First, it was Storm Ciara, and then Storm Dennis, who battered Britain with frosty temperatures, torrential rain, strong winds and even snow in some parts. The last few weeks have seen trains cancelled, flights grounded and holiday dreams shattered as a result of stormy weather – and it seems it isn’t over.
Luckily, in the aftermath of the earlier storms, Britains have an idea of what to expect, which means this is a great opportunity to set up some protective measures.
It goes without saying, but travel insurance is the best way to protect yourself in case an unexpected storm causes disarray.
In a best-case scenario, travel insurance should be bought at the time of booking your travel.
This is what Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis calls: “ASAB” or “as soon as you’ve booked.”
This is the best time to purchase insurance if you want to make the most of the package and ensure you cover all possible outcomes.
If a storm cancels your plans, and you then chose to purchase insurance, it most likely won’t be valid. However, if your insurance policy is already in place, you should be covered.
There are many ways a storm can cause disruption to planned holidays – from cancelled and delayed flights to airport closures, cancelled trains or road delays.
While airlines may be responsible for arranging new flights in some instances, in others they hold no responsibility.
The good news is if an unexpected weather front means a cancelled flight, under current EU regulations, airlines have a responsibility to offer a full refund or ensure passengers are on the next available flight.
This includes flights with rival airlines.
However, as per the CAA, airlines do not owe compensation for this as it falls under the category of an “extraordinary circumstance.”
Emma Grimster, a spokeswoman for holiday comparison website TravelSupermarket said: “If your flight is cancelled, the airline must give you the option of rebooking an alternative flight, or if there are no suitable flights you can request a refund.”
If you are delayed by two hours or more, airlines may also have to provide passengers with food or accommodation where appropriate.
“However, as weather conditions are out of the control of the airlines, they will not be liable for the cost of your onwards accommodation or any other arrangements you have booked ahead. Be aware of what your travel insurance policy offers in terms of assistance to claim back any costs incurred,” she adds.