Holidays: Britons share concerns about international travel
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Package holidays providers were forced to put travel on hold as a slew of restrictions came into force at the end of last year. As May 17 approaches, though, many have set out plans to jet Britons off on holiday once more.
The Government is expected to announce it plans for the UK “traffic light” system for travel in the coming days.
Ahead of this, package holiday providers such as easyJet holidays, Jet2 holidays, British Airways Holidays and TUI have offered updates for customers on what they can expect moving forward.
Here are the latest updates ahead of May 17:
easyJet holidays has outlined plans to resume some package holidays from May 17, in line with Government restrictions.
This will depend on which countries are categorised as “green” under the Government’s “traffic light” system.
In a statement, easyJet holidays explained: “Following announcements from the UK government, we have cancelled all easyJet holidays with departure dates up to and including May 16, 2021.
“Currently, the Government has said that the planned restart date for international travel is still due to be May 17 and that’s the date we’re planning to start taking people away again.”All customers impacted by the latest cancellations will be contacted directly and will be able to request a full cash refund or to change to a later date and receive a booking incentive.”
“The Government has also shared a little bit more about how holidays can be restarted again and the introduction of a traffic light system – they will share which traffic light colour destinations fall under in early May, so we’ll know even more then.
“We’re continually working through how COVID-19 may impact future bookings in departure date order.”
As part of its “Protection Promise” easyJet holidays has vowed not to fly Britons to “red list” countries.
It is also providing more flexibility for holidays which are “affected by the Government’s traffic light system”.
easyJet holidays’ website explains: “All holidays can be changed, fee-free, up to 28 days before travel.
“For departures up to and including September 30, 2021, if your holiday destination is on the amber list in the run-up to your departure date, you can make fee-free changes to your booking or cancel for credit right up to 24 hours before travel.
“If your destination is on the red list, you’ll also benefit from fee-free changes or cancelling for credit.
“If you’d rather wait to see what happens, but the destination doesn’t come off the red list, we’ll cancel your holiday no later than seven days before you’re due to travel and refund you in full.
“We’ll also cancel any holidays where there is a known quarantine requirement in destination, or where there is a hotel quarantine requirement when returning home to the UK.”
Following the Global Travel Taskforce’s release of the initial document detailing plans for the “traffic light” system, Jet2holidays made the decision to further cancel plans.
Holidays are now cancelled up until June 24, 2021.
The Leeds-based holiday provider said it had made this decision due to ongoing “uncertainty” around travel restrictions.
In a statement on its website, Jet2holidays states: “We’re now waiting for the UK Government and its Global Travel Taskforce to confirm which destinations fall into the green, amber or red categories of the new traffic light system – and the travel requirements for each country to be finalised.
“If you have an existing booking, we’ll be in touch with you when we know more.
“You can also visit our website 14 days before you’re due to depart when we’ll have all the latest official information.
“Between now and then, there’s no need to take any action – and we’d recommend that you don’t start arranging things like COVID-19 tests until all the travel requirements have been published by the governments here and abroad.”
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British Airways holidays
British Airways’ (BA) package holiday arm has cancelled all plans until May 17.
From this date, the airline plans to whisk holidaymakers off on hotel and flight combination deals, provided it is in line with Government framework.
The airline has yet to provide any further update on package holidays for now.
A BA spokesperson previously 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.”
TUI has issued a new update on holidays, cancelling further flights and holiday packages in the run-up to May 17.
The travel provider says this is due to the “ongoing uncertainty around travel”.
Holidays to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia, Tunisia, Egypt and Cape Verde due to depart before June 7 have now been axed.
All Lakes and Mountains holidays to Italy, Austria and Slovenia due to depart before June 7 have also been cancelled.
The airline has also issued a major update on services running between May 17 and May 27.
In a statement on its website, TUI explains: “TUI Airways will also only be flying from four airports – Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol – between 17 and 27 May.
“All customers impacted by the latest cancellations will be contacted directly and will be able to request a full cash refund or to change to a later date and receive a booking incentive.”
The holiday provider has further assured customers they will not be flying to any countries categorised as red.
Customers will also be given the option to change their holiday fee-free if they are required to quarantine either at their destination or upon their return home. Customers will also be given the option to request a refund which the firm aims to deliver “within 14 days.”
TUI’s website states: “Following the most recent announcement from the UK Government, customers travelling from England will still 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 entry and testing requirements may be needed for your destination and what colour your destination may be. We can confirm that we will not be travelling to any red destinations.
“We know that our customers are looking forward to their holidays, so to offer continued flexibility and reassurance, we have extended our free changes policy to include bookings up to the end of August. If you would like to change your booking to a later date, you can do this up to 14 days before you are due to travel.
“And if your destination changes to Amber within 14 days of travel, you will be able to amend up until the day before your departure.”
It continues: “If you are due to travel between May 17 and 31, you will still be able to change your holiday for free up to seven days before departure.”
Customers can amend their booking via the website, in store or by telephoning the number provided on the TUI website. “Currently, the Government has said that the planned restart date for international travel is still due to be May 17 and that’s the date we’re planning to start taking people away again.
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