Stuck Away From Home? What to Do When Travel Plans Go Awry









One of the big issues arising from the Volcanic Ash issue in 2013 and the major snowstorms this winter season was not just the hold-ups to travellers, but the extensive confusion among travelers about what they need to do. While journalism is constantly loaded with criticism and advice after the occasion, it is clear many of the travelling public is not aware either of what rights and duties they have or exactly what their choices remain in the event of a major hold-up.


What have you purchased?


That might sound a silly question: clearly, someone who turns up at an airport has a ticket for travel. The majority of the time that is all you requires but, if things fail, you really have to comprehend exactly what you have and exactly what risk you are running. These are some points to think about:

You ought to constantly bring a copy of your travel insurance coverage (some insurance companies actually define that as a condition of the insurance coverage). All policies offer cover for medical emergencies but most offer some form of cover for hold-ups and cancellations. Ideally, you ought to understand ahead of time exactly what is consisted of but, if you do not have the policy with you, you will not be able to examine what your options are when a problem unexpectedly occurs.


If you are travelling from Europe on any airline or to Europe on any European or Swiss airline, you are covered under EU261. While this enables the airline companies to prevent any payment in the event of most technical hold-ups or strikes, it now appears to be allowed that airlines have to supply accommodation for weather-related hold-ups. You can also organize a refund or rebooking direct with the airline needs to the flight be cancelled.


If you have actually reserved the ticket through a representative, you have the same rights under EU261 but any refund, and commonly rebooking, will certainly have to be through the agent. This can contribute to the hold-up. Feel free to read more on .

In some cases, the difference in between a fully pre-paid rate and one that enables some type of cancellation is money well-spent (it also permits you to leave the hotel early if it is not what you had actually hoped for). You need to have the hotel number with you. When you book your hotel, you need to consider the 'exactly what if' concern and also look at what your insurance coverage policy will certainly cover.

What about flights at your destination? It is something your flight to Bangkok being cancelled however what about the flight to Koh Samui? Do you have the option to change the flight - even if this involves a fee for the modification?


Package trips


If you have actually booked a package of flight and hotel protected in the ATOL scheme, you have a really various set of computations to make. If the trip operator is not available, you should select a hotel of a comparable requirement to the one you have actually booked at your destination and send out the operator the costs. If there are no hotels offered at the airport, go to the city and find someplace suitable there.


Insurance coverage


A couple of policies will cover the expense of missed out on linking air travels or pre-booked hotel accommodation. Keep all invoices and remember you will need some type of main statement from the airline that your flight was cancelled or postponed. Airline companies have relatively standardized systems of sending out letters which can be requested through their website.

The ideal policy will offer cover for both your outside flight and your return flight, together with the cost of cancelling pre-booked hotels and connecting air travels. It will likewise cover extra accommodation costs should you be stranded anywhere. We have actually never discovered the best policy. HSBC has recently modified its policies to include higher cover for delays and cancellations and a number of other insurers, such as Columbus Direct, have actually started to sell optional add-ons to supply extra cover. Whether these offer any value depends on just how much you travel and what type of holiday you take - in other words, what monetary danger you are running.


When you book your holiday, you should work out the financial risk included and strategy appropriately. A couple flying to Miami to take a pricey cruise that has to be paid for weeks in advance are risking a number of thousand pounds if their flight is cancelled, while another couple, investing simply as much on their vacation, might just be running the risk of the cost of the very first night in their hotel. If your existing policy does not have an enough limitation, you might need to search.