Holidaymakers around the world have been devastated with cancelled plans as airlines ground flights and countries shut their borders in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Although some countries are now taking steps to relax certain aspects of lockdown, many borders remain shut around the world, meaning holidays in the near future are almost certainly cancelled.
Many airlines are now hosting flight sales for next year, with some even suggesting they could be back in the air by July.
Yet, as the pandemic continues to move in unpredictable ways, should holidaymakers with plans for 2021 be concerned?
Jet2 has cancelled all flights until June 17 2020.
Though this is disappointing for those with trips in the coming months, it is promising for those jetting off next year.
“Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we’ve decided to recommence our flights programme on 17 June 2020,” reads a statement.
“If you’re travelling before this date, unfortunately, your booking will be affected as our flights won’t be operating.”
Customers with plans prior to this date will be contacted by the airline to discuss their options.
If all goes to plan and the government’s relaxed lockdown strategy works, holidaymakers could be back in the skies in time for their 2021 vacation.
Ryanair customers with plans in May and June have been left heartbroken as flights were cancelled and holiday dreams ruined.
The airline is currently administering “refund vouchers” for cancelled flights which can be used to book a new journey with the airline.
If customers do not wish to accept the voucher, they must contact the airline and will be placed in a queue until the pandemic is passed.
However, there is positive news ahead for those who have holidays booked for next year.
Not only has the airline insisted that it will be returning to 40 percent of normal flight scheduled from Wednesday, July 1 2020.
The new plans are subject to Government restrictions on intra-EU flights being lifted, and effective public health measures being put in place at airports.
Ryanair will operate a daily flight schedule of almost 1,000 flights, restoring 90 percent of its pre-COVID-19 route network.
The airline has also recently unveiled a sale on flights for next year, showing even more promise for the return of travel.
On May 11 Ryanair emailed subscribed customers with its latest deals – with some journeys starting as low as £47.99.
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Budget carrier easyJet has not yet cancelled all of its flights and is instead working on a 7-day rolling basis due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.
If a flight is not yet cancelled, easyJet is not accepting refund requests.
Customers with cancelled flights are entitled to a refund, or customers may amend their booking to a later date.
However, the airline has not yet announced plans for an official start date.
An easyJet spokesperson said: “At this stage, there can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights as this will depend on national travel restrictions and customer demand.
“We are working closely with local authorities and the relevant regulators to monitor the situation across Europe so that we remain informed of when restrictions could change and when flying can resume.
“We anticipate this will be a minimal schedule at first, which will vary by country.
“In the meantime, we are maintaining our full fleet of aircraft in a flight-ready condition and putting accelerated procedures in place to ensure flights can resume quickly and safely.
“We continue to work closely with EASA and other agencies to ensure we meet the necessary requirements for crew training as well as any additional health and safety measures that could be introduced to best protect our customers and crew, ensuring we are in compliance with any new ways of operating ready for when flying resumes.”
Holiday provider TUI has cancelled all holidays until June 11 but remains optimistic about the future.
The company has set out a 10-point plan for how it will offer its operations once they are able to restart business – this covers flights, hotel stays and its retail travel agencies.
TUI continues to follow government guidelines and is updating its policy where necessary.
A spokesperson added: “Our holidays departing after June 12, 2020, are currently due to operate as planned.
“It’s also reassuring for customers to know that all of our package holidays are ATOL protected, so travellers can book their future holidays with confidence.
“If the holiday needs to be cancelled down the track, they will be offered the option to either receive a refund credit with a bonus incentive or a cash refund.”
If all goes to plan, pre-booked holidays for 2021 will still go ahead.
Holidaymakers who are faced with cancelled holidays before June 12 will receive a refund credit. They are also able to use this credit to apply for a cash refund, though this could take some time due to the high number of requests.
TUI states: “You’ll receive a refund credit for the full value of your holiday, and we’ll give you a separate booking incentive up to 20 percent.
“We understand that you may not be ready to book again just yet, so the refund credit gives you the flexibility to book your travel in the future. “Plus, if your original booking was for a package holiday, you’ll get a separate booking incentive up to 20 percent.”
Published at Thu, 14 May 2020 17:56:00 +0000