Holidays: Simon Calder gives advice on booking travel on GMB
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Flights are a complicated affair these days due to airlines taking very different stances on cancelling routes. What are the latest updates from the major airlines? This is what you need to know about TUI, British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Jet2.
TUI has cancelled all flights until March 8 due to the Covid crisis.
Meanwhile, flights to Goa, India; La Palma, Canary Islands; Phuket, Thailand; The Gambia; Florida; Iceland and The Seychelles due to depart on or before April 30, 2021, are cancelled.
Additionally, flights to Los Cabos, Mexico and Kvarner Bay, Croatia due to depart on or before October 31, 2021, are axed.
Ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on the easing of lockdown this evening, TUI has said in a statement: “We’re aware of the media reports about summer holidays for this year and would like to reassure customers that if their holiday cannot take place we will be contacted, in departure date order, when we have more clarity.”
British Airways (BA) has continued to fly limited flights and is operating a “reduced” and “dynamic” schedule amid the tightened travel rules.
The latest statement on the BA website reads: “The UK government has introduced new measures at the UK borders, including testing, self-isolation and hotel quarantine requirements for arrivals from some destinations.
“For more information on these measures please visit the UK Government’s website.
“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.”
Passengers who no longer wish to fly are able to “change or cancel” their plans thanks to BA’s new “Book with Confidence” policy.
Though the airline has not made sweeping cancellations, it warns some flights may be impacted by changing itineraries.
“If your flight has been cancelled, we will contact you with your options. Alternatively, you can rebook or claim a voucher online,” explains the British Airways website.
easyJet flights continue to operate on a reduced schedule.
The airline has not cancelled any flights directly linked to the latest restrictions, however, it’s “Protection Promise” allows customers to transfer their flight without charge if they may be “impacted by new quarantine requirements”.
Customers whose flight is cancelled due to the reduced itinerary will be contacted by easyJet directly.
The easyJet website explains: “If part/all of your trip is cancelled, you will be notified directly via email and will be informed of your options.
“[These] include switching to another easyJet flight for free (this includes the option to select a different arrival and departure airport within the same country of the original booking if you wish), choosing a voucher for the value of your ticket or requesting a refund, all of which you will be able to manage yourself online via Manage bookings on easyJet.com or on the easyJet app.”
Ryanair has updated its website to include travel information for passengers who may be impacted by the latest Government restrictions.
On its website, the airline explains: “Everyone must complete an online Passenger Locator Form before arrival in the United Kingdom.”
It also provides links to the Government website for travellers arriving from “high risk” countries from February 15.
Passengers who are due to travel are advised to “check with the relevant authorities before you fly”.
Though Ryanair has not cancelled any flights in direct relation to the new hotel quarantine rule, it has made the decision to slash its planned itinerary in the coming months due to a drop in passenger traffic.
In a press release, the airline stated there will be “few if any, flights being operated to or from Ireland or the UK from the UK from the end of January until such a time as these draconian travel restrictions are removed”.
The cutbacks will also see the airline dropping its full-year traffic forecast from “below 35 million” to between 26 million and 30 million.
Customers who are impacted by cancellations will be contacted “as soon as possible” by text or email.
Those who have had their flight cancelled by Ryanair will be entitled to a full refund or the option to rearrange their flight.
Passengers who simply want to change their plans will not be entitled to a refund but can reschedule their flight for a later date for no added cost.
Jet2 has cancelled flights up to and including April 14, 2021.
“Where customers yet to travel are affected by any programme changes, we will automatically cancel their booking with a full refund,” said the tour operator.
In a statement on Twitter, Jet2 said: “Due to the ongoing uncertainty and travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 14 April 2021.
“Where customers yet to travel are affected by any programme changes, our industry-leading and prompt refunding of over £1billion has been widely praised, and we will continue to automatically cancel affected bookings with a full refund.”
The airline is working in departure date order. Customers with bookings from April 15 will be updated nearer the time.
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