Passengers urged to buy flight 'delay cover' for Leeds Bradford Airport flights after UK e
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Passengers urged to buy flight 'delay cover' for Leeds Bradford Airport flights after UK e

May 11, 2023

A 24-hour outage caused over 270 passport e-gates to crash across major UK airports recently

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Holiday goers are being urged to get "delay cover" after e-gates crashed at Leeds Bradford Airport and many other major airports across the UK.

Over the last Bank Holiday weekend (May 27 to May 29) people travelling were left in "chaos". There was 24-hour outrage when 270 passport e-gates stopped working across a number of UK airports.

This left travellers having to wait for manual passport checks on the busiest day for UK air travel since 2019, and has sparked fears that security staff will head on strike this summer. The delays occurred just days after thousands of people were unsure whether their holiday would go ahead at all, with British Airways cancelling flights last week due to an IT failure.

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While many people will decide to go for a fast track pass to avoid the queues and stress, it will not protect them against similar passport security failures, or flight cancellations.

Although all airlines are obligated to refund travellers’ air passenger duty for missed flights, many people end up ignoring the offer, as most providers charge a processing fee that's higher than the actual refund amount - leaving holidaymakers out of pocket. Even those that do offer refunds due to delays only provide a set payment amount over a certain time, such as £50 for every hour over 12 hours.

David Parker, Divisional Director at A-Plan Insurance, stresses the importance of protecting yourself against airport delays before going abroad. He said: "It's never been more important to consider all eventualities when taking out travel insurance, as airport strikes are becoming a common occurrence, and unpredictable IT outages - like we’ve seen this weekend - mean travellers end up missing their flights.

"Sadly, your airline isn't liable to offer a refund or alternative flight if you end up missing your plane due to airport security or border control delays, so it's up to you to protect yourself."

David added: "You never know when delays will impact your travel plans, and so it's crucial that you take out a policy that accounts for strike action, IT failures and similar unexpected events. One in 20 policies don't offer cover if you miss your departure due to queues or strikes, so don't presume it's covered by every insurance provider.

"This is also why it's important to purchase your travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your flights - rather than leaving it to the last minute - as this means you’re covered against strike action and uncontrollable delays well before you even get to the airport."

Organise cover as early as possible

Compare different deals and providers

Avoid paying for unnecessary extras

Check whether you’re already covered.

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