How travel insurance covers an airport strike is specific to the damage done to the traveler’s travel plans. Whether it’s the airline workers, the airport workers – even the transportation workers – who are striking, the loss is specific to the effect it has on the insured traveler.
In many cases, when airport workers strike there is enough advanced warning to get temporary workers as replacements and keep the airport strike from impacting paying customers too much.
If the strike affects travelers, however, travel insurance covers airport strikes like this:
Not all travel insurance plans include coverage for airport strikes. In fact, it’s may be listed specifically as an exclusion, so you must verify the plan before you can count on having coverage for strikes that disrupt your travel plans.
Most travel insurance plans define a strike as an “event that results in the complete cessation of travel services at the point of departure or at the destination.” This means that there must be no alternative travel services open to the traveler.
The travel insurance plans that do include coverage for strikes require that the travel insurance plan be purchased before the strike is announced. That means you cannot buy your travel insurance plan and expect to have coverage for striking airport workers after the strike is announced (that’s like trying to get homeowner’s insurance when your house is already on fire!).
Travel insurance plans with coverage for airport strikes often include worldwide assistance that helps a traveler keep up-to-date on airport strike information too.
While the traveler’s trip may not go as smoothly as it might have if the airport workers weren’t striking, if the traveler arrives within a defined number of hours from their scheduled departure, then there’s no claim on your travel insurance.
If, however, flights are completely shut down or the strike means the traveler cannot get on their flight, then travel insurance benefits will help the stranded traveler recuperate their losses.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.