Airlines charging for travel insurance unfairly

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Next time you book a budget flight, you should be very careful about what is included in the fare. It’s no surprise that budget airlines throw in a number of extras to increase their profits, but now Which? has found out that many of them are doing so against current EU law.

Which? has reported that four budget airlines out of the 11 that it checked are continuing to add travel insurance as standard rather than giving customers the opportunity to ‘opt in’ to it. Customers are instead having to ‘opt out’ of travel insurance, which goes directly against the EU ruling which came into force last November and stated that airlines cannot add on extras such as travel insurance automatically.

The worst-offending airlines are Easyjet, Monarch and Jet2, which all include insurance in their fares that can cost up to £10.49. Air Berlin was also adding on cancellation insurance rather than giving customers the opportunity to add it on themselves. The fear is that passengers could be purchasing travel insurance when they don’t need it, as suggested by Lorna Cowan, the holiday editor at Which?, who said that “consumers could unwittingly buy a product which is of no use to them”.

The insurance policies on offer from most of the airlines have also been declared a poor standard. Easyjet was the only one to meet the minimum standards for Which?, but none of the airlines provided details about restrictions apart from in the small print. British Airways and Ryanair also came under criticism for the quality of their policies.


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