Travel questions

Insurance, industrial action and overbooked flights

Got a question? Our expert, Simon Calder, can help

Monday 15 July 2019 14:35
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Hold off booking flights to New York until days before travelling so you can assess the weather and likelihood of cancellation
Hold off booking flights to New York until days before travelling so you can assess the weather and likelihood of cancellation

Q Can you help me with an non-standard travel insurance query? I am going to New York next month for a personal celebration. I was planning to go with British Airways. Their flexible/refundable ticket is about £2,300, which is a bit much, so I will probably book a £600 non-refundable ticket as late as I can. In the unlikely case the event is cancelled for reasons beyond my control (eg weather or technical problems) after I have booked the non-refundable ticket, is there any insurance which will cover me? I have heard in the US they have something called “any reason cancellation insurance” but it doesn’t seem to be available in the UK. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Mark W

A First, I need your help if you can source August flights between London and New York on British Airways for £600. The best deal I can find is almost £700 return, and that is from Gatwick rather than Heathrow. Hand-baggage only, too, but with BA that should not be a problem with an allowance of 46kg. Cheaper deals are available on Norwegian from Gatwick, close to that £600 figure – but without a significant luggage allowance, and neither free inflight meals nor drinks. Any reason cancellation insurance has been offered intermittently and, as far as I can tell, unprofitably in the UK.

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