Insurance and Risk - Further Information on Claims
Cold Weather Travel Disruptions
Flights have been disrupted by the weather at a number of UK airports causing frustration for many air passengers. Many have been told to stay away from airports until their flight is confirmed.
Passengers with a ticket have a contract with the airline to get them from A to B. So that means the airline must try to re-route the journey - even if that means a bus or taxi transfer to another airport for a flight with a different operator.
Alternatively, passengers can choose to have a refund. The Air Transport Users Council says that airlines are usually quite swift to give refunds.
If a flight is delayed, there are strict European rules in place, which mean that the airline is obliged to supply meals and refreshments, along with accommodation if an overnight stay is required.
Whether passengers qualify will depend on the length of the flight and the delay.
For example, for flights of 1,500km or less where there is a delay of more than two hours, a passenger should be given meals and refreshments, along with two free telephone calls, e-mails, telexes or faxes. For longer flights, this right kicks in after three (for journeys of between 1,500km and 3,500 km) or four hours (more than 3,500km).
If the delay is for five hours or more, passengers are also entitled to a refund of their ticket with a free flight back to their initial point of departure if this is relevant.
People flying into the European Union from overseas are also covered by the rules, as long as they are travelling on a European airline. So are those on a non-EU carrier leaving from an EU airport. They also apply to passengers who have two single tickets.
Passengers making their own way home, if stranded overseas, can claim "reasonable" expenses when they return. However, if their original flight operates as planned they may not be able to get their money back.
However, owing to the fact that cancellations are beyond airlines' control, there is no automatic right to any extra compensation.
Air Transport Users Council: www.auc.org.uk/default.aspx?catid=306&pagetype=68&gid=355
Foreign & Commonwealth Office: www.fco.gov.uk/en/
Travel Insurance Claims
Staff who were on University business and who were affected by the travel disruption should, in the first instance, attempt to recover relevant expenses from the carriers.
However, if you were not travelling with a European carrier or have been unsuccessful in claiming costs from the carrier, then you should contact the Insurance Section for a travel claim form.
In all cases, staff must provide appropriate receipts to support costs incurred – claims will not be considered by the insurer without such documentation.
Staff should also note that claims to the insurer for additional costs incurred will need to be offset in the first instance by any expenditure (e.g. flight costs) recovered from the airline carrier.
The Insurance Section will do its best to obtain settlement of each claim submitted to the University’s travel insurer.