YOU ASK:

Will my travel insurance policy cover airline strikes?

WE ANSWER:

Airline strikes can really ruin your travel plans by causing the cancellation or delay of your trip. If this happens it is helpful to note that airlines are obligated to honor the booking that they provided you, regardless of whether the airline employees are on strike. When flights are cancelled or delayed due to airline strike, the airline should also provide you with compensation or an alternative flight. However, this does not mean that the airline is similarly obligated to guarantee that you will arrive on your destination at the specified time.

Be that as it may, there may be other expenses related to the flight cancellation or delay. This is where travel insurance can come in.

Benefits provided by travel insurance policies in the event of an airline strike may include the option to cancel the trip and get a refund, as well as payments for food and drink spent while waiting for a flight. Flight delays are usually defined as delays that have occurred for over 12 hours from the time of the original scheduled flight.

However, when an airline has already announced an impending official strike and this is known before the policy becomes effective or before the policy is purchased, the insurance company may not pay for any claims arising from the airline strike. The exclusion may also include instances where airline employees are about to vote on whether to declare a strike or not. This is because the airline strike is now seen as an expected event and not as an unforeseen event.

Industrial actions such as airline strikes are not always covered by a standard travel insurance policy so it is always best to check if the coverage is included. If it is not, you can always look for a plan that provides the coverage or specify that you want airline strikes to be covered by the policy.

In case the trip is interrupted or canceled because of an airline strike, the travel insurance can reimburse a portion of the unused flight. It may also pay for up to 80% of an alternative transport (like a train or a bus). However, if you have already received compensation (by way of credit or a refund) from the airline, the benefit provided will not be payable. There is also a limit as to the amount refundable to you, depending on the maximum limits specified in the policy.

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