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Lockdown 2: are flights cancelled?

Tougher national restrictions will come into force in England on Thursday 5 November in an effort to curb rising coronavirus cases. Among the new measures is a directive for people to avoid non-essential travel in the UK and abroad. So, what does this mean for travellers looking to get into or out of the country this November? Are flights cancelled? And if they are, will travellers be getting any refunds?

Let’s find out.

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What are the new lockdown’s rules on travel?

Under the new lockdown rules, people are advised to avoid travelling in or out of their local areas (except for essential purposes) and limit the number of journeys they make.

Will I be able to go on holiday?

No. You’ll not be able to go on holiday as the government has banned overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences. This includes holidays abroad as well as in the UK. It also includes travels to stay in a second home or with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with.

You may only travel for work purposes and a limited number of other legal exemptions.

What if I’m already abroad?

According to information on the gov.uk website, if you’re already abroad, you do not need to come home immediately. But it might be a good idea to check arrangements for your return with your airline.

Government advice also says that you should check the current travel corridor list to confirm whether you’ll need to isolate for 14 days upon your return to the UK.

Are flights cancelled?

Airlines will continue operating normal flight schedules before lockdown starts, but once restrictions take effect, this will most likely change.

If you have a flight booked from 5 November to 2 December, the best option right now is to check for the latest advice and directions on your airline’s or travel operator’s website.

Will I get a refund, and how long will it take?

If your flight is still on, you are not automatically entitled to a refund. However, many flights that were due to take off from England will likely not be doing so during the lockdown. A flight cancellation means that you might be due a refund.

Under European passenger rights, you are entitled to a full cash refund for a flight or holiday that cannot go ahead within 14 days.

Unfortunately, since the coronavirus outbreak, many people have experienced problems getting refunds from airlines and travel operators.

If you paid for the holiday or flight using a credit card, you can ask your bank or credit card company to charge back the money. That’s one of the great advantages of paying for things with a credit card. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act says that the credit card company might be liable when a product or service costing between £100 and £30,000 is not provided.

Which reports that some customers have been able to get their money back for cancelled flights this way. Though there is no guarantee, it is an option worth considering, especially if your airline or travel operator is being less than forthcoming in regard to a refund.

What are the airlines and travel companies saying?

British Airways

British Airways have not announced any official cancellations as of now. But the company says that if they cancel your flight, they will contact you. Customers can also change flights booked for November to a later date at no charge.

EasyJet

According to EasyJet’s CEO, the company will be reviewing its flying programme from Thursday. He added that it is highly likely that much of EasyJet’s UK-touching schedule will be cancelled during lockdown, with the normal flight schedule resuming in early December.

EasyJet will provide relevant advice to those booked to travel over the next month about their options. Customers will be able to change flights to any new date without a change fee.

Ryanair

Ryanair’s CEO has said that flights will continue to operate during lockdown and that customers should therefore not expect refunds. Customers can, however, change their flight to a later date for free.

Jet2

Jet2 will continue operating flights as normal until 4 November but has indicated that things might change from 5 November. If the new lockdown rules affect your flight, the company says that it will contact you to advise you of your options.

In the meantime, you can also amend your booking to another date with no admin fee.

TUI

The latest information from TUI is that holidays departing from airports in England from 5 November to 2 December won’t be going ahead.

The company say that it will instead offer three options that include rebooking with an incentive, requesting an ATOL-protected refund credit note or a getting a full cash refund.  

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