Categories
Travel

FCO travel advice: When will FCO lift travel ban?

Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential international travel. At the beginning of the outbreak many British nationals were stuck abroad as the world’s airports began to shut down in response to the growing threat of coronavirus.

The FCO’s exceptional travel advisory notice reads: “As countries respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

“Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

“If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.

“Many airlines have suspended flights and many airports are closed, preventing flights from leaving.”


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The travel advisory has been in place since March 17.

Travelling to another country while a travel advisory is out will invalidate all travel insurance claims.

When will the FCO lift travel bans?

Strictly speaking, travel advisories are not travel bans.

You cannot be prosecuted for travelling internationally – although you will not be able to obtain travel insurance.

Although many airlines have been forced to ground their fleets, some commercial flights have been running, and the Government repatriated stuck Britons earlier on in the crisis.

Flights will resume for many of the big providers soon, with Jet2, Easyjet and Ryanair all announcing plans to sell flights again in June.

Despite this, the advisory has not been lifted and the Government has not solidly indicated when this will happen.

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The Government said it is continuing to look at further options for international travel.

These include “air bridges” – agreements between countries with similar transmission rates to recognise the other nation’s passenger departure screening measures and remove the need for quarantine measures for incoming passengers.

The “air bridges” scheme was approved by the Government earlier this week.

However, none of these are set in stone and only essential travel is permitted.

The changes come as the summer holiday season grows closer, with some countries putting their own bans on Brits travelling to popular destinations due to the UK’s high death and infection rate.

Those who travel into the UK will soon have to quarantine for 14 days, in plans announced earlier this month.

Greece announced that once the country had opened up to international travel again, the UK is not among the 29 countries permitted to travel there.

Greece has so far had far fewer cases of coronavirus than the UK, with 2,906 confirmed cases and 175 deaths. The Greek islands, which rely heavily on tourism, have had no confirmed cases.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “As the world begins to emerge from what we hope is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, we must look to the future and protect the British public by reducing the risk of cases crossing our border.

“We are introducing these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave.”

UK arrivals from the Common Travel Area, including Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, will be exempt from the rule, alongside a very limited group of workers, including freight drivers and medical professionals.

Anyone else arriving in the UK by plane, ferry or train would be required to provide border officials with an address where they will self isolate, and will be checked in on to make sure they are abiding by the rules.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Turkey holidays: When will Turkey allow UK tourists?

Turkey is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits, with beautiful beaches, warm weather and a range of sights to see. However, holidays have been put on hold this year as the world grapples with the spread of coronavirus.

Many countries are beginning to lift strict lockdown restrictions, and Turkey is starting to ease some measures.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday Turkey will lift restrictions on intercity travel and allow restaurants, cafes, parks and sports facilities to reopen from Monday, June 1.

Museums and beaches will also open from June 1, Mr Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting.

He said restrictions would remain in place on the movements of those aged over 65 and under 18.

Read More: Spain holidays: Ibiza issues new rule for tourists

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The virus has killed nearly 4,500 people in Turkey, with more than 160,000 infections.

The economy is expected to tip into recession as a result of the containment measures.

Mr Erdogan said in a televised address: “Under the new normal order, let us not neglect masks, distancing and hygiene.”

He said: “We don’t have the slightest doubt that we will make up for all our losses of the last 2-1/2 months in a short period of time.

“Let’s definitely wear masks out, maintain physical distance and pay attention to hygiene. These are three essential things for us.”

In early April, Turkey stopped all travel between 31 cities, including Istanbul, excluding transit passage and essential supplies.

The country then reduced the restrictions to 15 cities but they will end on June 1.

Among other easing measures, Turkey began operating intercity trains on Thursday after a two-month break.

Mosques will also begin allowing mass prayers from today, May 29.

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When can British tourists return to Turkey?

Despite Turkey beginning to reduce lockdown measures across the country, it may be a while yet until Brits can fly to the country.

British tourists are not expected to return until at least autumn, with domestic travellers the priority, according to local media.

This is due to fears of another outbreak, as well as making sure social distancing guidelines are being enforced.

