18 March 2019 by Anna Staford
Going away on holiday is fantastic, but the journey can be stressful, especially if it’s a long trip.
If you then add a flight delay, or worse still, cancellation, this can amplify your stress, frustration and costs, tenfold. That’s why comprehensive travel insurance that includes cover for any possible trip disruption is a must.
You should buy your travel insurance as soon as you pre-pay any part of your trip, that way you stand a chance of being insured if something serious, such as a medical emergency or family bereavement prevents you from travelling.
So why are so many journeys delayed or interrupted to begin with? Here’s a look at the 7 most frequent reasons for your travel disruption.
The most common reason for travel interruption is flight delay. Now, a flight can be delayed for a whole variety of reasons, and if we were to list them all we’d be here all day. Some of the most common reasons for flight delays include: flight congestion, bad weather, technical failures, late passengers, ill passengers, drunk and disorderly passengers. There are also outside factors that could potentially delay a flight, the most recent and unexpected of these being the recent chaos caused by somebody flying a drone over airport space. This caused a nightmare before Christmas as tens of thousands of passengers were delayed.
The most common cause for cancelled flights is outside anyone’s control. It’s the weather. Who hasn’t watched with trepidation their flight first get delayed, then as everyone watches in despair, the ‘cancelled’ notice is displayed. Fortunately this only happens in more extreme cases when there is no let-up in the weather, or environmental factors outside of our control. Who remembers the huge volcanic ash cloud a while back, causing chaos for airlines all over the world?
Getting a connection flight is great when everybody is on time, and everything is running smoothly. If, however, you miss your connection, whether it’s your fault or not, you can guarantee at best it will be inconvenient and expensive and at worse it could ruin your trip –especially if it’s a short one.
Hundreds of thousands of pieces of luggage are lost during transfer every year. So when it comes to travelling through airports, it’s one of the most common reason for your trip being disrupted. Thankfully most items do turn up after 48 hours, but what do you do in the meantime? Well if you’ve got decent travel insurance you will be covered for buying essential items while your luggage is located.
This next example has nothing to do with the airlines, or travel companies. Its down to us. Sometimes travel plans get scuppered, delayed or interrupted due to personal or professional circumstances. A close relative might fall seriously ill, or you may have an unexpected family bereavement. Or you may have an unavoidable business emergency that prevents your travel. If you’ve purchased a travel insurance policy that includes cancellation cover, you could get your pre-paid costs back.
What if you, or your travel companion fall ill, or your medical condition changes before your trip? This happens to thousands of people every year and they don’t even get to travel on their holidays. It’s a major cause of trip cancellation.
Believe it or not tens of thousands of us fall ill and get injured during our holidays and have to cut the trip short. This is due to a multitude of reasons, accidents and injuries. You would be surprised how easy it is to break an ankle tripping up a step or on a crooked pavement, never mind the risk of a winter sports mishap. A change in food and sanitary conditions can play havoc with your system and sometimes simple pre-existing medical conditions that are well controlled at home can cause you problems when you travel. In these cases you will need medical attention locally and you may end up needing repatriation back home.
So now you have a better idea why travel insurance is so important, and why it’s always best to be well prepared for any trip. Wherever you chose to travel, read the latest official travel advice before you book a trip. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website is a great place to start.