Travellers who have already purchased travel insurance will be covered if they have a flight booked with British Airways which gets cancelled due to the strikes, confused.com has said.
Whether heading to see family for Christmas, or taking a winter break abroad, as many as one million BA customers stand to be affected by cancelled flights this Christmas, after it was announced that cabin crew are likely to be striking between 22 December and 2 January.
If the British Airways employees' demands are not met
– and recent talks between BA and the union Unite have failed – then thousands of flights will be grounded over the 12 day period.
British Airways has told those customers affected – including those with flights booked 48 hours either side of the planned strike dates – that they can rebook their flights at no extra cost for a different date.
Those who took out travel insurance before it became known that the flights were liable to be cancelled, will be protected by their policy for the cost of the flight, according to travel insurance expert Steve Williams.
Commenting on the scheduled strikes, Mr Williams, head of travel insurance at comparison website Confused.com, said: "The decision to strike during one of the busiest months of the year will ensure a miserable time for customers wishing to spend Christmas away from home."
Regarding protection provided by travel insurance in such circumstances, he added: "For those who are affected, comprehensive travel insurance will cover you, so long as the policy was purchased prior to any knowledge of this action happening."
But it will not help those who buy it afterwards, Mr Williams warned, because "Insurance is not there to protect customers after the horse has bolted, but instead is there to compensate travellers in the event of unforeseen circumstances."
Travellers should check with their travel insurance provider to find out what cover they have in cases of strike action affecting their booking, he continued, adding:
"Industrial strikes and the disruption caused to holidays, goes to show how important it is to insure a holiday as soon as it is booked. Those booking a holiday in the New Year should purchase a policy as soon as they are aware of the dates of travel. This will safeguard any financial loss as a result of strikes from major airline carriers."
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