Airlines around the world have faced uncertainty amid ongoing travel restrictions, with many forced to axe and amend itineraries. On April 5, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to unveil more information on his plans to restart international before the Global Travel Taskforce resume meeting on April 12.
Ahead of these key dates, what are the latest updates from UK airlines?
easyjet has continued to operate some flights throughout the pandemic, however, these are subject to change at short notice.
Passengers who are impacted by cancellations will be contacted by the airline.
“If part/all of your trip is cancelled, you will be notified directly via email and informed of the options available to you,” the easyJet website detailed in its latest statement.
“We know that this has been a difficult and frustrating time for many of you who have had your travel plans disrupted, for those who may have had to wait on calls, or for those who faced difficulties booking onto rescue flights.
“As soon as it is safe to do so, we will be flying again. “
The airline has also introduced a flexible cancellation policy for customers who may be impacted by travel or lockdown restrictions.
It explained: “Due to a number of countries across our network imposing national and regional lockdown restrictions, we appreciate the uncertainty this may be causing if you are due to fly with us and understand that you may wish to change your travel plans, so we are providing a number of flexible options.”
Passengers who are hoping to change travel plans must do so within two hours.
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Ryanair has continued to fly throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent months, however, airline bosses made the decision to reduce its capacity due to a decrease in passenger foot traffic.
Flight itineraries remain subject to change.
Customers who are impacted by cancellations are entitled to a full refund from the airline, or the options to rebook their journey for a later date.
However, customers who have simply changed their mind about travelling or can no longer fly on their booked journey will not be entitled to a refund if the flight is still going ahead.
Instead, passengers are welcomed to make use of the airline’s extended “no flight change fee”.
This means passengers can change the date and time of their journey twice without incurring a fee.
On its website, Ryanair explains: “We know your plans may change, so we’ve dropped our flight change fees for all new bookings made before 30 June 2021, for travel before 31 October 2021.
“You can now make up to two flight changes for travel by 31 October 2021. This gives you complete flexibility and peace of mind.
“Our Zero Change Fee promo is applicable for bookings made after 10 June 2020. Flight changes must take place at least 7 days before the original scheduled departure dates.”
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Jet2 has suspended all flights up to and including May 16 in line with the Prime Minister’s “roadmap” out of lockdown plans.
The airline is likely to provide an update following any new information released by the Government.
“If you’ve been affected by these programme changes, we’ll be automatically cancelling your booking with a full refund. Please be patient with us as we do this,” Jet2 said in a statement.
“If you’re due to travel from 17 May 2021 onwards, we’ll provide an update closer to the time.”
Customers who have booked their journey through a third party or online travel agent are advised to get in touch with them directly.
British Airways (BA)
British Airways has continued to operate a “reduced” and “dynamic” schedule throughout the pandemic.
This means some flights could be cancelled or changed.
Customers impacted by cancellations will be entitled to a refund.
The BA website explains: “If your flight has been cancelled, we will contact you with your options. Alternatively, you can rebook or claim a voucher online.”
The airline recently cancelled more flights in line with its ongoing schedule changes.
A BA spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We are sorry that, like other airlines, due to the current Coronavirus pandemic and global travel restrictions we are operating a reduced and dynamic schedule.”
Customers can also utilise BA’s “Book with Confidence” policy which allows passengers to “change or cancel” their plans.
BA recently announced plans to trial its own vaccine passport app named “VeriFLY”.
The app will provide information regarding a passengers vaccine status.
BA chief executive Sean Doyle said he hoped the move would “set an example” for other countries.
He added: “What we want to make sure is that we also take that leadership position into restoring travel and restoring the economy.”
All TUI holidays departing from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including flight-only and accommodation-only bookings, due to depart on or before 16 May 2021 are currently cancelled.
Holidays, including flight-only and accommodation-only bookings to Los Cabos, Mexico, and Kvarner Bay, Croatia, departing on or before October 31, are now cancelled.
TUI is expected to give a new update on its plans for flights following the Prime Minister’s announcement on April 5.
In an updated statement the airline said: “We’re aware of the media reports regarding international travel not being able to take place before July 2021. “We’d like to reassure you that we’re working closely with the UK Government on the Global Travel Taskforce to re-instate international travel.
“It is our expectation that the Prime Minister will be giving an update on 5 April, and will then provide more detail about international travel on 12 April.
“The first and earliest date for travel, is still 17 May and we will continue to update our website as and when we know more.”
TUI has extended its “free changes policy” until the end of June.
Customers booked to travel between May 17 and the end of June can change their booking to a later date without incurring a charge.
For those who made their booking online, this can be done via the “Manage My Booking” portal.
Customers who booked their holiday in-store are able to contact the airline’s telephone centre to discuss their options.
As part of TUI’s “Holiday Promise” customers can change their holiday to another date or opt for a full refund if Government advice changes and it becomes illegal to travel abroad, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advised against non-essential travel abroad, or if new quarantine rules come in.