Some restrictions may be in place when British tourists can return, with some holiday resorts across the country potentially requiring guests to prove they don’t have COVID-19 with health certificates.

As part of the fight against the deadly virus, hotels, airports and attractions will all be sterilised.

These locations will also be told to allow enough space for social distancing.

Other measures may include temperature checks at hotels and airports.

For anyone wanting to fly, the UK will be enforcing a 14-day quarantine on anyone entering the country, including British nationals, from next month.

On arriving into the UK, travellers will have to fill out a form and give details of any onward journeys and where they will be staying.

The Government may then contact travellers within those 14 days to ensure quarantine rules are being adhered to.

Current Government guidelines on international travel stipulate only essential journeys should take place.

This also applies to anyone looking to holiday in Britain, with the guidance stating: “Leaving your home – the place you live – to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Spain holiday warning: Canary Islands demands tourists take coronavirus test before entry

The Canary Islands are a very popular holiday destination with Britons and tourists around the world. Usually, the islands are inundated with tourists each summer hoping to soak up some sun and sand. However, now the islands are insisting that foreign tourists – including Britons – have to take a COVID-19 test before they travel to the islands.

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The local government said the measure will be expensive.

However, the government has indicated that hoteliers and airlines might be willing to team up with the public sector to help pay the bill.

Vice-president of the Government of the Canary Islands and Minister of the Treasury, Román Rodríguez said people need to fly with the least possible risk.

He said: “We need people who get on the plane to do so with the least possible risk of infecting others or becoming infected.”

The Canary Islands emerged relatively unscathed from the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the globe.

The Canaries have only recorded 160 deaths since the crisis began.

Tourism chiefs have said that because of the country’s low death and case rates, they want the islands treated like a “world safety lab”.

They are also hoping that the Canaries will be one of the first regions open to tourists if Spain decides to opt for a phased basis.

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Mr Rodriguez said in a video call with the Spanish government that there needs to be measures in place for “air health security”.

He added that economic activity in the Canary Islands is highly dependent on air traffic and “we need that mobility to be safe.”

Mr Rodriguez also said that carrying out the tests was essential as using masks would not be enough.

He also said that removing middle seats on planes and social distancing is not possible economically.

The vice president considered that tests at source are technically possible and, although they are expensive right now, the private sector – hoteliers and airlines – would be interested in seeking coordination mechanisms with the public sector to make them possible.

He added: “If we reduce the risk of contagion, we will quickly regain people’s trust, which is the key to activating air mobility.”

So far, hoteliers have backed the move who have pointed out that 35 percent of the GDP in the Canaries is linked to tourism, as well as 70,000 jobs in hotels and apartments.

Because the Canary Islands are predominantly a tourist destination, Mr Rodriquez has asked the European Union to treat the Canaries differently when it comes to the distribution of resources.

Tenerife received the most visitors out of all the Canaries last year with almost six million visitors.

Gran Canaria came in second with 4.3 million holidaymakers last year.

The travel and tourism GDP amounted to 16 billion euros in the region in 2018.

The Canaries are just off the northwest coast of Africa, meaning that they are perfect for winter breaks.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Transport

India domestic air travel to resume May 25 after virus shutdown

Domestic flights ferried 144 million passengers as well as cargo across the vast country last year

No indication was given when international travel would resume.

Domestic air travel will resume in India on May 25 after a two-month shutdown imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus, the aviation minister said Wednesday, in a further easing of national lockdown restrictions.

The government halted all domestic flights – which ferried 144 million passengers as well as cargo across the vast country last year – on March 25, days after suspending international flights.

“All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Twitter.

No indication was given when international travel would resume.

A limited number of interstate Indian trains – on a network which normally carries over 20 million passengers a day – resumed a week ago.

An additional 200 passenger services – 100 pairs of trains operating to and from major and some smaller cities – would resume from June 1, Indian Railways said late Wednesday, adding that online bookings would start from Thursday.

The announcement comes the same day as the country of 1.3 billion people reported its biggest daily jump in coronavirus infections, with 5,611 new cases recorded in 24 hours.

It took the total to 106,750, with financial capital Mumbai the worst-hit city, according to government figures.

