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With Airline Strikes on the Horizon, Travel Insurance Can Help

As more airlines and airport service providers are walking off the job around the world due to labor issues, the potential for travel disruption is a real concern for travelers.

Two labor unions have authorized or are actively on strike. Delta Air Lines pilots authorized a strike in October 2022 while rail workers in Britain are conducting nationwide strikes in January 2023. Employees at American Airlines and United Airlines are currently holding informational pickets during travel negotiations which could lead to more strikes.


However, there is help out there for impacted travelers. Travel insurance marketplace provider Squaremouth explains how these labor strikes can be covered under travel insurance.

Most travel insurance providers include “labor strikes” as a covered event along with trip cancellation, travel delay, missed connection, baggage delay and baggage loss. Coverage depends on when the strike was announced, but if a traveler purchases travel insurance after booking their trip and a labor strike ensues afterward, they could be covered if their trip is impacted.

The most important takeaway for travelers is that strike coverage isn’t always black and white. Coverage varies by insurance provider and their interpretation of whether the strike was considered an unexpected event.

This interpretation makes a huge difference on whether the insurance company will cover travel cancellations due to a strike. Circumstances may include if a formal pilot walkout has been announced or when the policy was purchased, for example, the day the strike was announced which now becomes a "known event."

The message to travelers is that if your travel insurance policy was purchased before a strike was announced, you could be covered if it causes flight cancellations and delays. If you have not yet purchased a travel insurance policy, be sure your provider will cover a strike should it happen. Another option includes purchasing a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) policy providing the broadest blanket of coverage for an additional premium.

Squaremouth says they are actively monitoring the situation and updating their website with the latest coverage statements from its providers, cutoff dates for coverage along with the latest FAQs.

NOREEN KOMPANIK JANUARY 11, 2023

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