The UK is experiencing more than usual travel disruption at the moment due to staff shortages, delays, strikes and natural disasters.
If you’ve got a holiday coming up, the thought of a cancelled or delayed flight can be worrying, so we’re here to let you know how your travel insurance can help.
- What do I do if my flight is cancelled?
- What do I do if my flight is delayed?
- Can I be covered for strikes?
- What if I need to cancel my accommodation?
- What happens if there’s a terrorist incident?
- How can I make travelling as smooth as possible?
What do I do if my flight is cancelled?
When faced with travel disruption, your first port of call should be to contact your holiday providers. Travel providers, such as airlines and cruise lines, should offer you a refund or the chance to change the dates you travel if they cancel your booking.
If the dates you’re due to travel change, remember to update your travel insurance policy. You can amend your Avanti policy easily in your My Avanti account – and you’ll pay no admin fee.
Remember, if you’re changing your travel dates, you’ll need to do this before you were originally meant to travel.
What if my travel providers can’t help?
If you’ve contacted your travel providers and they can’t help rearrange your travel or offer a refund, you may be able to file a ‘chargeback claim’ with your bank if you paid using a credit card.
If you’ve tried both of these options without any luck, then you may be able to claim on your travel insurance. Cover often differs between outgoing and return flights, so make sure to check your policy documents.
What do I do if my flight is delayed?
If your flight is ‘significantly delayed’ your airline is required to provide you with care and assistance.
The kind of support and compensation you’ll receive depends on how long your wait is and how far you’re traveling. You can easily find out if you qualify for support or compensation by checking the CAA website.
If there’s a significant delay to your flight, your airline should offer:
- To cover your food and drinks, often given through vouchers.
- The chance to make necessary phone calls, and they’ll typically reimburse your call expenses.
- Arrange accommodation if your flight is delayed overnight.
- Organise transport to and from your accommodation, or even back home if you’re nearby.
If, for some reason, the airline can’t provide these services due to staff shortages, don’t worry — you should be able to claim for reasonable expenses. Just check your airline’s policy to understand what they define as reasonable.
You may also be able to make a compensation claim through your travel insurance. Check out the ‘Travel Delay’ section in your policy wording to understand what’s covered.
And remember, if your return journey to the UK is delayed as well, your policy will automatically extend to cover the extra time you need to get home. So rest assured, you’re covered!
Can I be covered for strikes?
You should be covered by your travel insurance if strikes affect your travel plans, as long as the strike wasn’t common knowledge when you booked your trip or took out your policy (whichever was later).
Read your policy documents for whats covered, and what’s not.
What if I need to cancel my accommodation?
You may be able to claim on your travel insurance for non-refundable accommodation if your flights are cancelled by the airline. Make sure to speak to your travel provider or bank (if you paid using a credit card) first.
Visit our claims page to find out more.
What happens if there’s a terrorist incident?
The FCDO advise against all and all but essential travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Your Avanti travel insurance policy will not cover your trip if you decide to go ahead with your travel plans. Visit the FCDO website for the latest information and advice.
Terrorist incidents when you’re abroad
If you’re abroad and there has been a terrorist incident at your destination, the first step is to reach out to your travel provider. They’ll be able to support you and arrange travel home if needed.
You can also find advice on the FCDO website.
Terrorist incidents when you’re about to travel
If you’re about to travel to an area where the FCDO have advised against all, or all but essential travel due to terrorism – contact your airline or travel provider as soon as possible. They’ll be able to let you know if you can rearrange your trip, they may even offer a refund.
If you do go ahead and rearrange your trip, you can update your travel insurance policy. If you’re an Avanti customer you can log in to my Avanti to do this. You’ll need to make these changes before you were originally meant to travel.
How can I make travelling as smooth as possible?
The best way to make your trip less stressful is to plan ahead:
- Get all your travel documents ready as soon as possible.
- Once you’ve booked your holiday, take out holiday insurance. This can help protect against cancellations before you’re due to travel and will be there if something goes wrong during your trip.
- When it’s time to go away, leave extra time for potential delays and keep up to date with your travel providers. You can check flight/ferry and traffic information before you set off, and strikes are usually planned for specific days.
- Arrive at the airport early. Once you arrive, make sure you have all of your documents ready to go and liquids in a separate clear bag.