Grant Shapps reveals countries on UK's red and green lists
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Package holidays have been cited by experts as one of the safest options for travel amid the ongoing uncertainty of restrictions thanks to their cancellation and refund protections. However, given the limited nature of the current “green list”, some package holiday firms are not resuming travel until the summer.
Following Friday’s “green list” update, here are the latest updates from easyJet holidays, Jet2holidays, TUI and British Airways.
easyJet holidays is pushing ahead with its plans to resume holidays from May 17.
In a bid to enhance “customer confidence”, the airline is allowing for more flexibility through the continued implementation of its “Protection Promise”.
This means customers can make changes to their existing booking, or change their mind about travel altogether up to 28 days before departure without incurring a fee.
The firm has now further enhanced its Covid commitments for travel this summer to allow fee-free changes to be made to holidays where the destination is on the “amber” list up to 24 hours before travel.
The ATOL protected package holiday company has also vowed it will not operate to “red list” destinations.
When customers get closer to their planned travel date, if their destination is still on the “red list”, easyJet holidays will cancel the booking and provide a full refund.
Garry Wilson, the CEO of easyJet holidays, said: “We’re looking forward to sending our customers away again on May 17, and that will make us one of the first major tour operators to restart travel. We want to provide as much flexibility and choice as we can so customers can make the right decision about their holiday, so we’re really pleased to have further enhanced what we’re able to offer this summer.
“We want to see many more countries on our ‘green’ list so, as the vaccination programme continues to be so successful, we look forward to the reviews and hearing more about continued government plans to make testing easier and more affordable.”
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Following the Government’s “green list” announcement, Jet2 has maintained that it will not resume any flights or package holidays until June 24.
The Leeds-based holiday provided has further assured it will not fly customers to any country not on the “green list” at the time of departure.
“We are pleased that the UK Government has committed to reopening international travel this summer, and we welcome some of the additional clarity that has been provided today,” said Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays.
“Despite ‘wanting to start looking outward again’ there is still a long way to go to meet the huge customer demand for our flights and ATOL protected package holidays, so we look forward to further positive news about where we can fly to in the coming weeks.
“We also look forward to important updates from the UK Government about a simple and affordable testing regime for customers.
“Following today’s announcement, our customers can travel on their well-deserved holidays to destinations on the ‘green list’ from June 24, and we expect a huge spike in searches and bookings to these destinations.
“We remain totally committed to our restart date of June 24.”
He added: “If customers are booked to travel on June 24 onwards and their destination is not currently on the ‘green list’, we kindly ask that they hold off from contacting us as we take the time to make considered decisions in the best interests of customers and independent travel agency partners from all parts of the UK.”
Customers who have their holiday cancelled are entitled to change their holiday for another date free of charge, or opt for a full refund.
TUI is set to resume package holidays from May 17 following the “green list” announcement.
Following the news Portugal has been added to the “green list”, TUI made the decision to add more weekly flights to Portugal and Madeira from London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.
TUI is now offering an additional weekly flight to Madeira from London Gatwick and Manchester, every Friday from May 21 to October 29, and twice-weekly from Birmingham, every Monday and Friday from May 17 to October 29.
These extra flights open up the opportunity to book 10 and 11 night-holidays.
However, TUI will also launch an additional weekly flight from Bristol operating every Thursday from May 20 to October 28. These flights will complement the existing weekly flights already on offer from other UK airports on Thursdays and Sundays throughout the Summer.
Andrew Flintham managing director of TUI UK said: “These destinations have always been a firm favourite for Britons, so it’s no surprise demand has increased following speculation they could be available from May 17 without the need to quarantine on return.
“We own every element of the holiday programme, so are uniquely placed to respond to customer demand and add additional holidays to the most popular hotspots.
“We’ve also introduced new subsidised testing packages, which start from just £20 for green list destinations to help our customers get away for their long-awaited holiday.”
Customers are offered added flexibility with the option to change their holidays up to 14 days before travel if they change their mind.
The TUI website states: “If your destination changes to Amber within 14 days of travel, you will be able to amend up until the day before your departure.”
British Airways holidays
The package holiday arm of British Airways (BA) is set to resume some holidays from May 17 in line with Government restrictions.
The airline aims to provide “flexibility for customers” with its “book with confidence commitment”.
“Our book with confidence commitment means you have the option to change your booking date and destination or even cancel it completely,” the airline explains on its website.
“For bookings made on or after March 3, 2020, for journeys that are due to have been completed by April 30, 2022, you can change your booking or cancel your booking.”
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