BA strikes threat - are you covered?

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Now that the spectre of strikes at British Airways is looming once again, what happens for those who are planning their trips? There is a lot of advice around for those who may be affected, so here is a rundown of the main points.

BA cabin crew will in all probability vote in favour of strike action in a ballot, following the failed Christmas strike that was called off after being ruled illegal. The vote will go ahead shortly, but Unite has already said that the strike will not be held over the busy Easter holiday period.

For those who have already bought their BA ticket and travel insurance, there should be no problem if the flight is cancelled. BA will pay for the cost of any cancelled flights, or will pay for a new flight to be rescheduled later in the year. BA will not cover other expenses such as hotels and hire cars, but these will be covered by most insurance policies that include cancellation cover.

It gets a bit more complicated for those who are still planning to buy a flight ticket. Because the threat of strikes has been made public, this could mean that cancellation cover from the travel insurance company will not be provided.

Insurers have different methods to decide upon the actual date that strike action becomes a threat. For some it simply will be the announcement that a ballot is to go ahead, whilst for others it will be after the ballot has been held. Check with your insurance company if you are unsure.

Those going on package holidays will be protected by the ATOL scheme, meaning they have little to worry about in terms of costs. However, it might be best to avoid package holidays with BA flights involved as this could still cause disruption to the trip.

If you buy your insurance before the actual ballot goes ahead, then you will generally be alright when it comes to claiming refunds from your travel insurer. If you buy insurance after the ballot has gone ahead and strike action has been confirmed, it is unlikely you will get cancellation cover.


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