Grant Shapps says people ‘shouldn’t be travelling’
Flights have once again been thrown into turmoil at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic. Holidays were already bearing the brunt of covid-inflicted travel restrictions but now Britons have travel bans from a slew of countries to contend with. Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium, Turkey, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, Hong Kong, Chile and El Salvador have all barred UK flights amid COVID-19 concerns.
So how have the major airline responded to the news? Here are the latest updates from British Airways, Ryanair, easyJet, TUI and Jet2.
BA has said the airline is “operating a reduced and dynamic schedule.”
Travellers will be contacted by British Airways if their flight has been impacted.
“Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic and changing global travel restrictions we are operating a reduced and dynamic schedule,” said the carrier’s latest statement.
“If your flight is cancelled, we will contact you but please check the status of your flight before travelling to the airport. Please also ensure your contact details are up to date within Manage My Booking’.”
It added: “Our contact centres are receiving a large volume of calls at the moment, so please bear with us if you are trying to call to rebook for immediate travel. If you need to change your flight for a later date or apply for a voucher then you can visit our ‘Book with Confidence’ pages.”
For those holidaymakers now in Tier Four and therefore unable to travel at all, BA is offering the option to rearrange flights or to accept a voucher for the value of their trip. The airline is not offering refunds unless flights are actually cancelled.
We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
Ryanair flights will be cancelled as a result of the travel bans, with customers offered refunds or date changes free of charge.
The airline’s latest statement explained: “For any flights to/from the UK in the coming days (Dec 20th to 24th) which are banned by EU Govts regulation, all affected customers will receive an email notification and they will be offered practical alternatives including free moves (no change fee applies) or refunds if they so wish.
“In the case of all other flights to/from the UK which are permitted to fly, Ryanair will operate these flights to facilitate all passengers who need to travel for business reasons, and are booked on them or wish to move to these flights.
“If any such passengers (booked on operating flights) do not wish to travel during the next five days prior to Christmas, then Ryanair will facilitate a free move of their booking (no change fee applies) to any date up to March 15.”
easyJet has had to axe flights and says it is concentrating on UK inbound flights to get Britons home.
Anyone whose flight is cancelled will be notified and offered a refund, travel voucher or transfer to an alternative flight.
easyJet said in a statement: “As a result of several European countries applying travel restrictions to flights leaving the UK some customers may now be unable to travel or may need to change their flights.
“Where flights from the UK are not permitted, easyJet is focused on operating its current schedule into the UK over the coming days to help customers get home.
“Impacted customers have the option of transferring to an alternative flight free of charge, receiving a voucher or receiving a refund. This policy applies as long as the travel ban restrictions are in place. Customers will be notified if their flight is cancelled.
“Due to latest restrictions, we are aiming to make managing flights as easy as possible for customers and so have removed the change fee for flight transfers online via Manage my bookings. We strongly recommend for customers to check the status of their flight and self-serve online, due to the volume of calls currently.
“All other customers can make changes to their booking without incurring a change fee up to 14 days before departure online via Manage Bookings at easyJet.com.”
TUI have cancelled Madeira flights after Portugal announced they will be restricting passenger travel to and from the UK.
The carrier said: “Following the decision by the Portuguese Foreign Office to close the borders to UK nationals, holidays to Madeira on December 21 and December 24 will not operate. Customers should not go to the airport.
“Impacted customers will be contacted and offered the option to amend with a booking incentive or cancel their booking and receive a full cash refund.”
TUI has also taken action following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s tougher domestic measures.
All Luton Airport flights are now cancelled until December 30. Anyone affected will be contacted and provided with their options.
TUI said in a statement yesterday: “Following the UK Government’s decision to introduce new restrictions for Tier Four in England we will be cancelling our flights departing from Luton airport from December 20-30. We will be in direct contact with these customers to offer them a full refund or the option to amend their booking.
“Any customers that live in Tier Four and are due to depart in the next 14 days will be entitled to cancel and receive a full refund or amend for free to any holiday that’s currently on sale.
“Customers with a holiday that is due to depart in the next 14 days and is no longer able to operate will be contacted by a member of our team and will receive a full refund or the option to amend for free to any holiday that’s currently on sale.
“Customers with a TUI holiday, but not flying on TUI Airways, are able to amend their holiday for free to a holiday with the same airline as their original booking. If the airline cancels the flight, customers will be able to receive a full refund.”
Jet2 flights have also been axed due to the travel bans but the airline has yet to respond.
In the past, the airline has quickly reacted to any travel corridor changes.
Recently, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays announced they have refunded over £1billion to customers affected by programme changes since March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Express.co.uk has contacted Jet2 for comment.
Source: Read Full Article