There are few people (apart from those who can afford to travel first class!) who can claim to really enjoy the process of travelling by air. Airports are crowded, there are inevitable queues, waits and delays, and flying itself has none of the romance or glamour of a long train ride or a road trip. Yet if you don t get at least cheap travel insurance, your experience of air travel could go from it being a chore to a catastrophe.
Most people think of their travel insurance as being for protection whilst they are at their destination rather than before they even arrive, but the airline industry is finding itself in an increasingly precarious position. Aggressive price cutting, rising running costs and falling demand has proved to be a deadly combination. There have been some notable collapses of budget airline operators (most famously XL), and even the big companies are feeling the pinch, with BA posting a record loss of almost £300 million in six months in 2009.
If you skip out on even cheap travel insurance, you could face one of these airline related disasters…
As airlines face cut backs, staff get unhappy. Loss of profits typically means redundancies and pay freezes, and these can lead to strikes and staff walkouts. BA has already experienced its share of employee unrest, with plenty more expected during the crucial Christmas break. Some strikes are planned weeks or months in advance, giving you a chance to amend your travel plans, but wildcat strikes happen with no warning, and can seriously leave you in the lurch.
If the staff strike and your flight is delayed or cancelled, you ll face some impressive costs unless you ve got some cheap travel insurance to cover things.
Everyone has heard horror stories of luggage going missing, and while the chances of this happening are relatively rare, decreasing numbers of staff at airports mean that mistakes are more likely to happen. Considering the kind of valuables that people are increasingly travelling with, such as laptops and digital cameras, it simply isn t worth the chance of facing yet another Terminal 5 style luggage debacle. Travel insurance will reimburse you if you lose your luggage and given how valuable most luggage is, it s a price well worth paying!
Few people think about the flight home as a time when problems are likely to arise…but what if the flight no longer exists? As the collapse of XL showed, airlines can go under with very little warning. If your airline suddenly goes bust, your flight home will disappear with it…and if you don t have travel insurance, you ll have to foot the bill for replacement tickets yourself.
Travel insurance should always be an essential purchase for any holiday, but with the airline industry as whole in such dire straights, it simply doesn t pay to go uninsured. Cheap travel insurance is widely available online at impressively low prices, and it offers good levels of protection against lost luggage, flights that are delayed or cancelled, and even airline collapses