Jet2, easyJet, Ryanair, TUI and On the Beach speak out after greenlist announcement
Thursday’s (June 3) overhaul of the government’s traffic light system for the summer holidays, which saw Portugal turn from green to orange, was greeted with dismay by airlines and travel agencies .
Several companies have said that no country being added to the green list, combined with the blow of Portugal’s switch to amber, risks spoiling the summer for the struggling travel industry.
In addition, some of these companies have requested full transparency on the data that is used to determine the status given to destinations.
Jet2 updated its flight and vacation schedule following Thursday’s announcement, while TUI said it is still revising its schedule after “another setback”, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Vacationers can cancel or postpone their overseas trips at no cost, but it’s best to check with the airline of your choice.
Here, we’ve taken a look at what Jet2, Easyjet, Ryanair, On the Beach, and TUI have said in response to the majority of European tourist hotspots remaining on the orange list – where it is not advisable to travel.
Jet2 said they “just couldn’t understand” why more European destinations are not open to British holidaymakers and called on the government for full transparency over the data used to determine the list.
They have changed their flight schedule and made the decision to restart flights and holidays on July 1, 2021 – this excludes the Jersey program which will restart on June 24, 2021.
With Turkey currently remaining on the red list, flights and vacations to Turkey will resume on July 22, 2021.
And for all destinations currently on the Orange List, Jet2 also allows customers to change their booking at no cost if they need to travel between July 1 and July 21, 2021.
When customers are affected by any schedule changes, the travel agency said it will automatically cancel their reservation with a full refund, and their travel experts will contact you to help them book summer getaways.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: “We know how disappointed our customers and independent travel agents will be with today’s announcement, and we share their concerns and frustrations. .
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“The UK government has repeatedly stated that it makes decisions based on infection and vaccination rates, but many destinations continue to be excluded from the green list despite low infection rates and rates of high vaccination.
“When you apply the government’s own criteria to make travel decisions, we simply cannot understand why more destinations across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands are not allowed to open to vacationers. British.
“We are now calling for full openness and transparency around data, so customers and industry can truly understand what is driving these decisions.
What do you think of the announcement? Let us know in the comments
“We agree that public health must be the number one priority. However, despite all the evidence and data showing that travel can restart safely and on a large scale, the UK remains largely entrenched while the rest of the world Europe is opening up. “
He added, “Our clients want nothing more than to get away from it all on their well-deserved vacation and our colleagues want nothing more than to give clients the vacation they deserve.
“We know that international travel can safely restart, so we urge the government to urgently reconsider its approach and work with industry to help us get there. “
Johan Lundgren, managing director of easyJet, said Portugal’s move to the Orange List was a “blow” to those currently in the country.
He said, “When this framework was put in place, consumers were promised a waiting list to allow them to plan.
“Yet the government has torn up its own rulebook and ignored the science, throwing people’s plans into chaos, with virtually no notice or alternate options for traveling from the UK. This decision essentially cuts the UK off from the rest of the world. “
He added: “As our European fleet gears up for the summer as European governments open up travel to their citizens, the UK government is preventing airlines from planning while consumers stay on the ground in the UK.”
The travel agency is committed to providing additional flexibility when vacations are affected by the government’s traffic light system.
All holidays can be changed, free of charge, up to 28 days before travel.
For departures until September 30, 2021 inclusive, if your vacation destination is on the Orange List as your departure date approaches, you can make changes to your reservation free of charge or cancel for credit up to 24 hours before the trip, says easyJet.
If your destination is on the redlist, you will also benefit from free changes or cancellation for credit.
If you’d rather wait and see what happens, but the destination doesn’t get off the redlist, they’ll cancel your vacation no later than seven days prior to your departure and give you a full refund.
Ryanair said in a statement: “As the majority of UK / EU adults will be vaccinated in the coming weeks, these travel restrictions will become redundant.
“UK families continue to book to travel this summer knowing that if their plans change their booking may change as well, with Ryanair’s zero-change fee offer on all bookings made before the end of September for travel before the end of September. December 31, 2021. “
On the beach
Simon Cooper, managing director of online travel company On the Beach, said: “Vacationers want a sustainable return to normal travel as quickly as possible, and to get there the travel industry must stop looking for short-term gains.
“Reopening travel too wide and too fast will increase the likelihood of a meaningful restart that we all desperately hope will significantly disrupt.”
The Cheadle-based company previously suspended all sales for travel in June, July and August in light of the introduction of the traffic light system.
Simon criticized that the process does not provide any clarity beyond a three-week window on where people can travel to without isolating themselves.
Package holiday company TUI UK says the government has broken promises to the industry.
Andrew Flintham, Managing Director of TUI UK, said: “This latest announcement is another step backwards for our industry.
“After promising that the Global Travel Taskforce would come up with a clear framework, removing the damaging flip-flops we all suffered last summer, the government’s decision to take Portugal straight from green to orange will undermine customer trust.
“We were reassured that a green watchlist would be created and one week’s notice would be given so that travelers did not have to rush home. They broke that promise.
He added that the UK government has refused to be transparent about data requirements for green, orange and red destinations and said the industry needs to see the methodology for decisions.
TUI says they are currently reviewing their schedule after Thursday’s announcement and will share more information as soon as possible.
If you’ve booked a vacation to Portugal, Madeira, or Porto Santo, which is due to depart no later than June 17, 2021, and you can’t isolate yourself when you return, you can change your vacation to a later date. -free.
If you have booked vacations in Portugal, Madeira or Porto Santo, which are due to depart after June 17, 2021, you may be able to take advantage of their change policy at no cost.
Dame Irene Hays, owner of the travel agency Hays Travel, said she was “surprised and obviously disappointed” to learn that Portugal was taken off the green list for travel from the UK.
She told Sky News that she was “disappointed for our customers, disappointed for the travel industry and really disappointed for Portugal because they have tried so hard and their infection rates are so low. I know they go up to Lisbon, but it’s quite far from the Algarve, where most of the tourists are ”.
When asked if she felt nuance had not been considered, Dame Irene said: “It would be nice if it was a nuanced approach, but we are where we are.”
It is “difficult” and “very frustrating” for vacationers, especially those who have just started their trip, she added.
While some people still book vacations for the summer, Dame Irene said the “vast majority” are booking for fall or 2022 instead.
Virgin Atlantic boss Shai Weiss commented on the lack of greenlist additions, saying: “The UK government’s risk-based traffic light framework will not provide the clarity and certainty that consumers, families and businesses need it if it doesn’t track the data.
“Its own evidence shows that the United States and the Caribbean are low risk and should be added to the green list now.
“We have yet to see clear and transparent guidance on the methodology and data on which the government bases these decisions. It shouldn’t be a state secret.
“This overly cautious approach fails to reap the dividends from the UK’s successful vaccination program, preventing passengers from booking with confidence and limiting the economic value of £ 23million each day with our largest trading partner.
“We urge the UK government to speed up talks with the Biden administration to pave the way for opening skies ahead of the G7 next week. There is no reason to delay, given that the economic recovery and 500,000 jobs are at stake. ”