Air space closure

The closure of airspace can seriously disrupt your travel plans, but you may still be covered under Saga Travel Insurance. Find out below what to do, if your travel arrangements don’t quite go to plan.

Booked already

If the relevant airspace was open when you booked a holiday and took out travel insurance, your cover is valid if that airspace is then closed for 24 hours or more.

But if you’re going somewhere that was impacted by an event, such as an ash cloud, at the time of booking – you aren’t covered if the airspace is still closed at the time of travelling as this is classed as a ‘known event’. If it’s closed at the time of booking and opened again before you travel, cover is valid if it’s then closed again, as this kind of closure is considered a ‘separate event’.

Stranded abroad

If you have Saga Travel Insurance and get stuck in a foreign country, unable to return home straight away, we will automatically extend your cover by up to 14 days. In these circumstances your personal possessions are still protected and you’re covered for both ongoing medication and emergency medical treatment.

If your flight’s been cancelled and you have booked through a tour operator or EU airline, you should contact them to make alternative arrangements. Under EU legislation, passengers are entitled to assistance including reasonable meals and overnight accommodation. It’s a good idea to keep receipts for any additional expenses. If you are booked on a non-EU airline, the same regulations apply from EU airports. But if the airport is outside the EU, flights aren’t covered and passenger rights vary from airline to airline. We recommend you contact your airline for accurate information.

If you have booked a non-package holiday independently, and are unable to recover costs when stranded, with Saga Travel Insurance you can receive £100 for each 24 hours that you’re unable to return home up to a maximum of £1,500. Alternatively, we will pay up to £1,000 if, after a period of 24 hours or more, you have to make alternative arrangements to get home.

Flying from the UK

If your flight is affected by an event that means airspace is closed for 24 hours or more, we recommend you contact your airline to confirm your original flight time. If the flight’s been cancelled, the airline will either issue a refund or arrange another.

For those making their own travel arrangements, Saga Travel Insurance will provide up to £10,000 cover for any unused, pre-paid accommodation, car hire or travel arrangements, if you can’t get a refund. To make a claim you’ll need proof of pre-paid costs, along with correspondence from the airline confirming the cancellation of the flight. Flights aren’t considered ‘irrecoverable costs’ because the airline has ultimate responsibility, so you will need to claim from your airline if it has been cancelled.

Flight cancellations force a change of holiday plans

If your airline or tour operator changes your travel dates and you are covered by a Saga single trip policy, as long as you don’t claim on your policy we will change it to cover the new trip, if:

  • The previous travel dates haven’t passed
  • The new return date isn’t more than 12 months from the policy’s start date
  • The destination and trip duration are the same.

If you fall outside these guidelines, your policy can be amended and the resulting difference in premium paid.

Delayed flight after check-in

If you’re delayed after checking in, with Saga Travel Insurance you’ll be entitled to £35 for the first 12-hour period and £15 for each 12-hour period after that, up to a total of £215 per person insured. If you wish to make a claim for delayed departure you must submit proof of check in.

Further advice and up-to-date information

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website has the latest information about alternative travel options, passenger rights and contact details for its embassies overseas.

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Volcanic ash and air space closure