“If the strike action means that any flights are cancelled or rescheduled before an individual leaves their home to start their trip, the airline would be responsible for making alternative travel arrangements for the customer or would have to provide a full refund,” explained Kate Walker, Allianz Assistance UK’s Head of Direct Business. “If, however, the announcement of the flight cancellation or delay is made after the individual has left for the airport then they will likely be covered by their travel insurance policy under the ‘Travel Delay and Abandonment’ clause.
“This will, of course, depend on the travel insurance policy that an individual has purchased so they will need to check the terms and conditions in order to understand exactly what they will be covered for.
“If a strike announcement is made by an airline or aviation authority before the individual books their trip or buys their travel insurance policy, then they will not be covered under the terms and conditions for any impact the strike has on their trip. It is, therefore, crucial that individuals take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the point of booking their trip and before any strikes are announced in order to be covered for this type of eventuality.”
It is very possible that consumers will be unaware of these stipulations – they may in fact be unaware that strike action is planned – so such advice will hopefully serve to reduce the chaos, so that workers’ right to strike and travellers’ right to a peaceful holiday do not have to come into too much conflict.
Allianz’s handy bullet-pointed list of tips for travellers include: check the situation with their specific airline / airport before setting off; ensure they get to the airport early in case of delays and queues; make sure they have travel insurance purchased before leaving; read the terms and conditions thoroughly (evergreen advice); contact travel insurers to discuss any queries before setting off; and in the event that they are disrupted and believe they are entitled to compensation, to contact either the airline or the Civil Aviation Authority.