Customer update – Air Traffic Services Failure

Last updated: 31 August 2023

Thousands of air passengers have been suffering long delays and cancellations after a “technical issue” hit UK air traffic control systems. People are stuck in the UK and abroad, after National Air Traffic Services limited the number of planes landing. Airlines and airports warned there were still “significant delays” despite the issue being fixed within hours.

According to our travel insurance terms and conditions, claims relating to Cyber Risk are excluded. Given the unprecedented circumstances, we are however prepared to consider the following claims on an ex-gratia basis without prejudice, where you have no other avenues for recovering costs.

  1. Cancellation / trip abandonment – where you are unable to reclaim costs from the airline or your package travel provider. Our cover should be your last point of call, e.g. where accommodation was booked separately from flights. We will cover only pre-booked services such as hotel or trip costs which cannot be cancelled. Flight tickets or packaged trips are not covered, since the liability for these sits with the travel supplier that is not able to deliver the service they were paid for.
  2. Travel disruption – The airlines are required to arrange alternative routes for customers to get home. Where you need to make your own arrangements, e.g. if the first available flight is in 3 days’ time, but you need to get back due to immovable commitments, we would look to cover the reasonable cost of the alternative route home of a similar standard to that originally booked. We would only pay the difference between the refund for your return journey and the cost of the flight home. We will not pay any costs where you have booked with a travel package provider – these costs can be recovered directly from them.
  1. General travel delay benefit – i.e the monetary benefit intended as payment for inconvenience suffered, that is payable in the event of a delay. 
  2. Cancellation / trip abandonment – where package travel providers or airlines are required to reimburse the customers.

Please refer to the following websites, which give you some guidance on your rights:

• Air passenger rights (

• Consumer rights ( Civil Aviation Authority)