Airline Strikes On The Horizon, How Travel Insurance Can Help

Airline Strikes On The Horizon, How Travel Insurance Can Help

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., January 10, 2023 – With airlines and airport service providers walking off the job around the world, the potential for travel disruption due to labor issues is very real. Travel insurance marketplace Squaremouth.com explains how labor strikes can be covered under travel insurance.

The Next Major Travel Disruptor for 2023

2023 is shaping up to be disrupted for a new reason: Unrest with labor unions.

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 actively holding informational pickets during contract negotiations, which may lead to a labor strike.

How Travel Insurance Can Cover Labor Strikes

Most travel insurance providers include “labor strikes” as a covered event within many of their benefits, most notably, Trip Cancellation, Travel Delay, Missed Connection, Baggage Delay and Baggage Loss.

  • Coverage depends on when the strike was announced. For example: If a traveler purchases travel insurance after booking their trip and a labor union votes to strike afterward, they could be covered if their trip is impacted.

Does Travel Insurance Cover the Current Situation?

The most important takeaway for travelers is that strike coverage isn’t black and white. It varies by insurance provider and their interpretation of when a strike is considered an “unexpected” event. Once the strike is considered an expected or “known” event that is likely to impact travel, coverage becomes excluded from future plans.

For the potential Delta pilot strike:

  • 36% of responding travel insurance companies on Squaremouth said they may cover a strike, because a formal pilot walk-out has not been announced:
    • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
    • Generali Travel Insurance
    • IMG
    • Seven Corners
  • 45% of responding travel insurance companies on Squaremouth said they will not provide coverage for policies purchased after Oct. 31 or Nov. 1, 2022, the day the strike was authorized, because it is now considered a “known event:”
    • Battleface – Effective cut-off date: Nov. 1, 2022
    • GeoBlue – Effective cut-off date: Nov. 1, 2022
    • Nationwide – Effective cut-off date: Nov. 1, 2022
    • Trawick – Effective cut-off date: Nov. 1, 2022
    • WorldTrips – Effective cut-off date: Oct. 31, 2022

For the labor disputes at American and United which have not gone to a strike vote:

  • 45% of responding travel insurance companies on Squaremouth said they may provide coverage because a formal strike vote has not been held, nor has a walk-out date been announced:
    • Berkshire Hathaway Trip Protection
    • IMG
    • Generali Travel Insurance
    • Seven Corners
    • WorldTrips
  • 28% of responding travel insurance companies on Squaremouth said they will not provide coverage on policies purchased after a specified date, because the situations were declared a “known event” in November 2022:
    • GeoBlue – Effective cut-off dates: Nov. 1, 2022 for United; Nov. 2, 2022 for American
    • Nationwide – Effective cut-off dates: Nov. 1, 2022 for United; Nov. 2, 2022 for American
    • Trawick – Effective cut-off dates: Nov. 1, 2022 for United; Nov. 17, 2022 for American

Does Your Travel Insurance Cover Strikes?

Travelers who bought a travel insurance policy before a strike was announced could be covered if it causes flight cancellations and delays. If you have not yet purchased a travel insurance policy, be sure your carrier will still cover a strike. Squaremouth is continually monitoring the situation and updating a list of provider coverage statements here.

Those who have recently booked a trip, and are worried about labor strikes, can also consider a Cancel For Any Reason policy, which provides the broadest blanket of coverage for an additional premium.


Notes to editors

Available Topic Expert: Megan Moncrief, Chief Marketing Officer, is available for comment and interview. mmoncrief@squaremouth.com (727) 378-0938

Additional Resources:

Squaremouth is actively monitoring the situation and updating our website with the latest FAQs, coverage statements from our providers, and applicable cutoff dates for coverage.

About Squaremouth: Squaremouth.com has insured over 2 million travelers. Using Squaremouth’s intuitive quoting and comparison engine, award-winning support team, and verified customer reviews, travelers can save time and money to find the best travel insurance policy for their trip.