29th August 2008

(Aldershot, UK) The travel insurance comparison website travelinsuranceguide.org.uk is issuing a warning to travellers to check the small print of their travel insurance policy after thousands of passengers have been left stranded and out of pocket by closing airlines.

The latest airline forced into closure by the gloomy economic climate and high oil prices is Zoom, a Scottish and Canadian budget airline, which ceased trading yesterday (28.08.08). Passengers were left stranded in Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast, and 60,000 people had made forward bookings with Zoom. A further 4,500 UK passengers are currently abroad and expecting to fly back with Zoom.

At least 4 other budget long-haul carriers have gone into administration this year. During April this year 4 US airlines went bust in one week alone.

Travel Insurance Guide is advising all travellers to make sure they get a travel insurance policy which covers airline insolvency. The majority of providers don't protect against airlines going bust, but in an increasingly difficult period for airlines, passengers who don't get comprehensive cover run the risk of getting stuck abroad or having to shell out premium prices for additional flights.

When small airlines go bust passengers who book directly online are most at risk. Flights booked through travel agents are usually covered by the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA's) Air Travel Organisers Licensing scheme (ATOL). Those who book online with credit or debit cards may be able to recoup some of the costs back from their bank, but the only way to make sure you are not caught out is to get comprehensive a travel insurance policy.

Brian Wright, Managing Director of Karma Insurance, one of the few companies to protect against airline insolvency told Travel Insurance Guide: “We introduced complete traveller protection to protect people booking travel online, because they aren't covered by the ATOL protection you get when booking through a travel agent. We've recently paid for flights home for one of our customers when he was stranded in Hong Kong after Oasis airlines went bust.”

"With oil prices widely expected to spike again it's likely to get even more difficult for low cost airlines to stay afloat. There are travel insurance policies which cover airline insolvency but they are few and far between. Although comparing prices online can net you great deals, you may find that when you really need help your policy won't cover you. That's why we rate providers on best price and best cover." ~ Brendan McLoughlin, Founder, travelinsuranceguide.org.uk

Notes to editors

travelinsuranceguide.org.uk is the only free, impartial comparison travel insurance website. The site compares 1680 policies from the 70 top insurance providers to find the cheapest and best cover.

Please refer to the site in copy as 'travelinsuranceguide.org.uk' in copy, and link to us in online articles.

travelinsuranceguide.org.uk is one of 100 money-saving websites from Fubra. Check out our other popular sites - www.PetrolPrices.com,www.OurProperty.co.uk and www.HousePriceCrash.co.uk.

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Louise Doherty

Spokesperson
travelinsurance.org.uk

e: louise@travelinsuranceguide.org.uk
w: www.travelinsuranceguide.org.uk
p: 01252 367208
m: 07525264999