trace.

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Friday, August 13th, 2021 Insurance No Comments

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