Two agents face paying out thousands of pounds to customers affected by Gatwick’s closure by a drone in December.

Glen Travel owner Alan Glen and Abbot Travel director John Lombari had customers booked to fly before Christmas when more than a thousand Gatwick flights were cancelled.

Both agents sold the customers Atol-protected holidays and sought to recoup their clients’ money through their travel disruption insurance (TDI).

Glen made a £10,000 claim under his TDI policy after his customer’s holiday to Barbados was delayed. But his insurer told him the policy, which does cover fallouts from hurricanes or acts of terrorism, did not cover the impact of a drone halting flights.

Glen said he had been threatened with legal action by the customer if he does not provide compensation.

Lombari had three customers affected. He said: “The trip was booked with our own Atol from Advantage. We insisted they take personal insurance as well, so they were 100% protected.”

He said: “Either the airline or the insurance should pay out, not us.”

Glen said: “Insurance companies always play the ‘force majeure’ card to avoid paying out. When I submitted the claim, I was told it was rejected on the grounds that government action closed the airport, in that the CAA ordered the grounding of flights until the risk could be assessed.”

He added: “I’m not aware of any insurers paying out for this incident.”

A spokesman for the British Insurance Brokers’ Association said: “All policies are different and it depends on the cover purchased.

“It is important for the insured to be aware of the policy cover and any possible limitations.”

More: Gatwick drone chaos ‘thought to be result of inside job’

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