Missing your flight can feel like your holiday is over before it began. There are many reasons that you may miss your flight such as late connecting flights, traffic congestion when travelling to the airport, bad weather and long queues at border control. Lost luggage can also cause holidaymakers a headache, imagine arriving on holiday and your luggage doesn’t. But what can you do if one or more of these scenarios happens to you – does your travel insurance protect you?
Fiona Macrae, from the consumer awareness initiative travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk, offers advice on what you should do if you miss your flight…
Am I covered under my travel insurance policy if I miss my flight due to long queues at passport control/check-in?
Most travel insurance policies offer some cover for missed departure, however there may be many conditions around the circumstance you can claim for missed departure. And very few travel insurance providers would offer missed departure cover if you missed a flight due to queues at passport control or check-in.
Before purchasing a travel insurance policy, it is important you check if the policy covers missed flights due to delays caused by long queues at passport control. The cover to look for is missed departure due to ‘any reason you could not have been expected to foresee or avoid’ and make sure this cover is available on both your outward and return journey.
What happens if you miss your flight due to traffic on the way to the airport?
Generally, missing your flight because you were stuck in traffic is not covered by travel insurance – insurers expect you to allow adequate time for your journey especially on the problematic M25 so leave yourself plenty of time. A few insurers will assess claims to determine whether or not the traffic jam was caused by extraordinary circumstances, but they will always check to ensure that you left yourself enough time to get there under normal circumstances.
If I miss my flight due heavy traffic in bad weather, can I claim for the cost?
There are only a few travel insurance policies that will cover you for missed departure due to traffic delays, so if you are looking to go away during the winter months, make sure that your travel insurance policy will cover you for this eventuality. My advice is – if you know that the roads or transport to your departure point may be affected by bad weather, check your route and make sure you leave plenty of time to get there.
What can you do if your luggage doesn’t arrive?
If your luggage has been lost by the airline then you must report it to the airline or their appointed agents and obtain a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) this will confirm the time and date the baggage was lost, and the date it was returned (if applicable). Travellers should also keep the airline luggage stickers, these are usually fixed to passports or booking confirmations when you check in. You may be able to claim a nominal amount under your travel insurance for delayed luggage to buy essential items. The amount claimed will vary from provider to provider, from under £100 to up to £500. Normally travellers are not able to claim under this section of the policy until the bags have been missing for 12 hours or more.
What happens if I miss a connecting flight due to my plane arriving late?
The reality is that the majority of travel insurance policies will not cover the cost of rebooking a missed connecting flight or any of the costs relating to this holiday hiccup.
If you are late to your flight then ultimately the responsibility of this falls to the holidaymaker as the airlines have no responsibility for you to be on time. Although some travel insurance providers may cover you, provided the reason you missed your connecting flight was beyond your control. First of all, check to see if missed flight cover is offered on your policy, it may be offered as standard or it may be a paid add-on, but it may be something you’re your travel insurance provider just doesn’t cover, so something to be aware of.
If the cover is available, it is important to check your policy wording for conditions or exclusions to the cover before purchasing, and check if it covers both outward and returns journeys.