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Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

Worthing, United...
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Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

Hi,

I'm trying to help a friend out who has a travel insurance policy with his bank and is being passed around from pillar to post.

He was caught up at Heathrow on 18/12/2010 due to the snow chaos, and his flight from LHR to BKK was cancelled. EVA Air staff basically disappeared and the outbound flight to BKK, never turned up, infact I think it landed in Germany, before turning back.

After many calls and being stranded for days, EVA could not put him on a flight until 1st Jan and he subsequently decided to pay extra and get a Air France flight from LHR to BKK on Xmas day, being the next available, rather than cancel his holiday.

He is getting a refund for the air fare by EVA, albeit it will take many weeks to process, however his insurance will not pay out for delay, expenses and hotel stating " The airport needs to be shut for at least 24 hours" before they will consider a claim. I've never heard of that excuse before. I haven't read his travel policy, but usually they cover for at least a delay ?

Any advice would be welcome, in particular, who would actually take responsibility with this type of scenario. Thanks in advance

Scotland
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1. Re: Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

Best advice is to read the policy - every policy is different, sometimes radically so. Then if you have a case, refer to the specific clause.

Edited: 14 January 2011, 10:53
Dubai, United Arab...
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2. Re: Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

It will be impossible to predict the terms and conditions of the policy, there are thousands of different companies offering a massive amount of products.

The airline should pay out for reasonable expenses as a result of the cancellation or delay in the flight.

Lancashire, United...
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for Playa Blanca
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3. Re: Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

You need to read the policy fine print. As he cancelled his outbound with Eva, the airline do not have to cover any expenses.

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

Tough situation but kudos to EVA.

Worthing, United...
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5. Re: Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

Thanks for your replies. Yes, it seems a bit of a merry go round of who can look into it as insurance is saying to speak to the Airline, with BAA the airport authorities appearing to be walking away from it all, but hopefully the policy will sort him out.(or not !)

Cheers,

London, United...
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for Cavelossim
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6. Re: Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

I was also caught out at Heathrow and spent a particularly miserable 28 hours there! I decided to cancel the flight (still waiting on the refund from SOuthall travel, bit that's another story) and my insurance company said that they would cover any consequential losses as a result of cancelling.

In fact, I rebooked to fly out from Gatwick a week later and did not lose out on the expensive week booked at the destination from 26 December.

As to the additional money I had to spend at the airport, I am just putting that down to experience. I don't think it would be appropriate for my insurance company to reimburse me for 2 bottles of wine from M&S towards our little overnight picnic as we settled down to spend a night on the cold floor of Terminal 3's arrivals hall after we got kicked out of the departure lounge! There were no hotels available to book and no taxis to get back home, so no expense there either.

I shall have a go at claiming back for the additional cost I was put to in reaching Gatwick and having to stay there overnight on Xmas Eve as there was no public transport to reach Gatwick on Xmas Day,also the cost of train travel to Gatwick. I have also got a receipt from my cab company confirming that I had paid £55 to get to Heathrow for my original flght, more to show that I had already shelled out to get to an airport once and the additional cost of Gatwick was an expense that I was only put to because of the Hathrow debacle.

I am lucky to have a very good insurance policy, but, like everyone ls has said here, your pal needs to read his individual insurance policy very carefully. It is a good idea to read insurance policies beforehand to get an idea of the exclusions anyway.

The weather was exceptional and Heathrow handled the situation very poorly in my opinion. However, your frend seems to have been quite lucky to have found himself a hotel in the Heathrow area which I am sure must have been very costly - really, he should have checked beforehand with his insuranc company to see whether they would bear the cost. Later is not the time to do the finding out ....

Dundee, United...
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7. Re: Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

You know, you can read the policy and the small print over and over and think you understand what you will be reimbursed for and not, but the companies bend it to suit as the terms are so open to many interpretations. If you are getting nowhere contact the insurance ombudsman and refer it to them.

Pontyclun, United...
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8. Re: Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

Hi, my husband and I were due to fly to Dubai on 19th December for Christmas & New Year but unfortunately like so many others our holiday was cancelled. Virgin told us we would get our refund by the Friday 24th December and in all fairness the deposit was back in my husbands bank account on the 24th. Its the remainder of the cost of the holiday we are waiting for, which we paid by bank transfer. After many, many calls to Virgin, we were told that a cheque was posted 23rd December, first class post. This has not arrived. January 5th we received a cancellation invoice from Virgin dated 22nd December but no cheque. Monday 10th January telephoned Virgin again and they have told us that they have cancelled the first cheque and issued another one. We are still waiting. What do we do next? Are we getting phobed off? Are other travellers experiencing the same problems with Virgin?

I look forward to your views!

Lancashire, United...
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9. Re: Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

I know nothing about Virgin refunds but I received 3 Christmas cards the other day all post marked 23 December. I think the post is a bit iffy.

Pontyclun, United...
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10. Re: Xmas Travel Chaos, Insurance will not pay out - Advice Pls

I agree with you about the post being a bit iffy but I received the cancellation invoice from them on 5th January so you would think the cheque should be there or thereabouts. I have never used Virgin before and we paid our balance by bank transfer, something I would not do again, this is why we have to receive the refund by cheque, apparently. In this day and age of technology I do not know why the money could not be transferred back into my bank account. I am a tad frustrated!