Among those who have denied refunds for travelers affected by the new Covid 19 Christmas restrictions are BRITISH Airways and Virgin – raising new consumer rights issues.
As the area was forced into a fresh two-week freeze from Sunday, Boris Johnson’s new restrictions meant nearly 18 million people in London, the south-east and eastern England.
And Nicola Sturgeon reported that, following the discovery of a faster-spreading strain of coronavirus, ‘firm preventive steps’ were required and announced a travel ban in and out of the rest of the UK over the festive season.
On the Scottish mainland from Boxing Day, Scotland’s toughest Level 4 rules will also come into practice.
If absolutely required, people living under Stage 4 restrictions are advised not to travel.
With their complaints that they can not legally fly, consumers have bombarded airlines, but have encountered barriers in getting refunds.
Among the airlines that have announced that they would not give refunds to passengers who cancel their year-end travel due to the new restrictions are British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
Refunds are only valid for cancelled flights, Virgin Atlantic tweeted. If you booked directly with us, you would have to rebook a new travel date by 31 December 2022.
Please contact them directly for options if you have booked with a third-party carrier.
And BA also told Tier 4 customers that once the flight is formally cancelled, they will not obtain a refund.
BA said, “Under our Book with Confidence policy, which has been available since the pandemic started, clients who are unable to travel or choose not to travel can still rebook their flights or request a voucher for future use.”
“As always, if a customer’s flight is cancelled, they are entitled to a full refund or voucher, and we always contact all customers whose flights may be affected to discuss their options.”
“Virgin Atlantic added: “We understand the difficulties for some of our clients that Covid-19 and Tier-4 restrictions present.
If a customer is unable to fly for any reason, with one name change and two date change fees forgiven for a new travel date until Dec. 31, 2022, we give as much options and flexibility as possible to help them change or amend their plans.
“Of course, if a flight is canceled, customers are entitled to a full cash refund.”
EasyJet said that for those who live at home, it will provide refunds.
“A spokesman said, “EasyJet plans in the coming days to fly its current schedule, but we understand that some customers will now have to change their flights after the UK government announces Tier 4 limits, which include advice not to travel abroad.
“Affected customers in Tier 4 areas will have the option to rebook onto an alternative flight, receive a voucher or a refund free of charge. This rule applies to all flights until December 30.”
Ryanair and Aer Lingus were also called upon by travelers to deny refunds.
Up to two hours before departure, Aer Lingus will waive change fees, the IAG-owned airline said in a statement. Customers, depending on the fare form, may be eligible for coupons or refunds, it said.
For comment, Ryanair was contacted.
Adam French, Which one? These new restrictions will cause major travel disruption and confusion, throwing away the festive plans of many people. If you have spent money on a train ticket and have to be left stranded, you should be able to cancel your trip and get your money back.
“Train operators should be as accommodating as possible by giving passengers the flexibility to use their tickets or refund their money if they can’t travel at another time.”