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Date: 14/06/2011

Virgin crew threaten to walk-out on cruise

Long-suffering passengers could be facing another summer of delays as Virgin pilots have told their bosses that a salary of around £110,000 is not acceptable.

Following three years worth of pay freezes, Virgin have offered its pilots a rise of 4% but unions say that its members feel they should be offered far more and are prepared to go on strike if the offer is not substantially improved.

The ballot is currently taking place but the results will not be available until 21 June but if the 750 pilots decide to walk out, the planes will be grounded in July, a key time for groups, families and those holidaying on their over 65 travel insurance.

The further threat of potential industrial action is enough to send fed-up fliers into the arms of waiting ocean liners, with many people opting instead for a no-fly holiday on cruise travel insurance instead. The latest figures released have shown that a holiday on the open seas is more popular than ever, with bookings up by 308%, compared to the same time last year.

Mini breaks and European holidays are just as popular for those looking for a short getaway on their cruise travel insurance and Northern Europe destinations are now some of the most requested routes. For those willing to take the risk of flying, the Caribbean remains as popular as ever, with just under one in every eleven cruises booked to this region.

Cruising has often been considered more customary with those sailing on their over 65 travel insurance but this is not the case. Research has indicated that at least one in five cruisers enjoyed their first holiday on water when they were aged between 25 and 30 years old. With ships acting as a floating shopping mall, with a vast array of activities and entertainment on board, many holidaymakers may start to care less about what happens in the airports.