Flybe, the UK’s Number One Domestic airline, has become the first airline in the world to offer its passengers the opportunity to buy separate Volcanic Ash Insurance underwritten by their travel insurance partner, Chartis.
The innovative measure has been designed to offer long-suffering travellers the opportunity to book and get on the move once again with renewed confidence not only following the disappointment of two failed ‘barbeque summers’ and the curse of last year’s ‘Staycation’ but, now, following the volcanic ash disruption of the past week.
Mike Rutter, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer explains: “All these events will undoubtedly combine to dent travellers’ confidence and generate understandable doubts. Will we be able to fly away and enjoy a well deserved ‘sea and sun’ holiday farther away from home this year either in the UK or Europe? Will our holiday plans again be scuppered? So, Flybe’s way of helping restore travel confidence is twofold .
“While we fully stand by our commitments under EU regulation 261, regardless of our concerns about the justness of its design, Flybe nevertheless wants to make sure our passengers have insurance to help pay for any additional costs they may face due to authorities closing airspace and scuppering their travel plans.”
Tony Hallwood, LBIA Commercial Director, added: ''We are delighted to support this flagship initiative to give passengers peace of mind when booking flights on all of Flybe's domestic routes from LBIA linking Yorkshire to London Gatwick, Belfast, Southampton and Exeter'.
The option to purchase this separate Volcanic Ash policy is available with all online bookings made between today and May 10th 2010 and, for £6.99 per person, will reimburse the policyholder for any holiday costs already paid if the flight is cancelled prior to departure or delayed for more than 24 hours due to airspace being closed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority or overseas equivalent.*
If passengers are stranded away from home it will pay for any reasonable unplanned-for costs incurred for additional accommodation and travel expenses up to £150 for each 24 hour period (maximum £1,050) in the event of the passenger being stranded away from home.
The announcement complements Flybe’s ‘Smile’ campaign that was launched at the weekend promoting the fact that Flybe wasted no time in returning to the skies with its normal extensive regional schedule and ensuring Britain gets back on the move.
Adds Mr Rutter: “Flybe is making no money from this initiative. In creating this new Volcanic Ash policy with our travel insurance partner, Chartis, we have worked hard to ensure that, should any future volcanic activity result in any further flight cancellations or delays, Flybe will be there for them.”
Flybe’s Volcanic Ash policy will be available at the time of booking as a stand alone product or in conjunction with any of its other existing travel insurance offerings. The Policy is available to all UK residents and those of the Channel Islands with online bookings made with immediate effect for the next 14 days at www.flybe.com.