By Vicky Anscombe and Aimee Anderson on 10 July 2019

Barring illness abroad or losing their passport, a traveller’s worst nightmare is arriving at the airport and seeing signs saying 'Delayed' or, even worse, 'Cancelled'. Not great at any time, but potentially horrendous if you're facing endless hours in a sweaty, overcrowded airport this summer.

Here's what you need to know to get help fast:

Speak to your airline right away

Your flights may be covered under the EU’s Air Passenger Rights regulations – entitling you to a replacement flight, reimbursement and in some cases compensation.  This depends on where you’re flying from and to, and with which airline.  Check here for more details – you should be able to apply if:

  • Your flight is within the EU and is operated either by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • Your flight arrives in the EU from outside the EU and is operated by an EU airline
  • Your flight departs from the EU to a non-EU country operated by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • You have not already received benefits (compensation, re-routing, assistance from the airline) for flight related problems for this journey under the relevant law of a non-EU

Check your travel insurance

If you've bought your policy with us, here's how we'll cover you.

If your departure on a journey is delayed for more than 12 hours, you’ll be covered to claim up to the amounts specified on your policy schedule if the delay is caused by one of the following:

  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Mechanical breakdown of the aircraft, coach, train or sea vessel
  • Vehicle breakdown
  • An unforeseen strike, industrial action or security alert (please check your policy for the full details)

If you've bought one of our Silver or Gold policies, you also get cover for missing a connecting flight. So if you are delayed for more than three hours on your outward or return journey and miss a connecting flight as a result, then we will provide cover to help get you to your booked destination.

We also offer free lounge access if your flight's delayed by over one hour. You, and up to four fellow travellers, can grab a bite to eat and relax while you wait - but don't forget that you have to register before you leave.

Follow the link in your policy confirmation email to register your flight and the details of up to four people you’re travelling with, up to 24 hours before you’re scheduled to depart. That way, if you are delayed, we can send you an SMS and an email with a voucher for lounge access.

If you decide to abandon your journey after 24 hours or more of delays, that's covered too. You can claim under the Cancellation section of your policy, subject to the policy excess.

If you don’t make it to the airport in time to catch your flight - due to issues with public transport, if your vehicle is involved in an accident or suffers mechanical breakdown or you’re delayed by a major incident on a motorway - then we will also help get you to your booked destination.

Full details of the cover can be found in the policy but it's worth bearing in mind that we’ll need information to support any claim. For example, if your flight is delayed, we’ll need confirmation from the airline or a roadside assistance report if you have an accident on the way.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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