Thankfully no one was seriously hurt in the incident affecting British Airways flight BA762 this morning but passengers leaving Heathrow over the next 48 hours might be facing delays as airlines try to get their schedules back on track.
Most travel insurance policies include some kind of cover for delayed departures. The cover usually comes into force after a delay of 6, 8 or 12 hours and it is intended to compensate the traveller for the extra expenses they may incur whilst waiting for their flight at the airport, such as for meals and drinks. Typical cover may be a payment of £25 for each insured person after a 6 hour delay with further payments being triggered for additional 6 hour periods spent waiting to take-off.
Passengers wishing to make a claim should get confirmation from the airline of their original intended flight time and its eventual departure time in order to prove to their insurers that their delay was long enough to warrant a claim for a delayed departure.
Caroline Lloyd, travel insurance spokesperson from Gocompare.com, said: "As they would be departing from an EU-based airport, travellers will be covered by the EU regulations for delayed flight provisions, so anyone affected should keep in regular contact with their airline throughout any delay. In a situation such as this, which would be classed as ‘extraordinary circumstances', people are not entitled to financial compensation, but the airline has a duty to give customers provision for meals, refreshments and even hotel accommodation and airport transfers depending on the length of the delay.
"Passengers who are delayed at Heathrow today or over the weekend and have travel insurance should check the delayed departure cover their policy provides as they may be able to put in a claim for a small amount of compensation when they return from their trip.
"Passengers should also check what information their insurer requires before processing a claim as providing them with this from the outset increases the chances of their claim being dealt with expediently and successfully."