Travel traffic light system critiqued by aviation expert
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Package holidays offer vital protections in case travel plans are suddenly impacted or cancelled. However, while many providers have resumed holidays since the resumption of international travel on May 17, others are holding off for now.
Here are the latest package holiday updates from easyJet holidays, TUI, Jet2holidays and British Airways holidays.
Despite travel to “green list” destinations being back on, Jet2holidays has made the decision to hold off on restarting its holidays for now.
In a statement on its website, the Leeds-based career explained: “We’re really looking forward to restarting our holidays and flights programme again from 24 June 2021.
“We’re taking the time to get everything ready at our airports, onboard our planes and in our resorts to give you the safest and smoothest holiday experience possible.”
To help customers plan their next getaway, Jet2holidays has created its own “Traffic Light Policy” which works in line with the Government guidelines.
“The UK Government has committed to reviewing its Traffic Light ‘status’ of overseas destinations every three weeks,” states Jet2.
“We’ll review our programme and policies in line with that timetable. Our last review date was May 13 2021.
“We expect to review again on or around June 1 2021 and every three weeks after that.
“As the UK Government has previously decided not to give us advance notice of any changes to the entry requirements from different countries, please bear with us as we need to take time to consider any changes to our programme and policies.”
For destinations on the “green list” Jet2 says it is “looking forward” to taking customers on holiday.
For “amber list” destinations the travel provider says it will “review the status of destinations following the next UK Government review” which is anticipated on or around June 1, 2021.
“If your holiday is due to depart on or before July 18 2021, if you want to, you can amend your holiday admin-fee-free.”
For “red list” holidays, Jet2 states: “If your destination is on the Red List at the next Government update, we’ll allow you to cancel your holiday free of charge if it is due to depart up to and including July 18 2021, and we will, of course, keep the situation under close review.
“In the meantime, if your holiday is due to depart on or before July 18 2021, you can amend your holiday admin-fee-free if you want to.”
Customers who are impacted by cancellations or changes will be contacted directly by Jet2.
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easyJet holidays has returned to offering package holidays to a select list of destinations.
“The Government has announced how international travel can restart this summer through the introduction of a new traffic light system,” the package holiday arm of easyJet states on its website.
“As part of this, there are some essential steps that you need to take before returning home from holiday, which will vary by destination.”
Customers are advised to check the status of their destination before travelling.
Holidays to “green” destinations will go ahead as planned, though easyJet remains customers they will need to take a rapid flow test before they travel hope and a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back in the UK.
“You’ll need to book a test package before you travel on holiday from one of the government’s approved list of providers,” states the holiday provider.
“We’ve been working with the Government-approved supplier Randox, who offer discounted COVID-19 PCR home test kits for easyJet holidays customers.”
Customers travelling to “amber list” destinations can also benefit from Randox test packages, though these will be needed for pre-departure, as well as on day two and eight of arrival.
easyJet holidays adds: “For ‘amber’ destinations, you’re covered under our industry-leading Protection Promise.
“You only need to pay your balance 28 days before travel, and if you need to make any changes or you simply change your mind you can cancel 28 days or more before departure and we’ll return your deposit back to you as easyJet holidays credit and refund any further payments to your original method of payment for your booking before this point.”
In line with the airline’s Protection Promise, holidays to “red list” destinations will not go ahead.
It adds: “But as the lists can change and destinations could move to ‘amber’ or ‘green’, you may still be able to book selected holidays currently on the ‘red’ list and we’ll keep future holidays under close review.”
TUI has resumed some holidays in line with Government guidance but is operating under its own Holiday Promise.
According to the holiday provider holidays “won’t go ahead” and customers “will be able to change their booking to another date fee-free or receive a full refund” if the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against “non-essential” travel abroad.
The Holiday Promise will also kick into action if the government for a given destination decided to enforce quarantine on arrival without an option to forgo this quarantine period, if the borders for the destination are closed to UK arrivals, or if the destination is on the UK’s “red list”.
TUI adds: “If we need to cancel your holiday for any of these reasons, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll work through bookings in departure date order to proactively contact you as soon as we can.
“If you have an accommodation-only booking, which isn’t impacted by travel restrictions, and that you, therefore, don’t want to cancel, please give us a call.”
TUI is also offering fee-free changes until the end of October for package holidays as well as flight-only and accommodation-only customers.
The fee-free changes also apply to Marella Cruises and TUI River Cruises and for customers whose destination is on the “green watchlist”.
Up until May 27, TUI is only operating flights and holidays out of four airports: London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.
Holidays, including flight-only and accommodation-only bookings, to the below destinations due to depart on or before 31 October 2021 to Los Cabos, Mexico or Kvarner Bay, Croatia are now cancelled.
Meanwhile, holidays due to depart on or before June 6, 2021, to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia, Tunisia, Egypt, Cape Verde, Sicily in Italy, Sardinia in Italy, Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, Phuket in Thailand, Chania in Crete, Zante in Greece, La Palma in the Canary Islands and Malta are also cancelled.
Other cancelled holidays include anything due to depart on or before June 30, 2021, to Florida, USA and any Lakes and Mountains holidays, except Switzerland, due to depart on or before June 6, 2021.
British Airways holidays
British Airways (BA) package holiday arm has resumed some of its travel plans in accordance with the Government’s “traffic light” system.
As part of the airline’s customer promise, passengers have the ability to “change or cancel holidays free of charge”.
BA adds: “If we cancel, we will refund you within 14 days.”
The airline continues: “Your holiday is important to us. In these uncertain times, we’re committed to ensuring that you have a safe and enjoyable break.”
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