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What to do if... your travel is delayed


Going on holiday is usually a time for relaxing and getting away from it all. So if your holiday is anything but relaxing, it may just be the last straw.

If your trip starts with a delay or doesn’t turn out quite how you imagined, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance.

Stay calm. If you’re delayed because of weather or a security alert, it’s not the company’s fault. If there’s a problem with the plane, train, bus etc. then at least they found the fault before you boarded.

Listen carefully to the announcements. If the delay is only an hour then you’ll just have to sit it out. Make use of the time to stretch your legs, fill up water bottles and have a snack.

If the delay is several hours and you have a connecting flight or train to catch, speak to an attendant or call the company’s helpline to see if they can put you on a different plane, bus or train.

If your baggage has been delayed, give the travel company an address where they can reach you. If you buy replacement toiletries etc. make sure you keep all receipts so you can claim the money back later on.

What happens next?

It’s important to call your insurance company as soon as possible to let them know that you’ve been delayed. Most insurers have a 24 hour emergency helpline you can call if you have travel problems.

John Lewis Travel Insurance Claims:

0845 123 1160

After confirming your details, you’ll be asked for information about your claim. To make the whole process simple, it’s important to give as many details as possible including:

  • the cause of the delay or cancellation
  • the period of the delay
  • the scheduled time of departure and arrival
  • the actual time of departure and arrival.

Putting things right

Many travel companies offer compensation or complimentary snacks if there’s a severe delay to a flight, or you may be able to use your ticket on a different train or coach.

If you have travel insurance, you might be able to make a claim for the delay, especially if you’ve had to spend an extra night in a hotel, or find an alternative route home.

Preventative measures

Check in online before you get to an airport and see if you can print all travel tickets in advance. Some companies will give priority to passengers who checked in early.

Keep an eye on the weather and if heavy snow or fog is forecast, be prepared for a delay.

Have extra snacks and water, plus a change of clothes and toothbrush in your hand luggage.

Watch for updates by the travel company (on their website or on Twitter), or phone them to check everything’s on schedule.

How John Lewis Insurance can help?

If your holiday’s been affected by delays, then John Lewis Travel Insurance offers compensation. You’ll be entitled to claim up to £30 for each eight hours you’re delayed up to £600, depending on the level of cover you have.

If your outward flight from the UK is delayed for more than 12 hours and you decide to cancel your holiday, you’ll be entitled to up to £8,000 in
cancellation costs.

If your baggage has been delayed, your Travel Insurance will provide you with compensation for any toiletries or clothes you bought while you were waiting for it to arrive. This is only available with our Plus or Premier Cover and you can claim up to £100 for each period of 12 hours, up to £300.

Find out more about our Travel Insurance policies.

John Lewis Travel Insurance homepage

Looking for more information
about Travel Insurance?
Find out more here

Get a Travel Insurance quote

Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply. A full copy of the policy wording and the insurance complaints procedure are available on request.

John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered in England No. 00233462. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Ageas Insurance Limited who are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Ageas Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 354568. Registered office: Ageas House, Hampshire Corporate Park, Templars Way, Eastleigh, SO53 3YA.

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