Travel chaos: Avoid the financial fallout of cancelled holidays

Following travel chaos during the Easter and half term breaks the government and aviation regulator have written to airlines asking them to ensure they can deliver all their planned flights. If not, they have urged airlines to cancel flights earlier rather than simply cutting them at the last minute.

The move has the potential to throw many holiday plans into disarray and, for those who have not yet booked, it will no doubt raise a question mark over whether to travel overseas this summer.

For those keen to proceed with their plans, there are a few measures you can take to ensure you are not out of pocket if your flight is delayed or cancelled.

Take out travel insurance to protect against delays and cancellations

Make sure you take your travel insurance out as soon as you book your holiday. If you have booked one already, make sure you get the cover sorted as soon as possible.

This means you will be covered for any events which may disrupt your holiday in advance, such as the early cancellations which are being threatened at the moment.

Insurance has become even more valuable due to Covid. With restrictions in different countries changing all the time, there’s still a degree of uncertainty and having cover can help alleviate some of the risk surrounding this.

Greg Wilson, founder of travel insurance comparison website, Quotezone.co.uk, suggests: “If you’re a frequent traveller, multi-trip travel insurance can work out cheaper per year than a series of single-trip policies and pay it up front if you can, avoiding monthly direct debits.”

Booking a package holiday can provide additional security

Package holidays can provide additional peace of mind in these uncertain times because they offer refunds and replacements in case there are any disruptions.

Look out for holidays and/or flights which are ATOL protected as these offer the assurance your plans will have protection in case of delays or cancellations.

Greg explained according to travel association, ABTA, opting for a package holiday means you have the right to a refund or a replacement holiday should the plans be altered by a change in the situation at the holiday destination.

“Even better,” he added, “if the flight is cancelled, the travel company will either need to re-arrange the flight or offer a refund for the whole package.

He added: “Having an ATOL protected holiday means customers won’t be left stranded abroad if the tour operator or airline goes bust. The scheme can also help with reimbursements.”

A few other tips to help with holiday finances

Greg also advised you check your phone is ready to travel too – speak to your provider about roaming charges before you leave.

It’s also worth considering how you will pay once you’ve reached your destination. Experts advise against buying your foreign currency at the last minute in the airport as rates and charges can be high.

However, doing your research beforehand and finding the provider with the best exchange rate can really pay off.

Many travellers also use credit cards which are designed especially for spending abroad. They offer competitive exchange rates and some come without transaction fees.

Using a credit card means you are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for purchases over £100 which are damaged or not provided.