Nearly half of travel insurance policies do not cover customers for strikes by airport or airline staff, the firm’s latest research reveals

Four in ten travel insurance policies do not cover insureds for strikes by airport or airline staff, which could leave clients unprotected amid airline complications, according to the latest consumer research by Which?

Which? assessed 199 policies offered by 71 providers during May 2022 and rated them dependent on the level of protection offered in 61 key areas for its annual review of travel insurance.

Of the 199 policies analysed, Which? discovered that 78 policies do not offer any protection if a traveller has to cancel a trip due to strike action – compared to 120 that do offer cover.

One provider, meanwhile, offered cover as an optional extra.

For those providers who did offer protection in the case of cancellation due to serious delays or disruption to transport – the average claim limit sits at £4110.22, with some insurers offering up to £15,000.

Research into Covid cover also revealed disparities – of the 199 policies Which? examined, fewer than one in ten offered complete protection in the event of a holiday being disrupted by the virus.

Planned disruption

Strike action is a very real threat to insureds looking to head on holiday – Ryanair staff, for example, are planning to strike for better pay and working conditions over 12 days in July – starting tomorrow  (12 July 2022).

“With many airlines warning of widespread disruption this summer and Covid cases on the rise, travellers should ensure they’ve taken out adequate insurance to cover any losses or unexpected costs they might face,” said Which? money editor Jenny Ross.

The July strike builds on action by the airline’s French crew in June, which led to 40 Ryanair flights being cancelled – this was followed by walkouts in Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Italy.

EasyJet’s cabin crew in Spain will also be conducting an additional two 72-hour walkouts this month – building on a first walkout that took place between July 1-3 2022.

Around 450 members of staff based in Barcelona, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca will take part. The members are represented by the Spanish union USO.

A dispute that threatened to cause strikes among check-in staff at Heathrow airport, however, has been resolved with a restoration of the 10% pay cut introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic.