Future travel warnings from Which?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Look at travel insurance policies and the T&C’s of your holiday provider

According to Which? holidaymakers are not being informed about what Brexitmay do to their holiday plans.

It says that customers of tour operators should be told of the possibility of flight disruption and what compensation could be paid. Why is it so concerned? Because, as yet, no agreement has been reached on what access planes flying from UK airports into the remaining EU airports will have.

The UK government has already said that it would incorporate EU261- the article by which compensation for delayed and cancelled flights will be paid – into UK law.

In principle, the ATOL bonding scheme won’t be affected by Brexit but the Package Travel Directive which is still the subject of debate might be altered  by UK politicians before it becomes law. It has to be incorporated into UK law by July this year.

Equally if you travel by Eurostar or use the Channel Tunnel, there are still decsions to be made.

The big concern is aviation but what can tour operators and airlines do if no arrangement has been reached by the time they publish prices for holidays/flights in EU countries after Brexit? In this very unlikely event – it is in no-ones best interest not to have this in place –  the answer maybe to follow the lead of Ryanair which, from September will include within its contract the sentence, “This flight is subject to the regulatory environment allowing the flight to take place.” An assumption would be that in the event of no flights being allowed to move between the UK and EU countries and vice-versa, monies would be refunded.

Which? advises anyone booking a holiday that takes place after March 2019 to check the small print that their travel provider has. You should also check also the wording of any travel insurance policies to see what coverage they are offering during this period before the legislative regulations become clear.

Which? asked the top five tour operators what their policies would be but TUI, Jet 2 and On the Beach failed to respond. Thomas Cook replied saying that it would not provide compensation or reimburse expenses. It would provide refunds, however, if people were unable to fly for Brexit reasons.

Expedia said that it thought passengers would be entitled to compensation from airlines.

As for airlines, they have also called for clarity.

But how can the British government tell us what will happen when it is still negotiating with the EU? All passengers and holidaymakers can do is to hope for an outcome before the final date and that their insurance policies and terms and conditions with their travel providers offer a refund of any monies paid if the worst happens and no flights are allowed.

Travellers to the EU countries from the UK and vice-versa also don’t yet know whether visas will be required and what border checks there will be. That is another thing awaiting an EU/UK decision

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