According to which? | business news

Almost half of the insurance companies do not protect vacationers against strike-related cancellations, the consumer group Which? has found.

His analysis of 199 packages offered by 71 providers found that 40% offered no strike action coverage.

Travelers are warned to prepare for chaos this summer when unions vote to strike in a fight for better wages and working conditions.

More than 700 BA check-in workers and ground handlers at Heathrow could leave at the height of the summer season after recently voting to go on strike.

Meanwhile, easyJet workers in Spain have announced they will be on sporadic strikes throughout July, while unions in France, Italy and Portugal continue to clash with airlines and airports, raising the prospect of further industrial action.

Taken together, the situation for travelers this summer paints a bleak picture.

Many are understandably looking for protection: insurance to cover them if their flights are cancelled.

But only six out of ten of the policies Which? actually offered refunds for travelers who had to cancel a trip due to strikes, leaving many policyholders vulnerable.

Ryanair and EasyJet workers gather outside the gates of Malaga's Costa del Sol airport.  Image: AP
Ryanair and easyJet staff gather outside the gates of Malaga’s Costa del Sol airport.

“We advise travelers to always check policies carefully to ensure they are offering the insurance coverage that is most appropriate for their trip and to ensure they have coverage from the time of booking,” said Jenny Ross, Financial Editor at which?.

She added that travelers should “ensure they have appropriate insurance to cover any loss or unexpected expense they may face”.

The? also analyzed the policies for their protection against coronavirus-related disruptions.

The group said they noticed wide disparities in the levels of coverage on offer – with cases rising in many European countries.

Of the 199 policies, which one is? assessed, less than 10% offered what they believed to be full protection in the event of a holiday being disrupted by COVID-19.

know your rights

The group defines full coverage as the ability to give travelers the ability to request emergency medical care if they contract COVID-19 abroad, and also give them the ability to claim cancellation costs if they die before their trip tested positive for the virus.

Full policies should include reimbursement if the legal obligation to self-isolate for people identified as close contacts is reinstated, or if the government restricts travel in and out of the country you’re vacationing in.

More tips from which? Whenever possible, book your holiday with a credit card as your bank is required by law to reimburse you for any purchases over £100 if the services provided are not as advertised and the company responsible will not issue you a refund.

The group also said that “anybody whose holiday is canceled by a package tour operator is legally entitled to a refund. Airlines are also required to refund passengers when they cancel flights – even if the cancellation is caused by a strike by their own employees.”

“Similarly, package holidays from an ATOL protected company ensure that you will be reimbursed if the company goes out of business and repatriated if this happens during your stay abroad.”