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International travel disruption update for UK holidaymakers

an image of grounded aeroplanes lined up at an airport

The UK is experiencing more than usual travel disruption at the moment due to staff shortages and delays.

If you’ve got a holiday coming up, the thought of a cancelled flight is worrying, so we’re here to help with some tips.

Keep reading to find out what you need to know about travel delays, what you can do to make travelling less stressful, and how travel insurance can help.

What’s causing the travel disruption?

Holidaymakers are facing travel disruption across the UK. There are long queues at airports, lorries lined up at ports, and cancelled flights, ferries, and trains.

Staff shortages due to Covid-related illness and the increased demand for travel seem to be the main causes of the disruption. Delays are widespread, particularly affecting planes and ferries.

The disruption is expected to continue into the summer months, especially for airlines. But there are hopes that staff numbers will improve in time for a busy summer – the first summer without restrictions since 2019.

Air travel

Existing delays at airports were made worse by increased numbers of people travelling during half-term.

Flights are being delayed and cancelled, at the very last minute in some cases. Disruption is affecting easyJet, TUI, and British Airways, among others. Gatwick, Bristol, and Manchester are some of the worst-hit airports.

Travellers may experience long queues at airports. Fewer check-in desks are open, with many relying on travellers to self check-in. Airport security lanes are also running at reduced capacity across many UK airports.

With no travel restrictions in the UK and restrictions worldwide being eased all the time, the disruption for airlines and airports is likely to continue until travel providers are better staffed.

Channel ferries

Ferry crossings are struggling due to staff shortages, as well. Dover in particular is experiencing a bottleneck as a number of French border crossing booths are closed.

You should be able to keep up to date with the latest information from your provider.

What’s being done to resolve the travel disruption?

Travel disruption is expected to last until the summer as the travel industry recovers from the redundancies made during the pandemic, and staff sickness.

The government is working to reduce entry barriers to airline jobs to help ease staff shortages affecting the travel sector.

How can I make travelling as smooth as possible?

The best way to make your trip less stressful is to plan ahead, and leave extra time for potential delays. Airports are recommending that people arrive at least three hours before their flight.

You should also try and keep up to date with traffic on your route, as well as any updates from airports or airlines.

Try to be prepared when you arrive at the airport, too. Make sure you have all of your documents ready to go and your liquids are in a separate clear bag.

How can travel insurance help?

When faced with travel disruption that affects your holiday, your first port of call should be to contact your holiday providers.

Travel providers, like 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 by going online and logging into your My Avanti account.

What if my flight is cancelled, and the airline can’t help?

If your flight is cancelled and the airline cannot give you a refund or rearrange your travel dates, you can file a ‘chargeback claim’ with your bank if you paid using a credit card.

Failing that, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance.

an image of the outside of a hotel with a hotel sign

What if I need to cancel my accommodation?

If you need to cancel your accommodation because your flights are cancelled, you need to contact your holiday provider first. You may be able to ask for a refund or to move the dates of your stay. You can also request a ‘chargeback claim’ from your bank if you paid with a credit card.

You may be able to claim on your travel insurance for non-refundable accommodation if your flights are cancelled by the airline. Visit our claims page to find out more.

Other ways travel insurance can help

Nobody wants to deal with the stress of holiday cancellations and delays when travelling. Our travel insurance policies can provide a level of cover if your trip is affected by travel disruption.

Get a quote for travel insurance or cruise insurance to learn more about our end supplier failure and delay cover options.

Get your quote