More than 3,300 people have died – though unofficial estimates are higher – and Mumbai accounts for almost a quarter of fatalities.

Other major cities such as New Delhi and Ahmedabad are also badly affected.

Hospital bed shortages

Mumbai authorities are looking to requisition thousands of private hospital beds, with state-run care facilities overwhelmed in the city of 20 million people.

“A plan is under consideration to take over 80 percent of beds in private hospitals for non-COVID cases,” Mumbai city spokesperson Vijay Khabale-Patil told AFP.

With some virus patients reportedly sleeping on the streets outside hospitals waiting for beds to become free, authorities say they need to boost the 5,000 available for critically ill patients.

Mumbai has already had to build makeshift field hospitals and turned several landmarks into quarantine facilities, including a 19th-century horse-racing venue, a sports stadium that was used to host NBA games last year and a planetarium.

There are fears the start of the monsoon next month and the spread of diseases like dengue fever will add to the burden.

The capital New Delhi, also home to 20 million people, has likewise been badly hit.

It now has more than 10,000 cases and while authorities have confirmed only 160 coronavirus deaths, media reports – citing cemetery records – say there have been almost triple that number at least.

Gujarat state’s largest city, Ahmedabad, has meanwhile recorded 8,945 cases with nearly 600 deaths.

Experts predict the epidemic will worsen in the major cities over the next month and infections are only expected to peak in June or July.

Despite the crisis in cities, the Indian government has insisted it is keeping the spread under control in the world’s second-most populous nation.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Travel firms to trust for your post-lockdown holiday

Titans that came up trumps in a crisis: Travel firms to trust for your post-lockdown holiday

  • Trailfinders tops the list for service and strong finances, writes Neil Simpson   
  • Kuoni is singled out by researchers at Which? for a fair-play refund policy
  • Smaller firms such as Inn Travel and Leger Holidays have also won praise 

Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at an important holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: travel firms to trust for your next holiday.

Look ahead to 2021 and you’ll find a series of amazing holiday deals already appearing. Trailfinders is offering savings of more than £1,500 per couple on seven-night wellness holidays in St Lucia – stays in an all-inclusive five-star hotel with complimentary spa treatments each day and dinner in a choice of five restaurants every night now costs £2,699pp.

Turn to Kuoni and you can find flights and ten-night self-drive tours through Florida to take in the Art Deco buildings of Miami, the shabby chic of Key West and Fort Lauderdale’s sandy beaches from £1,695pp. Alternatively, get away from it all on a 12-night tour of remote lodges and safari hotels in Namibia, on offer from Exodus from £3,199pp, including flights.

Putting on the style: The iconic Art Deco buildings of Miami can be seen on a Florida self-drive tour

But is it wise to book 2021 trips while the travel industry is in the midst of a storm over slow refunds on many of this year’s breaks?

No one can say where we may be next summer. But it is already clear which companies have treated their customers best throughout the coronavirus crisis to date.

Heading our hall of fame is Trailfinders (trailfinders.com), which tops the list for service and strong finances. While most rivals are offering customers only vouchers for cancelled holidays, it continues to offer refunds on demand. It has also won fans for its ‘virtual appointments’, with staff connected to their usual research and reservation systems from home.

Kuoni (kuoni.co.uk) is singled out by researchers at Which? for a fair-play refund policy, while Exodus (exodus.co.uk) has won plaudits for its flexible deposits plan. This means customers booking now can switch to any other holiday for free up to ten weeks before departure.

Solo traveller firm Friendship Travel (friendshiptravel.com) also has a good record for flexibility and refunds. Premier Inn (premierinn.com) gets a mention for recrediting cards quickly, while Caribbean specialist Sandals (sandals.co.uk) is on the list for helping pioneer discounts to NHS workers booking for next summer.

It’s equally important to know your tour firm won’t abandon you if things go wrong while you’re away. Experts in the Travel Counsellors group (travelcounsellors.co.uk) went to extraordinary lengths to repatriate clients when borders began to close in March.

Rare treat: Spot leopards on a bargain safari tour of Namibia

One Norfolk-based counsellor started organising emergency paperwork at 4am while tracking a series of back-up flights to get one couple home from Vietnam and another from the South Pacific.

