Easter strike by Stansted baggage handlers: Your rights and travel insurance cover

Added 30/03/2012

Baggage carousel

It has been announced that strikes will go ahead at Stansted Airport in Essex on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday after baggage handlers voted in favour or strike action due to a row over pay with their employer Swissport.

This strike which is due to go ahead on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year is set to impact a large number of UK holiday makers, so what are your rights if your flight is delayed or cancelled and how can travel insurance provide extra help?

If you are due to fly in to, or out of Stansted over the Easter weekend your first point of contact should be your airline, they should be able to provide further information on whether your flight is likely to be affected.

You have a contract with your airline to get you to your chosen destination at a certain time, if they are unable to do so, whether that is due to a strike action or bad weather, they have a duty to look after you. This would involve offering refreshments or hotel accommodation in the event of a long delay.

If your airline cancels your flight due to a strike, they are required to offer you an alternative flight, or a full refund.

In addition to your rights with your airline your travel insurance policy can give you some more options.

Travel insurance cover for strike action

Goodtogoinsurance.com customers who have booked their trip and bought Gold or Platinum travel insurance cover before the Easter strike dates were announced will have cover under the travel delay section of their travel insurance.

The travel delay section of a travel insurance policy is designed to cover additional expenses, such as extra food and drink, whilst you are waiting at the airport for your flight to depart; it pays a fixed benefit for every 12 hours that you are delayed.

In addition to this, after a delay of 12 hours, you also have the option to abandon your holiday and make a claim for the cost, up to the limit stated in the terms and conditions.

This travel insurance cover for abandonment gives you more freedom. For instance if you are going away for the Easter weekend, you might consider that a 12 hour delay eats into your holiday time too much. Therefore you can decide to abandon your holiday and make a claim for the cost, up to the amount stated in the policy. You could them use that money to rebook a break over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

To make a claim under the travel delay section of your travel insurance policy you must have checked in for your flight at the airport and you must obtain a letter from the airline or travel company confirming the length and reason for the delay.

Gold and Platinum travel insurance policies from Goodtogoinsurance.com include cover for travel delay.