Holidays: Ranvir Singh grills Grant Shapps on amber list countries

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Package holidays have been cited as one of the safest options for travel thanks to their refund and cancellation policies if holidays can not move ahead as planned. However, amid ongoing “uncertainty” regarding “traffic light” rules, some providers have made the decision to axe further holidays.

Here are the latest updates from Jet2holidays, easyJet holidays, TUI and British Airways holidays?

Jet2holidays

Jet2holidays has plans to resume its package holidays from June 24, 2021. The travel provider held off restarting holidays in May due to ongoing “uncertainty” regarding the Government’s travel rules.

“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,” Jet2’s website explains.

In line with the Government’s “traffic light” policy, Jet2 has created its own system.

Green list holidays will go ahead as planned once holidays have restarted.

Amber list holidays will be “reviewed” following the next Government announcement which Jet2 predicts will be “on or around June 1, 2021.”

It adds: “If your flight is due to depart on or before July 18 2021, if you want to, you can amend your flight admin-fee-free.” 

However, holidays to “red list” destination will not go ahead.

At the time of writing, Turkey is on the “red list” and therefore Jet2 says it will “review the status of Turkey following the next UK Government update which we expect to be on or around June 1, 2021.”

It continues: “If your destination is on the Red List at the next Government update, we’ll allow you to cancel your flight 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 flight is due to depart on or before July 18 2021, you can amend your flight admin-fee-free if you want to.”

Jet2 is working through bookings and will contact customers directly if their plans are impacted.

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easyJet holidays

easyJet holidays has resumed some holidays to a select list of destinations in line with the “traffic light” system.

Therefore it is warning customers that they must stay up-to-date with the relevant restrictions to their chosen holiday location.

“The government has announced how international travel can restart this summer through the introduction of a new traffic light system. As part of this there are some essential steps that you need to take before returning home from holiday, which will vary by destination,” explains easyJet holidays.

“It’s important to know that this traffic light system only applies to your return journey. You’ll also need to ensure that everyone in your party meets the entry requirements for your destination, which could also change between booking and travel.

“Due to COVID-19, this may include steps such as completing and submitting documentation in advance to show at the airport, proof of a negative Covid-19 test and/or complying with any applicable vaccination rules.

“You’ll need to make sure you meet these requirements so your holiday can go ahead as planned.”

Green list holidays will go ahead, meanwhile, amber list holidays can go ahead so long as customers are “happy” to travel and follow the specific rules associated.

However, there will be more flexibility to change holiday plans if customers do not wish to fly.

“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,’ explains easyJet holidays.

“And now we’ve enhanced our Covid commitments so if your holiday destination stays on the ‘amber’ list and as we get closer to your departure date, you can make fee-free changes within 28 days all the way up to 24 hours before you’re due to travel.”

Holidays to red list destinations will not go ahead.

“If your destination is on the red list, you’ll also benefit from fee-free changes or cancelling for credit” states easyJet holidays.

“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.”

The airline has also recently boosted its COVID-19 testing partnership with “approved testing provider” Collinson to “make testing easier and more affordable for customers”.

Customers can choose from discounted tests starting from £32 for a Lateral Flow Antigen, £66 for PCR and £68 for LAMP tests.

TUI

TUI has resumed some holidays though is working in line with the Government’s “traffic light” system.

This means holidays to red list destinations will not go ahead.

Most recently, TUI made the decision to cancel holidays to a further nine red list destinations due to depart on or before June 27, 2021.

In a statement, TUI explained: “Due to ongoing uncertainty, we have unfortunately had to cancel all holidays to the following Red and Amber destinations up to and including 27th June: Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Turkey, Egypt, Cape Verde, Morocco, Tunisia and Bulgaria.”

It added: “We want to offer our customers flexibility and choice this summer, so where borders are open and FCDO advice allows travel, we will operate to those destinations as planned.

“We are constantly reviewing our holiday programme and cancellations in line with the Government updates every three weeks, with the next update due in early June.”

In line with the travel provider’s “holiday promise”, plans will be cancelled and customers will be given the option to change their booking to another date fee-free or receive a full refund if the FCDO advises against non-essential travel abroad.

This will also apply if the government for a destination bans UK arrivals or decides to enforce quarantine on arrival and there isn’t the option to forgo this quarantine period by providing evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or of being fully vaccinated.

“If we need to cancel your holiday for any of these reasons, you don’t need to do anything,” states TUI’s website.

“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.”

British Airways holidays

British Airways (BA) holidays, the package holiday arm of the flag-bearing airline, has resumed travel to some destinations in line 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.”

BA is also encouraging customers to book package holidays with a new promotion offering Executive Club members the chance to earn double “Tier Points”.

The points can be earned on any package holiday of at least five nights taken between June 9 and September 30 2021.

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