Wednesday, 16 December 2009

British Airways strike action could cost insurers millions

The Insurance Daily has just released news that the BA strike action could cost insurers millions- Dated 15th December 09.

Leading online travel insurer Insureandgo has warned that thousands of holidays and millions of pounds could be lost due to the recent decision of British Airways’ (BA) cabin crew to go on strike.

The strike action is due to begin on 22 December and run over Christmas itself.

Insureandgo estimates that cancelled flights cost £9.7m in 2008, with 20,000 claims per month.

Were the strikes to go ahead this would lead to a surge in cancellation claims in December.

Frustrated would-be passengers may be able to get their money back, depending upon when they booked their flight.

Most insurers will provide funds for those who booked prior to strike action being known about, and Insureandgo is covering flights booked before 4th November 2009.

The insurer’s founder, Perry Wilson, has stated that the action of BA staff will wreck the planned holidays of thousands of people and cost the travel insurance sector millions of pounds.

The BBC has reported that BA and the Unite union are to attempt talks at 3pm today, although BA is continuing its move to try and halt the strike through legal action.

Meanwhile Which the Consumer magazine and website has offered advice for consumers

Which? advice to passengers on BA strikes 14th December 2009

BA workers have voted to hold strike action between 22 December and 2 January. This will affect many people travelling this Christmas.

Rochelle Turner, Head of Research for Which? Holiday, says:

“These strikes are very bad news for anyone planning a Christmas getaway or a trip home to see relatives.

“If you were planning to fly with BA this Christmas, you should phone the airline for the latest information on the strike before you leave home to avoid a wasted trip. Passengers whose flights are cancelled should get a full refund, but that won’t compensate them for missing out on their Christmas break.”

Not all flights will be affected, and other airlines may offer to take passengers that were due to travel on BA.

Passengers who booked their flights before the strike ballot was announced on 2 November should be covered by their travel insurance; any flights booked since then are not likely to be covered by standard policies, but passengers should check with their insurance providers. Finally, anyone who booked their flight using a credit card should be able to claim back the cost under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

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