The recent violent clashes between revolutionary citizens and Muammar Gaddafi’s government forces have prompted commercial airlines to cancel all flights into the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Similar to recent uprisings in Egypt and troubles in Tunisia, the situation in Libya is considered so unsafe that passengers are being warned to stay out of the country as most countries work to retrieve their citizens trapped there.
What rights do travelers have when flights are canceled due to violence?
A traveler’s airline ticket is their contract with the airline to get them from one point to another. If a flight is canceled, the airline may offer refunds, vouchers, or other compensation, but it’s not required as long as you eventually get to your destination.
In situations where flights are canceled due to weather, the airlines consider that an act of nature and don’t typically provide any compensation.
In situations of violence, however, where all travel is suspended, the airlines offer passengers a few more options, including rescheduling their flights at a later date, canceling their flights for a refund, or using the value of the ticket for a ticket to another destination.
Of course, with travel insurance protection in place, a traveler has a far greater number of options, depending on their plan and whether they have started their travel or not.
- If you have started your trip and your travel plans are affected by the flight cancellations, you may be covered for a trip interruption or trip cancellation depending on your policy.
- If you have not started your trip and your travel insurance plan offers trip cancellation due to civil unrest at your destination, you may have a reasonable claim for trip cancellation.
Plus, all the insured trip expenses are covered with travel insurance, not just the ones associated with the canceled flights.