When you have planned your travel meticulously it can be frustrating when it goes wrong. Lists for packing have ensured every contingency in your suitcase. Come rain or shine, heat or chill, you have catered for it all. You have your sunscreen and your chap stick. You have a detailed map of the route to the airport, with backup routes just in case. Your tickets and passports are organised and ready to be presented. You are even wearing your comfy queuing shoes!
It seems we have become accustomed to long waits, queuing and delays at the airport. But why should it be acceptable to us now? We have never had to pay more for our plane tickets, with the cost of fuel still so high. Taxes hurt us rather badly too. For security reasons, we have to go through multiple checks and have the contents of our baggage and bodily cavities scrutinised rather publicly. Do we really have to wait three hours for ‘technical’ hitches before we can board the plane?
Most of us would argue there is nothing we can do. We need to be safe in the air, so the plane needs these extra checks before takeoff. But that three-hour delay can mean we miss our connecting flight, leaving us stranded at the next airport for several more hours. It could be a long time before we can have a proper meal, a shower and a comfortable place to sleep. Why do we accept these excuses when the delays can ruin the start of our holiday?
When things go wrong, you can sometimes be assisted by the company that supplied your travel insurance policy. Changes in EU law in October 2014 means that delays over three hours must be compensated by the airline direct. Technical issues are not exempt from this ruling according to http://www.michaellewin.co.uk/technical-faults-no-longer-loophole-airlines/. If you have been subject to a long delay before boarding your flight seek compensation.
Travel insurance does not often cover you for things that are part of EU law, but be sure to understand what it does cover. Usually, travel insurance is there to help you cover the cost of emergency medical expenses should you become hurt or ill while travelling. Some insurers make sure your costs to get home are paid out immediately if things go wrong. If you need medical attention in the EU and you are from the UK, you will not be covered in some cases because you can apply for an EHIC card to cover you.
If you do find things are going wrong, record what you can with video or photos. Even just writing down events and conversations can be useful for the insurance company. Call them straight away and let them know things are not going well. Have a photocopy of your full policy details with you so you can see what you are and what you are not covered for. Don’t be afraid to complain and ask for compensation directly from the airline if they have let you down.