Great Britain

Airline refund policies for flights to France, including British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair and Jet2

HOLIDAYMAKERS with trips booked to France have had their plans thrown into chaos due to changing government travel advice.

We explain what British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2, and Ryanair are doing to help affected passengers, if anything, and whether you can get a refund.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) yesterday advised against all but essential travel to France as well as Malta and the Netherlands.

This means travel insurance policies are unlikely to cover you if you travel against the FCO's advice.

Holidaymakers currently in France or who decide to travel anyway will also have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return to the UK if they arrive after 4am tomorrow, August 15, or risk a £1,000 fine.

The shake-up has left many passengers no longer wanting to fly but many airlines are continuing to run flights as normal.

Quarantine: your questions answered

What happens when anybody arrives from France?

Travellers returning to the UK from France will have to fill out a form declaring where they will be for the next 14 days and stay put.

What if I refuse to give my address or break quarantine?

Fines start at £100 for failing to fill in the form in England. Breaching the self-isolation will result in a £1,000 penalty for UK citizens or possible deportation for foreign nationals.

Is anyone exempt from quarantine?

Foreign diplomats and those who travel regularly to and from the UK, such as lorry drivers and medical workers, are not covered by the rules. Elite sports such as Formula One and Champions League footballers are also exempt, providing they create "bubbles".

What happens if I have to be back at work the next day?

It is up to your employer to grant you time off. Before last night there was no automatic compensation for people who miss work or lose business due to quarantine.

Why is this necessary?

A fresh outbreak of the virus in France has increased the risk of tourists spreading the infection in the UK. The government says the measures are backed by science and will help prevent a second wave imported from abroad.

Below we explain what it means for you. Just keep in mind this applies to those who booked directly with the airline or its package travel arm.

If you booked via a third party, you should contact them directly in the first instance.

British Airways - flights can be switched for a voucher

British Airways said it's still operating a limited number of flights to France, meaning you can't get a cash refund unless it's cancelled.

If you no longer want to travel, it's offering vouchers which you can use on a future booking up until April 30, 2022.

Just bear in mind there are a few catches; namely it only applies to those with travel up to September 30, 2020, if booked before March 3, 2020, or for travel up to December 31, 2020 if booked after March 3, 2020.

If you have a flight-only booking, you must also exchange it for a voucher before check-in for that flight closes.

For those with a BA package holiday eg, a flight with a hotel, you have up to seven days after the government's announcement to request a voucher, or before check-in closes on the day of your outward flight, if sooner.

EasyJet - change booking or request a voucher

EasyJet told The Sun it plans to operate its full flight schedule to France in the coming days.

If you no longer want to travel, you can change your booking without incurring a fee, but you'll still be charged any difference in price.

Alternatively, you can request a voucher for the value of your booking.

If your flight to France later in August is cancelled, you'll be able to apply for a cash refund on EasyJet's website.

Separately, EasyJet has cancelled all package holidays to France until the end of August, meaning you can get a full cash refund.

Package holiday customers with trips booked in September can also choose to cancel their holiday and receive a credit voucher.

Jet2 - flights available from December

Jet2 suspended all flights to France in mid-March following the coronavirus crisis.

When The Sun had a look on its website today, the earliest ticket available to any of its French destinations from London is currently on December 12.

The Sun has asked the airline to confirm whether it's currently operating flights to France, and we'll update this article once we hear back.

Jet2 customers affected by any changes to flights or holidays are typically being offered a range of options, including rebooking with no admin fee, a credit note or a cash refund, if it's been cancelled.

Ryanair - flights can be moved but you may be charged a fee

Ryanair hasn't yet confirmed whether it'll continue to fly to France as normal, so we'll update this article once we get a response.

A website statement says: "Please note that a government imposed advice on quarantine period will not result in the flight being cancelled and an automatic entitlement to refunds"

Unless flights are cancelled, you won't be able to get a cash refund.

It will, however, let you change your flight, although you might be charged a change fee to do so.

Only those with bookings made after June 10, 2020 for travel in July 2020 and August 2020, and new bookings made after July 16, 2020 for September 2020 can change their flights free of charge.

And even then, the free flight change is not available on changes made within seven days of departure.

All other bookings are subject to a change fee, and in both scenarios you'll have to pay any difference in flight cost.

Can I claim on my insurance or from my card provider?

If your flight is still going ahead, you'll find it hard to claim from your card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act or under Chargeback as the service you paid for is still going ahead.

Whether your travel insurance covers this scenario depends on your policy, and many purchased after March 2020 won't cover coronavirus-related cancellations.

If your flight is actually cancelled, your airline should pay you a full cash refund.

For those struggling to claim their money back due to a cancelled flight, try your card provider next, followed by your travel insurance.

If you're unhappy with your treatment from an airline, you can complain to whichever alternative dispute resolution scheme it's signed up to. See the Civil Aviation Authority's website for a full list.

Note that Ryanair isn't signed up to an ADR scheme.

Countries with infection rates of over 20 per 100k will have to quarantine, Grant Shapps warns

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