Holidays: Simon Calder gives advice on booking travel on GMB
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Package holidays are a go-to option for countless Britons but even this reliable holiday type has been dashed by the coronavirus. With so many holidays cancelled and tour operators taking different approaches to travel restrictions, it can be hard to keep up with what the latest updates are. This is what you need to know about popular holiday operators easyJet holidays, TUI, British Airways Holidays, Jet2 Holidays and Virgin Holidays.
easyJet holidays has cancelled all package holidays up to and including March 24 in line with current lockdown and travel restrictions.
The airline has not yet said whether any holidays will be impacted beyond this point.
Customers who have had their holiday cancelled by the operator will be contacted directly and provided with three options.
They may either rebook their holiday for a new date and destination, accept a voucher that can be used towards further travel or request a full cash refund.
easyJet has said it is aiming to provide refunds in “an average of 12 days”.
easyJet holidays said: “With safety and enjoyment front of mind we will cancel any holidays where the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel.
“We’re constantly reviewing bookings ahead of planned travel dates to give holidays as great a chance as possible to go ahead. If it’s likely your holiday will be impacted we’ll be in touch to discuss your options, and unless you’ve already taken action to cancel or change your booking, we will make a carefully considered decision on whether your holiday is able to go ahead in the week leading up to your departure date.
“Even where the FCDO advice permits travel, if at the point of departure there is a known requirement for routine quarantine or self-isolation on arrival in your holiday destination, our standard response is that we’ll cancel your holiday.
“If it’s likely that your holiday will be impacted by these restrictions, we’ll get in touch no later than a week before your planned departure date.”
Holidays with TUI are not set to restart until March 8.
TUI states on its website: “Due to the impact of COVID-19 and travel restrictions in place all TUI holidays up to and including March 7, 2021, have been cancelled.
“Customers will be contacted in departure date order to discuss their options, which will include amending to another holiday with an incentive or cancelling and receiving a full refund.
“We will constantly review our holiday programme in line with updated travel advice.”
What’s more, holidays due to depart on or before April 30, 2021, to Goa, India; La Palma, Canary Islands; Phuket, Thailand, The Gambia and Florida are also cancelled.
British Airways Holidays
British Airways is operating a “reduced” and “dynamic” service which means holidays and flights could change at any time.
The airline has cancelled its scheduled package holidays up to and including March 15.
A British Airways spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “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.”
The airline is currently in the process of contacting all customers who had a package holiday booked on or before March 15.
On the British Airways website, it explains: “If your flight is cancelled, please rest assured that we’ll contact you.”
As phone lines are busy, passengers are requested only to call if they are flying within the next 72 hours.
Jet2 holidays has axed all holidays up to and including April 14.
Additionally, package holidays to Iceland are suspended until April 26.
Jet2 has vowed to contact customers directly and will automatically issue them with a refund equal to the amount paid.
Jet2 said online: “Our holidays are due to restart from 15 April 2021.
“Due to the changing nature of country entry requirements, information per destination will become available 14 days before flights are due to restart.”
Virgin has cancelled all holidays until March 8.
“In line with the national lockdown restrictions we have reviewed the upcoming holiday schedule and will be cancelling all holidays up to and including March 7, 2021,” said Virgin.
“We will contact customers affected in departure date order to confirm their cancellation and the options available to them, beginning with those customers due to travel imminently.
“Due to the volume of customers affected please do not contact our teams, we will be in contact if your holiday is impacted.
“Our customer service team will be contacting anyone affected directly to talk through their options and support them to amend your travel dates.”
If flights are cancelled then customers are entitled to request a refund. If customers wish to change their travel dates they can do so with the date change fee waived.
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