It is just two weeks until the Easter holidays and we are now a country in lockdown.
Airlines around the globe have been suspending flights and grounding aircraft and I have seen a real escalation in flights heading into Bournemouth Airport today, to store some of their planes.
Many of us have disappointingly had to cancel our travel plans and although we were not booked to go abroad, we had planned various day trips and a short break on the Isle of Wight.
What to do if you have booked to travel abroad Easter
If you’ve planned to travel abroad, your right to cancel and get a refund depends very much on the latest UK Government travel advice issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which is what insurers and airlines generally take their cue from.
The current advice recommends British people against all non-essential travel worldwide from 17th March and applies for a minimum of 30 days.
To change or cancel your travel plans, you should contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers, or take a look at the disruption service page from Omio. You should also contact your travel insurance provider for their advice.
Be aware that these call centres will be inundated with queries right now, so it is important to plan when to call. Late afternoon is normally quieter than the morning.
If your flight or hotel has been cancelled, it is likely that you will be offered a refund or alternative dates if you want to keep your booking.
What to do is you have booked to travel in the UK at Easter
As of 23rd March, all UK holiday accommodation has been ordered to shut, therefore you should be entitled get a full refund for your trip direct from the company, without claiming on your travel insurance, or some firms may offer more flexible cancellation policies, or the option to move your stay to another date.
One thing is certain – DO NOT book anything new for at least the next 3 weeks as the UK lockdown policies have extended to all non-essential travel and this is likely to be extended.
Some holiday cottages, like our friends at Coombe Mill are still open, however, with the UK cracking down on the movement of people, they are currently offering to move booked weeks to later in the year.
For further advice, please see the official government website for the latest and most up-to-date information: www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus