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Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with Allianz Insurance to offer FREE Covid-19 insurance to passengers flying Virgin Atlantic between 24 August, 2020 and 31 March, 2021. To qualify, your ticket must be issued by Virgin Atlantic – the ticket number will start with “932” and must include at least one Virgin Atlantic flight. Already-booked tickets are covered – what matters is the travel date.
- Up to £500,000 necessary and emergency medical expenses incurred due to Coronavirus affecting you or your travel companions.
- Repatriation due to Coronavirus, should it be medically necessary.
- Denied Boarding/Quarantine – We will cover many necessary additional costs should you or your travelling companion be denied boarding or individually requested to quarantine in your destination due to Coronavirus, including personal accommodation, transport charges, refreshments, booking amendment fees and other travel expenses incurred.
- Cover for your whole trip, with no upper limit on the length of your time away.
- Cover for all passengers with no restrictions on age, travel class or length of journey.
- There is no excess payable with this policy (unlike other traditional travel insurance policies).
However, the following is NOT covered:
- Covid-19 tests, if a negative test is required by the destination country (in advance or upon arrival)
- Trip cancellation (i.e. prepaid accommodation, etc.), even if Virgin Atlantic cancels their flights
- One-way flights (12 hours after arrival, your coverage ceases, even if your return flight is on Virgin Atlantic, but booked separately)
- Any other health issues besides Covid-19
There’s certainly no reason to complain about Virgin Atlantic trying to provide peace of mind. I certainly would not feel 100% confident that my current travel insurance provider will cover me for Covid-related costs, especially if travelling against FCO advice. So this policy might fill in a potential gap.
But here’s what we really need to book long haul travel again, with Virgin Atlantic or any other airline:
- To know that the airline WILL actually operate the flight they are selling (or at least refund our money promptly – Virgin Atlantic has been delaying refunds for several months)
- To know that the destination country WILL allow us to enter without a long quarantine, and won’t prohibit international flights without warning
- To feel confident that residents / travel sector employees of the destination country are respecting social distancing guidelines, wearing masks, disinfecting properly, etc. (the cost of being treated for Covid might be an issue for some, but most people probably would just rather not get sick!)
- To trust that the UK government won’t implement with little warning a 14-day quarantine for returnees from your destination country
In other words, as travel was before… Book a holiday, look forward to that holiday, enjoy it safely and return home to work/school/etc. with no undue hassle. Unfortunately, no airline can provide such assurance right now…
What Do You Think?
Am I being too harsh? Is this insurance policy something that provides better coverage and peace of mind than current travel insurance providers are offering? Does it incentivise you to book Virgin Atlantic instead of the competition? Let us know in the comments section…