Over seven million Brits have suffered travel disruption in the last 18 months

Friday 29, July 2011


Over seven million Brits have suffered travel disruption in the last 18 months


Since beginning of 2010 one in seven Brits have had their travel disrupted by problems including ash clouds, industrial action and political unrest.


Over seven million Britons (15% of adults) have had a holiday disrupted by problems including ash clouds, industrial action and political unrest overseas in the past 18 months, according to new research(1) from Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance. The findings reveal that these people have collectively suffered over 18 million disrupted days of holiday, costing holidaymakers £2.1 billion.


The past 18 months has seen a wide range of travel disruption, caused by issues including airspace closures due to volcanic eruptions, airline staff strikes in the UK and other European countries and flights cancelled to countries such as Egypt and Tunisia due to political unrest.


Scott Gorman, Sainsbury's Travel Insurance Manager, commented: “Despite the scale of disruption faced by UK travellers, many still don't appreciate how to deal with the issue when it arises. We are urging holidaymakers to ensure they know how to protect themselves from financial loss and what they should do if they suffer such a disruption."


The supermarket bank's research reveals that around 1.9 million adults (4%) have had a flight delayed or cancelled as a result of ash cloud issues since the start of 2010, and over 800,000 (2%) have suffered as a result of industrial action. Almost half a million people (451,000 or 1% of adults) had their holiday delayed, cancelled, or cut short as a result of political unrest in the country where they were on holiday or intending to go on holiday.


Some 2.3 million people (5%) have had a flight delayed or cancelled as a result of bad weather in the past 18 months and around 3.6 million (8%) have had a flight delayed or cancelled as a result of a technical or mechanical failure on their plane, train, coach or car.


Victims suffered an average of two and half days of disruption to their holidays, costing on average £293 each. However, almost one in ten of those whose holiday was disrupted (798,000 or 11% of adults) was affected for a week or more and some have incurred costs of over £5,000 due to the disruption.


Worryingly, nearly one in three of those who suffered a travel disruption, nearly 2.3 million people (31%), say they didn’t have travel insurance for their holiday.


Scott Gorman continues: “Travellers have had a tough time over the past year and a half with travel delays and cancellations and many victims have found it difficult to get reimbursement for their costs and are confused about who they should approach if they do suffer from travel disruption.


“If a flight is delayed or cancelled your airline should always be your first port of call to arrange an alternative or a refund, followed by your tour operator if you have one. However, travel insurance can offer another useful source of reimbursement for costs incurred if you shop around for policies that offer a good level of cover.”


The research reveals that those in London have been the worst affected, with one in five Londoners (21%) having suffered a travel disruption since the start of 2010. Scottish holidaymakers were next worst affected, with 20 per cent of them having suffered a travel disruption. The survey found that holidaymakers from Scotland were by far the most likely to have been affected by the ash clouds – 8 per cent of those surveyed in Scotland reported disruptions caused by ash clouds, double the figure for the UK as a whole.



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