easyJet and easyJet holidays have launched even more flexible policies as part of their ‘Protection Promise’ to provide customers with more confidence to book a trip this summer, knowing that if their plans change, so can their booking. With international travel set to relaunch from the UK on 17th May with a traffic light system in place, the airline believes that it will be safe for most European destinations to be placed in the low-risk green list based on successful vaccine roll out programmes. However, given the potential for changing restrictions, customers will be provided with more booking flexibility than ever before to ensure they can change their bookings if they need to, should travel restrictions change.
All easyJet customers will now be able to change their flights this summer without a change fee, at any time up to two hours before departure, providing even more last-minute flexibility. Unlike other airlines, there are no restrictions on dates or destination; customers can transfer to any flights currently on sale up to the end of September 2022, and to any other destination on the airline’s network which spans 35 countries across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. This means that if there are some travel restrictions impacting their destination country, such as self-isolation in destination or on return to the UK, customers can easily change their trip to another country on easyJet’s network.
Furthermore, should a mandatory hotel quarantine impact a customer’s travel destination this summer, customers can now request a refund for their flight within four weeks before departure if the restriction is still in place, even if their flights are still operating, They will also have the option to transfer their flights to later dates free of charge or request a voucher, up to two hours before departure. The airline has continued to offer a market-leading refund policy for those impacted by local lockdowns and travel bans across Europe that have made it illegal to travel, meaning customers have been able to receive a refund even if their flights have continued to operate; this has now been extended to include mandatory hotel quarantine restrictions to ensure customers impacted by red list restrictions this summer can also benefit from this flexibility.
As part of its Protection Promise, easyJet holidays also has further enhanced its Covid commitments in line with the anticipated introduction of the green, amber and red traffic light system. All easyJet holidays customers can make changes to their holiday, fee free, up to 28 days before departure. Holidays will be regularly reviewed on a rolling basis throughout this summer within weeks of their scheduled departure once more is known about the frequency of the UK government reviews of the lists. Should a customer’s package holiday destination be in the amber list, they can change their holiday fee free or cancel it altogether for easyJet holidays credit, right up to 24 hours before departure. Should holidaymakers’ destinations fall within the red list, once announced, customers can take immediate action to change or cancel their holiday fee free, or they can wait to see if the destination moves to the amber or green list. Should the destination stay on the red list we will cancel and refund customers no later than a week before they are due to travel. Should the UK government make any short notice changes or additions to the red list within seven days of travel, easyJet holidays will unfortunately have to cancel these bookings and customers will be refunded in full. These new changes to its Covid commitments will be in place for travel this summer up to 30 September 2021.
Throughout the pandemic, easyJet holidays is proud to have processed refunds within an average time of just 10 days, and recently signed up to BBC Watchdog’s Package Holiday Pledge, to help those looking to book a package holiday choose a provider who will best protect them. All easyJet holidays are ATOL protected and the holiday provider is an ABTA member too, providing additional reassurance to customers under the UK’s most trusted travel scheme.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet said: “We know that people want to travel to see friends and family or to go on a long-awaited holiday but that flexibility continues to be crucial for our customers, so we’ve made our Protection Promise across flights and holidays even more flexible to help customers navigate travel restrictions this summer. “Offering more flexibility than ever before means that more Brits can make plans to travel without having to worry about incurring change fees or the expenses of mandatory restrictions, should their trip be impacted.
“We also know that our customers need clarity to be able to make plans and so urge the UK government to provide final details of the testing regime and let the public know the categories countries will be placed into as soon as possible. We believe that safe travel should be possible between the UK and most European countries and so see no reason why most wouldn’t be placed in the green list.
“Customer health and safety remains our absolute priority and we strongly believe that with vaccination, travel to low-risk government approved destinations should not be placed prohibitively out of reach by costly PCR testing so we hope the Government will make good on its promise to bring the cost of testing down so travelling to safe green-light destinations is affordable and possible for all.”
easyJet’s Protection Promise for flights includes:
· The Freedom to Change:All customers can transfer their flights fee free up to two hours before departure this summer. Unlike other airlines, customers can transfer to any flights currently on sale and to any other destination on easyJet’s network. Only if the new fare is higher will you be asked to pay the difference. Customers can transfer flights quickly and easily online via Manage Bookings or the mobile app. Applies to changes made up to and including 30 September 2021.