Staff at Titan Travel (titantravel.co.uk) did similarly sterling work, including putting customers in Australia on a non-stop flight from Darwin to the UK when the original route via Singapore was cancelled.

And while those who booked travel through international firms such as Expedia say they were left hanging on phone lines for hours when the first wave of flight cancellations hit, clients of smaller, UK-based firms had no such problems. Holidaymakers with Inn Travel (inntravel.co.uk), Newmarket Holidays (newmarketholidays.co.uk) and Leger Holidays (leger.co.uk) have all won praise. Leger, for example, instantly moved this year’s cancelled bookings for the Oberammergau Passion Play in Bavaria to the rescheduled 2022 dates while honouring 2020 prices.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

‘Airlines will entice you!’ Travellers will have to pay more for flights, says expert

Airlines are just one aspect of the travel industry that have been left financially strained by the coronavirus pandemic. While many plan to restart flights in July, others are holding off until Government advice becomes clearer. Currently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice states that travelling abroad is not permitted unless it is “essential”.

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This has been put in place “indefinitely” and is likely to last until at least next month.

This week, Home Secretary Priti Patel also updated the nation on the upcoming quarantine rules which will be put in place from June 8.

The rules state that anyone arriving into the country from abroad will be subject to stringent 14-day quarantine rules.

Anyone caught breaking the rules could be fined up to £1,000.

Although the future of the industry remains shaky, there are those with the travel bug who are desperate to go on holiday abroad.

Express.co.uk spoke exclusively with Travel risk expert Lloyd Figgins about how airlines will try and entice travellers to pay more for flights once travel restrictions are lifted.

Mr Figgins is also Chairman of the Travel Risk & Incident Prevention (TRIP), which is an independent think-tank dedicated to improving knowledge, education and awareness of travel risk management.

He’s also the author of The Travel Survival Guide and often provides commentary in the media.

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For those looking for a cheap flight abroad in the near future, he explained that you could be in luck but at another cost.

He said: “In the early stages of people getting back to travelling you will see airlines enticing them [travellers] with some pretty good offers, actually.”

However, he warned that this will soon change.

He continued: “But I think in the longer term they’re going to have to recoup the losses that they have incurred.

“The longer term picture is not so bright.

“I think that travellers will be paying more for their flights until travel returns to what it was pre-COVID-19.”

Mr Figgins also added that airlines will need to try and reestablish consumer confidence in flying to secure its future.

“The key thing here is to reestablish consumer confidence and I think that at the moment the travel industry is really hurting – and I totally get that – but what I would say is that if the travel industry does anything to erode consumer confidence I think they will suffer long into the future.

“But if the travel industry gets this right and adopts robust travel risk management procedures in order to keep people safe during a time of such uncertainty it will secure its future.

“But if it rushes into a return to travel without those appropriate safety measures in place, it will take a very, very long time for it to recover.”

Lloyds Figgins’ book, The Travel Survival Guide, is available to buy on Amazon

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Holidays 2020: Major holiday hotspot Seychelles plans to reopen but Britons are not first

Many Britons this year are looking at a holiday closer to home in the UK. As travel restrictions remain in place and Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidelines state that Britons cannot travel abroad unless it is “essential”, many are opting to book staycations instead. But many countries have been left slightly aghast at the UK’s latest 14-day quarantine measures which will see anyone arriving in the UK from abroad being subject to quarantine.

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The rules are in place for anyone travelling from abroad, including Britons returning from holidays in the future.

The only exceptions are those travelling from Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, otherwise known as the Common Travel Area.

And now, other countries such as Spain and France have also put such rules in place which has, in turn, jeopardised the future of the travel and tourism industry.

With that in mind, many countries are looking to restart their tourism industries as quickly as possible.

The latest tourist hotspot to join that list is the Seychelles near East Africa.

The Seychelles are an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off of East Africa that are known for their white, sandy beaches and almost transparent waters.

This week, the Seychelles said it plans to restart tourism by admitting the citizens of one country.

The islands said they may begin by admitting Israelis as part of its initial reopening of the tourism industry.

