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Flights normally mark the start of an exciting getaway, but with travel rules constantly shifting, jetting off can be a pretty stressful experience these days. Airlines have had differing responses to travel corridor changes over the past months. Luckily, last week’s announcement from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps heralded no new additions to the quarantine list.
The last major update was issued at the start of the month when Poland and Turkey were removed from the exempt list on October 3.
How have the major carriers responded to changing rules? These are the latest updates from easyJet, Ryanair, British Airways, Jet2 and TUI.
Ryanair is continuing to operate its UK flights as scheduled.
The airline has said previously that it would continue to fly to destinations that are included on the FCDO’s quarantine list.
However, customers should expect a reduced capacity. Throughout September and October, the airline will be operating at 40 percent of its usual capacity.
Ryanair has also recently extended its change fee waiver up until December meaning that customers can transfer flights and change destinations for free.
easyJet has not cancelled any flights in the light of recent restrictions.
However, those with easyJet flights can now avoid paying for excess fees for flight changes or cancellations thanks to a policy amendment.
An easyJet spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We understand that some customers may need to alter their plans should local lockdown measures prevent them from travelling.
“Any impacted customers travelling in the next 14 days will be able to change their flights without a change fee via our contact centre.
“All 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.”
According to easyJet’s terms and conditions: “If you cancel more than 24 hours after booking, we will not refund any of your fare. You may prefer to change your flight instead.”
Customers looking to change their fare within 14 days prior to their journey will be charged £32 plus fare difference if done online of £37 plus the fare difference if done via a call centre.
Passengers can also opt to change the name on their flight if UK “local lockdown” rules mean they or a member of their party can now no longer attend.
These rules, however, only apply to flights which are still going ahead. The airline has introduced COVID-19 policy which is in place should a flight be cancelled by easyJet.
“Should any flights be cancelled customers are notified and informed of their options which include transferring to an alternative flight free of charge, receiving a voucher or applying for a refund via a webform on our dedicated Covid Help Hub at easyJet.com,” stated the easyJet spokesperson.
According to easyJet, passengers who booked under the new coronavirus policy can choose to switch to any other flight free of charge, claim a full voucher for the value of their ticket, or apply for reimbursement via the easyJet call centre.
This week Jet2 announced all getaways to Malaga, Alicante and Faro were being cancelled until early 2021 as Portugal and Spain show no sign of being removed from the quarantine list.
Jet2 said: “Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the latest government travel advice, we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays to Malaga, Alicante and Faro (The Algarve) Flights and holidays to Malaga and Alicante are suspended up to and including February 10, 2021.”
“Flights and holidays to Faro (The Algarve) are suspended from November 1 up to and including February 10, 2021, and we are continuing to operate a revised flying programme for flight-only customers up to and including October 31.
“For customers due to travel up to and including October 31 and who no longer wish to do so, we are offering them the option to rebook with no admin fee.”
Meanwhile, all package holidays to Turkey are cancelled until mid-October at the earliest.
A spokesperson for Jet2.com and Jet2holidays told Express.co.uk: “Due to the latest government travel advice, we have taken the decision to suspend package holidays to Turkey (Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman and Izmir) up to and including October 17.”
They added: “For any customers due to travel to Turkey after October 17, we will provide an update ahead of their departure date.”
In more positive news, Jet2 recently revealed it would be increasing flights to Greek island Rhodes as well as Portuguese island Madeira.
TUI has also cancelled all holidays to Turkey since it was removed from the ‘safe’ list.
TUI said in a statement: “Following the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) recent change in travel advice for Turkey, TUI UK has cancelled all holidays to Turkey up to and including October 3, 2020.
“All impacted customers will automatically receive a full cash refund and we advise them not to travel to the airport.”
TUI also recently announced it will be re-starting its long haul programme to the Caribbean from the start of November. The brand will operate holidays to Cuba, St Lucia and Antigua.
BA has not cancelled any flights as a result of changes to the travel corridor list.
However, the airline is keeping its network under constant review.
What’s more, British Airways has extended its flexible change policy to cover all customers to travel until October 31 2020.
British Airways has also recently increased the number of destinations it serves.
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