Brexit flights: Holidays post-2019 could be affected if a deal is not made with the EU
Brexit is currently causing concern for travellers in light of the UK leaving the EU in March 2019.
In the event of a no-deal, it could mean Britons booking a holiday for next year could be left without protection and flights not being granted the airspace to fly.
The right to claim compensation and refunds for holidays could be affected if deals are not confirmed post-Brexit.
Yet airlines may not be doing enough to warn passengers of the risks they face when booking a holiday next year.
Which? looked at five of the UK’s biggest travel companies – Thomas Cook, TUI, Jet 2, Expedia, and On the Beach – to see if they had any warnings of what could happen to their rights post-Brexit.
TUI, Jet2 and On the Beach failed to respond to questions regarding whether flights would fly post-Brexit.
Thomas Cook changed their terms and conditions to explain how compensation would not be provided in the event of “airspace closures” as their Brexit clause labelled it as out of their control, whilst Thomas Cook encouraged passenger to take out travel insurance to be protected against “consequential losses”.
Expedia had more positive news and advised that airlines would still be under the Regulation 261/2004 and the Package Travel Directive, meaning compensation could be offered for passengers.
Brexit flights: Holidaymakers may not be protected for cancellations after leaving the EU
This uncertainty for holidaymakers is just one of the many issues affecting people’s everyday lives
Peter Vicary-Smith, Chief Executive of Which?, commented: “This uncertainty for holidaymakers is just one of the many issues affecting people’s everyday lives that need to be resolved as we move closer to the date that the UK leaves the EU.”
Today, Which? has launched the Consumer Charter for Brexit, to ensure an aviation deal is secured to allow planes to still fly post-March 2019. It lays out a number of issues such as the risk of Britons as well as how systems need to change.
The latest travel advice for British travellers who have booked travel after March 2019 abroad is to check their cancellation policies to ensure they are protected.
A number of airlines have warned travellers that their flights could be disrupted when the UK leaves the EU; Ryanair has placed a clause in their tickets that they may not be valid post-Brexit.
Henrik Zillmer, co-founder of AirHelp, explained to Express.co.uk what could happen if no agreement is decided upon: “This is very bad news for air passengers who may find that they lose out on passenger protections as well as find that they’re unable to receive compensation in the event of a flight delay or cancellation.
“For example, while EC 261 will cover passengers on a flight departing from Germany or another European country, all UK passengers – except for those that are departing from the EU to the UK or heading into the EU on a EU airline – will not be protected.”
“Following a severe cancellation, passengers on EU flights would be granted accommodation and care, while UK passengers on non-EU flights will be left out of pocket with no choice but to fork out money for a hotel room or endure a night sleeping on the floor of the airport.”
Brexit flights: Airlines are being told to warn passengers of the risks
Vicary-Smith explained: “We want to work with Government and businesses on issues such as this in order to deliver a Brexit that puts consumers first.
“We want to ensure that people are supported by high levels of rights and protection – and with greater access than ever before to quality, affordable products and services.
“We must not miss the opportunity for the UK to improve consumer protections to become a world-leader.
“With control over all aspects of consumer protection the UK can and must do something special.”