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The government closed off the Seychelles early during the global pandemic which has meant it has had a fairly low coronavirus case and death rate compared to the rest of the world.

In fact, out of the world’s 5.4 million cases, the Seychelles have had only 11 cases and no deaths.

Talks between the Seychelles and Israel are now underway on allowing Israelis to visit the stunning islands.

Seychelles tourism board chief executive Sherin Francis told Reuters that the reason for this is because Israel is one of the few countries where the number of infections has plunged.

She said: “Israel is one of the countries where the number of new infections has dramatically dropped.”

She added: “The possibility of visits is being considered as we look forward to reducing restrictions without compromising public safety.”

Israeli Ambassador to Seychelles Oded Joseph said that a deal could be in place “within a week or two” for both countries.

Israelis visiting the Seychelles would not have to be quarantined when they arrive at the islands or when they return to Israel.

Another proposal sees Israeli tourists being sent to certain results on outer islands.

This will protect locals living on the islands from catching viruses from abroad.

Israel has had over 16,600 cases and only 279 deaths.

Many countries are discussing ways to kickstart travel by allowing “travel bubbles” whereby countries work together in small groupings to restore travel amongst themselves.

Australia and New Zealand were in talks to try and kickstart this.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Holiday

UK holidays: Cornwall summer hotspot opens doors for ocean activities – will you visit?

Holidays in the UK are gaining popularity due to travel restrictions and bans in place across multiple countries worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the Landmark Trust has already reported a surge in bookings. The sudden change in holiday trend is likely to be down to travel restrictions both in the UK and abroad.

READ MORE

  • Campsites reopen: Camping trips could start ‘even later in the year’

With 14-day quarantine travel rules likely to come into play next month, British tourists could be looking at having to book off weeks for just a weekend away.

For example, if you book a week away in Spain you could be looking at having to book five weeks off work due to Spain’s own quarantine rules.

However, for those who are happy to travel in the UK, one holiday hotspot in the sunny southwest has opened its doors to tourists.

If surfing, bodyboarding and kayaking are your activities of choice then this may be the holiday spot for you.

Newquay Activity Centre on the stunning north coast of Cornwall in the southwest of England is offering British holidaymakers the opportunity to take part in some new experiences in the sea.

Newquay Activity Centre said: “Following new Government guidance for providers of outdoor facilities on the phased return of sport and recreation in England we are pleased to say that we are OPEN for business again.

“In light of it being Mental Awareness week, this return to ocean activities is well timed.

“We know that the water is hugely beneficial for our mental and physical state and will leave you feeling calmer, more positive and energised.

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“We are able to deliver our award winning activities from a safe distance and by taking the following measures.”

They added: “Only individuals, couples, families or small groups that have been isolating together will be in the same session.”

However, to ensure people remain safe, the outdoor activity provider is offering its customers enhanced safety measures.

One of the measures will be “staggering customer arrival times and limiting the number of guests per day”.

Others include: “Increased cleaning throughout the centre; asking customers to be prepared (with swimwear under clothing so that we can reduce the need to use changing rooms); increased wetsuit and kit wash; all equipment sterilised and rotated before their next use; new considerations of safe ocean conditions to maximise safety; new rescue protocols; and increased signs and reminders.”

There will also be new measures in place for staff supervising customers.

The new measures include, “training in new session delivery, wearing PPE where required and social distancing in the workplace”.

The centre added that the number of customers being taken each day is now “limited” because of the coronavirus.

They added: “With smaller-than-average groups all guests will be receiving fantastic value and a great experience.

“The number of customers that we can take each day is currently limited so we urge you to contact us if you would like to safely enjoy the huge benefits of the ocean this spring and summer.”

The Newquay Activity Centre offers customers the chance to experience surfing, coasteering, kayaking, bodyboarding and paddle boarding.

Some 53,000 jobs depend on hospitality and tourism in Cornwall.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

How to experience Pompeii, Italy, right now

The Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition was a blockbuster when it opened at the British Museum in the summer of 2013. Now Pompeii Live (britishmuseum.org/pompeii-live) offers a private view of this wonderful show.

Now streaming online, its viewers can travel to southern Italy close to 2000 years ago to meet the men and women who lived in these two small towns, and learn the terrible story of how they died in the cataclysmic eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD79.

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• Pompeii: Mini Roman art heist halted as tourist discovered lifting mosaic tiles
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• Italy’s Pompeii: No place for prudes

The hosts are some of the world’s greatest Roman scholars, including the passionate Mary Beard, professor of Classics at Cambridge University, and a favourite of British history television, and they bring the story to life through the extraordinary objects that were left behind – paintings, jewellery, and even the contents of the sewers.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

53 best and worst travel firms for cancellation refunds revealed

Revealed: The 53 best and worst travel firms for coronavirus cancellation refunds – with Ryanair near the bottom and Hays Travel, Airbnb and Jet2 at the top

  • A poll asked 27,000 people to rate firms on their handling of coronavirus issues
  • Big names that did well in the survey included Jet2 Holidays and Booking.com
  • The findings will be reported to the Competition and Markets Authority
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for the travel industry, with millions of holidays and travel bookings either unavailable or cancelled.

Yet how firms treat their customers as a result of the pandemic various enormously, according to a major new investigative survey. It asked 27,000 travel customers to rate firms according to how they’ve dealt with problems arising from coronavirus and filtered them into a 53-place ranking.

Travel Counsellors came top, followed by Hays Travel and Airbnb, with travel agent Travel Trolley at the very bottom, followed by TravelUp (52nd) and Teletext Holidays (51st) – and Ryanair in 47th place.

Travel Counsellors has been rated as the best firm in the UK for dealing with coronavirus-related travel issues

Travel Trolley was rated as the worst firm for dealing with coronavirus-related issues

Hays Travel came second in the poll, which was carried out by MoneySavingExpert.com

THE BEST AND WORST TRAVEL FIRMS FOR CORONAVIRUS CANCELLATION REFUNDS 

1 Travel Counsellors 

2 Hays Travel 

3 Airbnb 

4 Jet2 Holidays 

5 Jet2 

6 British Airways Holidays 

7 Center Parcs 

8 Disney Holidays 

9 Trailfinders 

10 Haven 

11 Saga 

12 Hotels.com 

13 Booking.com 

14 Easyjet Holidays 

15 British Airways 

16 HomeAway 

17 American Airlines 

18 Ebookers 

19 Onthebeach 

20 Qatar Airways

21 Travel Republic 

22 Easyjet 

23 Expedia 

24 P&O Cruises 

25 Eurotunnel 

26 Aer Lingus 

27 Norwegian 

28 Riviera 

29 Eurostar 

30 Wizz Air 

31 Emirates 

32 Lufthansa 

33 Brittany Ferries 

34 Virgin Atlantic 

35 Cottages.com 

36 First Choice 

37 Tui 

38 Vueling 

39 Hoseasons 

40 Love Holidays 

41 Virgin Holidays 

42 Air France 

43 Secret Escapes 

44 STA Travel 

45 Sykes Cottages 

46 KLM 

47 Ryanair 

48 Opodo 

49 Lastminute.com 

50 Holiday Extras 

51 Teletext Holidays 

52 TravelUp 

53 Travel Trolley  

207  +91

1,017  +70 

924  +56 

1,621  +54 

1,593  +47 

289  +45 

202  +42 

147  +37 

233  +32 

212  +30 

151  +26

441  +21 

1,178  +18 

163  +10 

1,809  +8 

199  +8 

123  +1 

108  -11 

283  -18 

112  -21 

266  -27 

2,425  -28 

811  -28 

603  -30 

106  -35 

193  -38 

196  -42 

142  -45 

239  -46 

158  -48 

450  -48 

142  -49 

253  -50 

627  -51 

244  -54 

223  -60 

3,252  -60 

119  -61 

451  -68 

677  -70 

775  -73 

149  -76 

299  -76 

150  -77 

610  -79

596  -82 

2,563  -82 

283  -86 

550  -87 

291  -92

251  -94 

593  -95 

338  -95 

The table ranks firms by net score (number of ‘great’ votes minus the number of ‘poor’ votes – with ‘OK’ votes disregarded) and lists the number of responses for each. Only firms with more than 100 responses have been included.

