More than 33 million Brits have had their holiday plans disrupted this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, new research reveals which is why a recent survey reveals that more than half (52%) of Brits are only willing to book a holiday abroad if they feel confident their money is protected, showing consumers are looking for increased flexibility and security from holiday providers.
Recognising these changing consumer needs and listening to the concerns of its customers, easyJet holidays is today launching its new Protection Promise, an industry-leading guarantee of flexibility and protection for customers. The new, long-term customer policy has been introduced in addition to the short-term commitments the company has in place to support customers’ bookings impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included a promise to cancel any holidays where there is a known quarantine or self-isolation requirement in the destination and any customer refunds have been processed in an average of 12 days.
Yet, despite ongoing travel restrictions, a new report from easyJet holidays into consumer travel trends has revealed that almost a quarter (24%) of Brits plan to still go on holiday abroad in the next three months, rising to 37% when you reach the start of next year, showing a rise in confidence in the industry. Almost two in five (38%) are even willing to quarantine for two weeks on their return in order to get away, with just over one in five (21%) saying that not having a holiday or break away has affected their mood.
However, the report - ‘Taking the Temperature: Consumer holiday trends in 2020 and beyond’ - has also found that holidaymakers are demanding increased security and flexibility with more than half (53%) only willing to book a holiday abroad at the moment if they feel confident their money is protected. Meanwhile 38% are worried about losing money if they need to change their travel plans.
The holiday company launched last year to provide flights, bags, accommodation, and transfers in one convenient package. With an ambition to shake up the sector, easyJet holidays provides flexible, great value holidays to handpicked hotels across Europe. Today, the holidays provider is building on its offering with a five-point Protection Promise, the only long-term policy in the UK travel sector to include a refund guarantee, best price guarantee, deposit protection, flexible payment options and the ability to easily amend bookings, free of fees. Customers also benefit from easyJet holidays’ ATOL protection and ABTA membership, meaning they are protected if plans change.
Matt Callaghan, Customer Director at easyJet holidays says: “Consumer confidence in booking a holiday abroad has taken a huge hit this year and travellers have different priorities so at easyJet holidays we know, given the restrictions continue to change, we must adapt to this new reality. That’s why we’re launching our new Protection Promise, setting a benchmark for customer flexibility in the industry and encouraging travellers to book their holidays with the reassurance that if things change they are protected. And this isn’t a short-term move, this is a fundamental change to what customers can expect whenever they book with easyJet holidays.”
The report from easyJet holidays also reveals that what Brits look for in a holiday has dramatically changed compared to before the pandemic. Of those who agreed COVID-19 has made them reconsider their priorities, four in ten (40%) proactively look for destinations that have a low rate of infection, while three in ten (31%) said they now prefer self-catering or self-contained holidays.
The report also revealed that having a holiday booked makes many of us feel happier, with holiday planning giving 57% of Brits an exciting boost to their mood. Meanwhile, just under half (49%) say that having a holiday on the horizon helps them to manage the stresses of daily life. Looking ahead to long-term holiday plans, a beach holiday in the sun was ranked the most popular choice for Brits followed by a trip to spend quality time with family and friends.
With a commitment to providing the most flexible holidays for consumers, easyJet holidays’ Protection Promise is the only long-term policy of its kind in the UK travel industry and has been designed to provide customers with the freedom and confidence to book. It includes:
For more information on the easyJet holidays Protection Promise visit https://www.easyjet.com/en/holidays/info/protection-promise
 Extrapolation: 62% of respondents somewhat agree or strongly agree with the statement ‘COVID-19 has disrupted my holiday plans this year’
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