Thousands of tourists have been left with cancelled flights, or stranded in airports around the world after a staff holiday mix up by budget airline Ryanair.
Ryanair is in crisis after announcing the cancellation of 40-50 flights per day over 6 weeks, leaving thousands of travellers’ plans in chaos. The issue has raised an important aspect about travel insurance cover which the public seem to be unaware of.
What has happened with Ryanair has affected thousands of people and will continue to do so for the coming weeks, but what it does show is the importance of having a travel insurance policy that helps provide protection when you have made your own travel arrangements.
Manager of Travel insurance at comparison website, Compare Cover, Simon Williams, says there are a few lessons that DIY travellers can learn from this incident.
Simon Williams suggests travellers who organise their holidays themselves, rather than a package holiday, could consider these five top tips before buying travel insurance:
1. Keep a note of the date your flight was cancelled. If it was cancelled more than two weeks before departure, then under EU rules the airline doesn’t have to pay you compensation, just a full refund of the cost of the flight. You could then look to your insurance policy to seek reimbursement of financial losses caused as a result of the cancellation.
2. Buy your travel insurance at the same time as booking your holiday, or at least in advance of your trip. If you don’t have travel insurance in place, you won’t be able to claim for consequential losses.
3. When you take out travel insurance, check if the policy covers you for consequential losses. These are the financial losses you may suffer as a consequence of your flight having been cancelled, for example hotel bookings, car hire fees and any reasonable expenses that have been incurred as a direct result of your cancellation. Also, be sure to save any receipts for spending that has resulted from the cancellation.
4. You might want to consider seeking the policies which include “cancellation for any reason” which does what it says on the tin; covers you if any part of your holiday is cancelled for reasons outside the normal parameters of cancellation cover.
5. The next time you buy flights alone, consider paying for them on your credit card. You will be covered under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for purchases between £100 and £30,000.
Simon Williams said: “Having travel insurance doesn’t override an airlines’ duty of care to you as a customer and travellers cannot claim for the same expenses twice, but having adequate travel insurance can give you peace of mind that you are protected should there be a cancellation.
“Circumstances like these are rare and hopefully most of the people affected will be fully compensated for money and time lost. Holidays are an important part of our lives so it’s worth protecting them with the best insurance cover to suit you and your budget.”