For many jetting off to exotic locations for Eid Al Fitr, their only worry is whether they have packed all their holiday essentials. But what happens when they get to the airport and the flight is delayed. Are they covered by their travel insurance policy? Our team at finds out.

When you fly off on holiday, one of the main things to spoil the trip is a delayed flight. There’s nothing worse than hanging around an airport waiting to get to your dream destination or, conversely, hanging around a foreign airport waiting to get home.

If it’s a couple of hours, then the disruption will not affect the trip too much. However, if it is several hours, overnight or even days, then the delay could ruin the holiday. Now imagine you are stranded at the airport with your whole family.So, if this happens, are you covered by your travel insurance?

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The first consideration here is whether or not you actually have travel insurance.

Although there is a wide range of travel insurance products available to the UAE and Saudi Arabian market, a recent poll from insurer Zurich found that 58 per cent of those surveyed in the UAE have never purchased travel insurance and one in three did so only occasionally. As for Saudi residents, taking up travel insurance is not a common trend unless for visa purposes.

When flights are delayed, those who don’t have insurance have to rely on the mercy of the airline. While some airlines will put travellers up in hotels or offer compensation for delays, others will not and it might be a case of sleeping on the floor in the airport until you can eventually fly.

For that reason it’s worth shopping around for the best travel insurance product to suit your needs. According to AXA Insurance, a single trip insurance to a Schengen country can cost as little as AED50 or SR50 per person with premiums rising depending on the length of stay, countries visited, age and inclusions such as sporting activities.

Once you have the insurance in place, you can then evaluate what you can claim back in the event of a delayed flight. Remember there is no automatic cover for delayed flights. Some policies offer no compensation at all if your flight is delayed and don’t even offer the option to add that cover onto the policy.

Other policies do offer compensation on delayed flights but with limits on the amount paid out and the length of time you are delayed. While Axa’s Family policy offers up to AED1,839 compensation for flights that are delayed more than 12 hours, the Chartis Platinum policy offers up to AED3,670 on delays of more than four hours. Also, in Saudi Arabia, SABB Takaful Travel Plan offers up to SR1,500 on flights delayed more than 12 hours.

And those figures are key because it’s not just flights that might be an issue on the journey to your holiday destination. Lost passports, lost or delayed suitcases and more can also affect the trip and, again, not everything is automatically covered. So, make