· A Refund Guarantee:request a cash refund quickly and easily online via Manage Bookings or the mobile app. Customers whose flights are cancelled can also request a voucher or transfer their flights to a later date for free.
· Travel Restriction Protection: atransfer to a later date free of charge or request a voucher up to two hours before departure, even if their flights are still operating. In the event of a lockdown or travel ban where it is illegal to travel, customers can also request a refund while the lockdown or travel ban is in place. Wcustomers can request a refund within four weeks before departure if the restrictions are still in place. Customers can request a free date change, voucher or refund up to two hours before departure by contacting our customer service team. Applies to flights up to and including 30 September 2021.
easyJet holidays Protection Promise: An industry leading policy giving customers ultimate flexibility, protection and reassurance and letting them book with total confidence. The Promise offers a refund guarantee, freedom to change a booking, a reduced balance due date, a Best Price Guarantee, deposit refunds, and Covid commitments to ensure flexibility if there are known restrictions at home or in destination.
A recent survey by the airline revealed that 61% of British holidaymakers believe travel to low-risk green list destinationsshould be restriction and test free. According to the research, which polled 2,000 British holidaymakers, almost three-quarters (74%) of Brits believe that if tests do remain a requirement for travel to low-risk green list countries, they should be in line with the lateral flow testing being used for the reopening of the rest of the UK economy rather than the more complex and expensive PCR tests.
Almost two-thirds (62%) believe that having a PCR Covid test on our return from a low-risk country is unnecessary and the average Brit believes the cost of a PCR test should be brought down to £30 if they have to remain, with the maximum they are willing to spend being £50.
For a family of four, recent reports suggest that tests alone could cost between £240 to £600 to go on holiday to a destination like Greece, Spain or Portugal. Half of those surveyed (55%) also said they will not be able to go on holiday this summer if expensive PCR Covid tests, currently costing up to £150, are imposed on passengers to low risk ‘green’ list countries. This suggests that under current proposals, there is a risk that foreign travel will simply be out of reach for many hard-working families flying from the UK this summer.
Over half (56%) said a summer break away was the thing they were most looking forward to post lockdown. In fact, nearly three-quarters (74%) said they believe a proper summer holiday is vital to both the economy and the nation’s mental wellbeing this summer. And, it’s not just holidays that fuel our desire to go abroad; over a third (35%) want to travel this summer to see family that they haven’t seen during the pandemic. The poll also revealed that most of us have not jetted off on holiday for 620 days, and so UK holidaymakers face not having a holiday abroad for three years if current testing rules remain.
The airline has recently launched a number of new routes from the UK, providing customers with even more choice to get abroad this summer. This month, five new beach services joined the airline’s network from Birmingham, growing the airline’s presence at airport by around 250%. Starting from 29 June, flights and holidays will take off to the popular beach destinations of Majorca, Málaga and Alicante in Spain, Faro in Portugal, and Corfu in Greece. The airline has also been strengthening its regional domestic connectivity, with a brand-new route from London Gatwick to Newquay now on sale. The new service to Cornwall joins routes from Manchester and Glasgow, also scheduled to launch for the first time this summer. New flights to Bournemouth from Belfast and Edinburgh are also providing even more convenient connections to the south coast for those looking to enjoy a UK getaway.
The safety and wellbeing of all customers and crew remains easyJet’s highest priority and the airline continues to have a number of biological safety measures in place onboard in line with guidance from the relevant authorities. This includes daily enhanced cabin disinfection effective in protecting against coronavirus for at least 24 hours and mandatory mask wearing for customers and crew. All easyJet aircraft are already fitted with HEPA filters, similar to those used in hospitals, which filter 99.97% of airborne contaminants in the cabin, including viruses and bacteria.
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