Until recently, there was a gap in financial protection for travellers who chose to book their own flights directly with the airline.
If you book a flight as part of a package trip, or you book flights and car hire together, you're financially protected through ATOL if your airline or car hire firm goes into administration before you leave or while you're away.
ATOL cover means you'll be reimbursed for your unused travel tickets, and if necessary, the travel agent will arrange for you to be flown home by another airline.
However, booking your flights directly with the airline doesn't give you ATOL cover. In the past, this has meant when an airline went bankrupt, thousands of travellers were left stranded and out of pocket.
Scheduled airline failure insurance is a specific type of travel insurance that protects travellers who choose to book flights only directly with an airline rather than as a package.
Scheduled airline failure is a specific type of travel insurance that protects travellers who choose to book flights only
If you plan to book flights directly with an airline and separately to your accommodation, car hire and excursions, you may lose money if your airline fails.
Paying by credit card can offer some recompense, as you'll be protected by the Consumer Credit Act. Provided your flights cost between £100 and £30,000 you should be able to claim back the cost of the flight or the cost of replacement flights home if your airline goes bust while you're abroad.
However, if you use cash, cheque or a debit card to pay for your flights, you probably won't get this protection.
Scheduled airline failure insurance can be bought as a separate policy, but it can also form part of your travel insurance.
Not all providers offer it as part of their standard travel insurance package, so check your policy before you buy.
With scheduled airline failure insurance, you can claim for:
With supplier failure insurance, you can claim for:
When you contact your insurance company to make a claim you'll need to have evidence of the expenses you want to claim for. So hang on to receipts or invoices for travel tickets, evidence of bookings for accommodation and excursions.
And of course, you can only claim if the travel insurance policy was in place before you knew that the airline, hotel or other supplier would possibly go bankrupt. That's why we advise you to take out travel insurance at the same time you make your travel bookings.