Holidays: Shapps says he is ‘not advising against’ booking travel
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Holidays are set to restart again in five weeks but the major tour operators have differed in the stance when it comes to resuming travel. Some companies have been quick to cancel package holidays and flights during the pandemic while others have kept operations in action. These are the latest updates for popular holiday brands TUI Holidays, British Airways Holidays, easyJet Holidays and Jet2 holidays.
TUI has cancelled all flights and holidays until May 16.
Holidays, including flight-only and accommodation-only bookings to Los Cabos, Mexico, and Kvarner Bay, Croatia, departing on or before October 31, are also cancelled.
The tour operator has stopped issuing credit notes and is instead offering cash refunds to all customers impacted by cancellations.
However, customers who were previously given a voucher have until the end of September 2021 to book their holiday.
In their latest update, issued last week, TUI said: “Following the recent announcement from the UK Government, customers travelling from England will be subject to a new traffic light system with Green, Amber and Red destinations. We are yet to receive the full detail for each category, including what testing requirements may be needed and what colour your destination may be.”
TUI continued: “However, our TUI Holiday Promise for Green and Amber destinations remains the same for continued peace of mind. If prior to your departure date you know that you will need to quarantine on your return to the UK, you will have the option to change your holiday for free to another time.
“You’ll also be able to change your holiday for free if you’re unable to travel due to new testing or vaccination requirements.
“We won’t take people on holiday to destinations that will require you to quarantine on arrival or those on the Red List. In this instance, we will cancel your holiday and you will be able to amend to another date for free, or you can request a full refund.
“If we need to cancel any future holidays because of updated Government guidance, we will be in touch with you directly and will aim to give you at least seven days’ notice.
“We know our customers are looking forward to their holidays, so to offer continued flexibility and reassurance, we have extended our free changes policy to the end of July.
“Those due to travel between 17 May and the end of July can change their booking to a later date fee-free through Manage My Booking, or if you’ve booked in a TUI store by calling us on 0203 4512688. Customers travelling in July will be able to amend their booking to a later date fee-free through Manage My Booking.”
BA has cancelled all of its package holidays up until May 17.
A BA spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “All affected customers will be contacted and offered a refund.”
In a statement, the travel provider added: “If we cannot fulfil a holiday, we’re committed to ensuring customers receive a full refund within 14 days.
“Customers who are unable to travel, or choose not to, can continue to change their holiday without a change fee, or request a voucher for future use.”
All easyJet holidays are axed until May 17.
Passengers who are impacted by cancellations will be contacted by the airline.
In its latest update, issued two weeks ago, easyJet said: “We are planning to operate as many flights as possible over the coming days.
“Due to a number of governments imposing travel entry bans on flights arriving from certain countries, or imposing travel bans 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 need to change your travel plans.”
Options include switching to another easyJet flight for free, choosing a voucher for the full value of your ticket or requesting a refund.
No fresh update has been released since.
Jet2 has cancelled all flights and holidays until June 24, it was announced last week.
The move came after the Global Travel Taskforce set out its framework to safely reopen international travel.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, has slammed the document.
He said: “We have taken time to study the Global Travel Taskforce’s framework, and we are extremely disappointed at the lack of clarity and detail.
“After several weeks exploring how to restart international travel, with substantial assistance and input from the industry, the framework lacks any rigorous detail about how to get international travel going again. In fact, the framework is virtually the same as six months ago.”
He called for more clarity, stating: “Following the publication of the framework today, we still do not know when we can start to fly, where we can fly to and the availability and cost of testing. Rather than answering questions, the framework leaves everyone asking more.
The CEO continued: “Because of the continued uncertainty that the framework provides, it is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 23rd June 2021.”
Jet2 passengers impacted by the cancellations will be contacted and provided with their options; refunds will be offered.
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