Claim for flight delay – the other side of the coin

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  • DavidSmith2

    We had the misfortune to have to fly with Ryanair today (Gran Canaria-London). But to be fair it wasn’t too bad all in all.

    The flight was around an hour late arriving and around 1 hour 45 late departing. we ended up around 1 and a half hours late back at Stansted. This was explained by the breakdown in the French Air traffic control system which sounded quite plausible.

    But as soon as the pilot announced that we would be held for an hour on the tarmac at Las Palmas, waiting for a slot, a lady came to the front and complained, very loudly, to the Head Stewardess, that she had booked a non-changeable rail ticket for 6.30pm that day and she would now miss her train and demanded what Ryanair were going to do about it.

    As she was demanding they cover the cost of a re-booking of a train ticket I thought:

    a) the delay is going to be under 2 hours
    b) the delay is not the responsibility of Ryanair
    c) the claim is outside the obligation to reimburse anyway
    d) this is Ryanair

    I don’t hold out much hope she will get any satisfaction from the Ryanair Customs Care Department but it did make me think that some people think they can claim for anything nowadays.


    Exactly….airlines are not responsible for consequential loss matters like train tickets. A job for her travel insurance.


    A job for her travel insurance

    Simon, I agree with your comment, however in practical terms, travel insurance generally fails the consumer. Perils falling under the category of ‘consequential loss’ are generally not covered in full (or at all) by travel insurance. As we have seen over the past couple of weeks, travel disruption and cancellation, can still leave passengers out of pocket. Last year, I paid for 2 tickets on my Amex card, could not travel due to medical reasons, yet only 1 ticket was refunded (small print).

    Below is comments from my General Insurance broker (a medium sized brokerage) when I wrote to him about my recent cancellation by CX.

    “I have a huge dislike of travel Insurance polices and travel Insurers! They are generally very low premium policies and suffer a high volume of claims and it is also a painful process claiming for your loss! Personally the only areas of cover where I believe is most critical is emergency medical expenses and cancellation as these are likely to be substantial claims. All other sections are fairly low cost claims in comparison.

    My view are the best travel insurance policies are Chubb, Hiscox and Zurich Private Clients as a bolt on to their household insurance policies. I recently changed to Hiscox and paying an additional £750 per annum for the privilege but because their stance on household and travel claims is a lot more generous it naturally comes at a cost. Unlike other household Insurers, these 3 companies underwrite their own travel policies and consequently provide a high net worth travel claims service in the event if a claim. I have just checked the Hiscox wording and they have a limit of £1,000 for this nature of incident.

    However as I state the above is an expensive option and based on your scenario you are still quids in! Whilst I am not a travel insurance specialist, my understanding is the AMEX policy stacks up well against other specific travel insurance policies and you are unlikely to find a much better product in the market as a standalone product.”

    Note, even he mentions ‘cancellation’ as an important loss/peril – yet why are so many of us ‘professional travellers’ being left out of pocket?

    Most travel insurance adverts and journalistic articles detail

    ** insurance company name
    ** premium (always bought on premium)

    that’s it………..

    Very little mention of whether the consumer is buying an individual policy (in which case the policy will usually be FCA regulated) or a free gift (i.e. a member of a group scheme, from banks and credit cards i.e., you have not purchased, your own policy, with FOS… Ombudsman referral rights).

    Even more worrying is when the insurer uses their own in house claims department rather than using an independent claims company. This effectively means the insurer makes the rules for what is covered and then self interpret their own wording for a claim.

    I would find an article about travel insurance in the main magazine very interesting as long as it goes into detail about the cover being underwritten.

    Finally to TOH – I hope you manage to have a decent holiday and not left too much out of pocket.


    I was on a flight once when there was an announcement from the flight deck that due to ATC delays we were being held on the ground for about an hour, and would be kept updated and so on. A couple a few rows from me demanded to speak to the Captain and wanted an assurance that the airline would pay for their extra parking fees at the airport. They were not only demanding but arrogant and abusive and came within a cat’s whisker of being thrown off.

    Some people just shouldn’t be allowed out of the playground.

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    Good shout about an article in the magazine, and maybe some recommended policies.

    The challenge of course is that insurance is generally bought on price, and few people bother to check the detail of the policy before buying. Cheap is not always effective, for example I wouldn’t buy a Kia and then complain that it didn’t perform like a BMW. Also in relation to the OP, well the world exists in people using a bit of common sense. Minor delays are part of travel, if someone is foolish enough to book a train ticket that allows no room for manouevre (1.5 hours late arriving, really…..) then penny wise, pound foolish. I have known delays like that on baggage collection, passport control and many other things.

    To be honest I think your broker is talking b/s. I would take the opposite view, that General Insurance brokers sell so many things these days that they aren’t experts in anything. You can find good policies that don’t cost a packet – I always used John Lewis – I have made a couple of claims in the last three years and the money was always in my account within a week, without even filling out a claim form. Sadly they have just sent me notice that they are withdrawing from the market this year.


    +1 for suggestion of an article about insurance in BT.

    I have always had an expensive annual multi-trip policy covering the 3 of us, although our son recently came off it as he is now independent, lives in another country, and earns a decent salary. I convinced him to take his own multi-trip annual policy.

    I do not believe in ‘cheap’ insurance, it’s the same as a ‘cheap’ lawyer or accountant, it is going to cost you far more than an expensive one in the long run. There is an Afrikaans (same in Dutch I suppose) saying : ‘Goedkoop is Duurkoop’ which literally means ‘a cheap buy is an expensive buy.’ I am sometimes asked if I can recommend a ‘cheap’ lawyer or accountant, to wihhc my answer is that I know one, but under no circumstance would I recommend one.

    I am interested in others’ experiences, or views on, credit card insurance. All my credit cards offer some sort of insurance, I don’t have any fancy cards such as Amex Gold, NatWest Black, etc, just the basic bank ones, from about banks in 4 countries. The policies seem to be so riven with limits and exclusions that I have never felt like trusting them, for which reason I have elected for an annual multi-trip for peace of mind.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    I was not aware STN Express sold fixed tickets.


    I was not aware STN Express sold fixed tickets.

    Why do you believe she was travelling on STN Express?


    Booking a fixed train ticket after a flight is utter non sense unless the journey starts many hours after the flight’s landing. So I don’t see anyone ready to pay for the attempt of saving from that passenger. This is for the initial case.

    Now on travel insurances. I thing we should disentangle those policies sold with a package or a credit card from the others, contracted directly on an annual basis. I would put more hope in the latter. Now I don’t know the insurance business in the UK. In Switzerland, companies then to be fair when a client claim. And personally I never had a problem with a travel insurance here. But may-be this is specific to Switzerland.

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