Source: Moneysavingexpert.com 

Other big names that did well in the poll, which was carried out by MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE), were Jet2 Holidays (4th), Booking.com (13th) and BA Holidays (6th).

MSE said it will now be reporting these findings to the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as well as the Competition and Markets Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: ‘This is a tough time for the travel industry. It’s one of the sectors worst hit by coronavirus, but it’s a tough time for the public too, many of whom are also in dire straits. And they’ve been strident in telling us that they’ll remember how firms dealt with them during this time – good and bad.

‘People aren’t just judging on whether firms failed to give a refund – though that plays a big part. Many poor ratings are also about difficulties in getting in touch, being given the runaround, and terrible management of expectations – such as Ryanair sending vouchers to those who’d specifically requested cash refunds.

‘People shouldn’t be annoyed with firms offering to move bookings or offering vouchers as refunds. Indeed I’d encourage those who don’t need the cash to take them, especially from firms with solid financials, as it’ll help keep the industry going and keep people in work.

Ryanair came 47th in the poll. Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: ‘This is a tough time for the travel industry. It’s one of the sectors worst hit by coronavirus, but it’s a tough time for the public too’

‘Yet when people are entitled to monetary refunds, to make them sit on phones on hold for hours, often getting cut off to get it, when vouchers are available at the click of a button leaves people feeling rightly riled.

‘Sadly, out of the 53 companies rated, only 17 were net positive. Yet that means they should get even louder plaudits for trying to do it right.

‘They’re struggling, but are protecting customers too, and the likelihood is when this is all over, they’ll come out stronger and with more brand loyalty because of it.’

MailOnline Travel asked Ryanair, TravelUp and Travel Trolley for a comment but did not receive a response.

Airbnb came third in the poll, which produced a ranking of firms each used by at least 100 respondents

FOUR QUICK TIPS TO GET YOUR MONEY BACK 

The exact process to follow if your booking is cancelled and you want to get your money back will vary depending on the type of booking you have (flight, hotel, package holiday and so on).

Before asking for a cash refund, consider if you need one. At the moment, many firms are really struggling. This means it’s safer to demand a refund rather than settle for a voucher, in case the firm collapses before you can use it. But it’s also worth considering whether you’re in a position to show forbearance.

Having said that, if you’re sure that you do in your money back, here are a few brief tips to follow: 

1. Speak to the firm first and use its refund system. Always start this way. Give it a chance, use its systems.

2. If that fails, warn it you’ll take it further. If you can speak to the firm and it isn’t helping, warn it you’ll speak to your card firm. This costs firms and it’s cheaper if they do it themselves, so give them the chance.

3. If the firm won’t give you money back, ask your card provider. Speak to your card provider and ask it to do a chargeback – where it asks the firm’s bank for the money.

4. If this doesn’t work, your final action would be to take the legal route, perhaps through a county court.

Source: MoneySavingExpert.com.

Wayne Perks, Managing Director of Teletext Holidays, said in response to the survey result: ‘Despite having to put the most of our UK team on furlough, and having halved the size of our operation in India, the remaining staff have been working non-stop with suppliers to cancel holidays and negotiate the waiving of any cancellation fees from them, as well as answering any communication we receive.

‘We had to switch our phone lines off because the Indian government enforced a very strict lockdown in the cities where both our sales centres are located and we were unable to get staff into these offices. I can now advise that the restrictions are being eased and our sales centres are once again able to take calls, albeit at a reduced rate whilst social distancing is maintained. ‘

He added: ‘When we book holidays for our customers, we immediately pay for the flights, and therefore do not retain any of this money within our business. In addition, Teletext Holidays often pays hotels in advance in order to get customers the best room rates.

‘Teletext Holidays, therefore, acts as an agent and we are experiencing long delays in receiving monies back from airlines, with some telling us that we will not receive customers money until “the virus has passed”.

‘We have put in place a two-stage refund process, offering customers Atol protected refund credit notes which they can use up to December 31, 2020, for holidays travelling up to December 31, 2021. If they do not decide to take this option, we are offering full refunds from July 31, 2020.’ 

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