Priti Patel reveals government’s new travel quarantine rules
Flights have faced a plethora of changes and restrictions over the past months. Airlines have all responded differently, with some cancelling flights and others continuing to operate routes. This is what airlines British Airways, TUI, easyJet, Ryanair and Jet2 are doing, according to the latest travel advice.
British Airways (BA) has said it is operating a “reduced” and “dynamic” schedule as a result of the ever-changing travel restrictions.
A BA spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “We are contacting customers whose flights are cancelled to offer options including a full refund.
“We advise customers to check the latest UK Government travel advice at gov.uk and their latest flight information at ba.com.”
Regarding the Government’s plans to introduce a hotel quarantine period for those arriving from high-risk countries, the BA website states: “We are aware of the UK Government’s announcement on further measures at the UK borders, including hotel-isolation requirements for arrivals from some destinations.
“If you have an existing booking, our book with confidence commitment gives you the flexibility to change or cancel your plans if you need to.”
Customers are asked not to call or message the airline unless they are travelling “within the next 72 hours” due to “high call volumes” – BA will contact customers directly to discuss their options.
Customers are advised to visit the “manage my booking” section of the BA website where they will be given the option to rebook their flight on a later date, request a voucher which can be used for a future booking or ask for a refund.
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TUI has cancelled holidays and plans to update customers in mid-February.
Holidays due to depart on or before February 28 are currently on hold.
In a statement on its website, TUI said: “As a result of the latest national lockdown measures announced on January 4, 2021, we’re not able to operate holidays for the moment.
“Please rest assured, if you were booked to travel with us between now and mid-February, we’ll be contacting you soon to discuss our options. This will be done in departure date order.
“We’d like to extend a personal thank you for your patience and understanding as our customer service and social media teams work around the clock during such an unprecedented time.”
Furthermore, holidays due to operate on or before April 30, 2021, to Goa, India; La Palma, Canary Islands; Phuket, Thailand, Florida and The Gambia are also cancelled.
Impacted customers will be contacted by the travel provider in “departure date order” and offered a refund or the option to rebook.
Customers can also select a refund credit voucher which can be used to book a future holiday.
There are also options for holidaymakers whose plans have not yet been cancelled, but who do not feel comfortable to fly on their initially chosen date.
easyJet was pushed to cancel all package holidays under easyJet Holidays until March due to the ongoing travel restrictions, including the pause on travel corridors.
Customers who have had their flight cancelled by the airline are entitled to a refund and will be contacted by easyJet’s customer service team.
Matt Callaghan, easyJet holidays customer director, said: “We know this news will be disappointing. But we want to give our customers as much flexibility and choice as possible so they can decide what is best for them.”
An easyJet spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “We will also be in touch with customers with later departure dates to remind them of our easyJet holidays Protection Promise which offers ultimate flexibility and reassurance.”
Other flights from the airline continue to operate on a limited schedule to certain locations.
“We are planning to operate as many flights as possible over the coming days,” states the easyJet website.
“Due to a number of governments imposing travel entry bans on flights arriving from certain countries, or imposing travel restrictions on passengers who are non-residents or non-citizens of the respective countries, we appreciate the uncertainty this may be causing you and understand that you may wish to change your travel plans.”
Ryanair has axed large numbers of its planned itinerary until April due to a predicted fall in passenger traffic.
The airline has also extended its no flight change fee until November, stating it hopes to allow customers to “book with confidence”.
A Ryanair spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “Due to ongoing government travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19, Ryanair expects to operate a limited winter flight schedule from the UK, which will be reflected on Ryanair.com.
“All connections are subject to travel restrictions. In the event of a flight cancellation, customers can avail of a free flight change or apply for a voucher/refund should they so wish.
“Ryanair urges all passengers to check the latest travel updates on the Ryanair.com website and with the relevant authorities in advance of their flight.”
Customers who have had their flight cancelled by the airline will be contacted to discuss their options.
Jet2 has cancelled all flights up to and including March 25, 2021.
It has further suspended flights to Iceland up to and including April 26, 2021.
In a statement, Jet2 said: “If you’ve been affected by these programme changes, we’ll be automatically cancelling your booking with a full refund. Please be patient with us as we do this.”
It added: “If you’re due to travel from March 26, 2021, onwards, we’ll provide an update closer to the time.”
Customers who have booked through a third-party agent are advised to contact them directly.
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