Thursday, 29 May 2008

Take cover against airline failures

Booking a scheduled flight departing in the next few months? Pay by credit card, even if the airline demands a premium - or try to buy travel insurance which includes cover against carriers going bust.

Usually, scheduled airline failure insurance, which is available from some airlines and travel agents, is only available as part of a general travel insurance policy.

Remember, if the fare is over £100 you will get a refund is you use a credit card but not if you pay by debit card.

Why the warning? Rocketing oil prices. which have forced up jet fuel costs, are putting carriers under severe pressure. Disruption to travel plans is the least travellers can expect. Major airlines have begun axing routes which are loss making or marginal to their balance sheets.

Some industry experts believe current oil prices are the result partly of speculation by investors shifting from equities to commodities. One said yesterday that he believed the natural price per barrel was around $80 - around $50 below its level today.

Meanwhile, however, it will be surprising if there are no further causalties among the weaker airlines.

(See: And another one bites the dust, below)

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