Travel companies are having to foot the bill for government decisions

The volatility of the UK travel corridors list has resulted in complete uncertainty for all parties: passengers, UK-based travel companies and destinations. With countries being added to and removed from the list (which exempts passengers returning to the UK from the requirement to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival), travellers are now apprehensive about booking holidays.

The lack of passengers and revenue aside, travel companies such as travel agents and airlines are at the forefront of getting passengers who are in the middle of their long-awaited trip back home., a popular British airline came under scrutiny after Spain was removed from the ‘quarantine-free’ list, as it cancelled all flights to and from Spain after a certain date and required holidaymakers who were in the middle of their holiday to fly with by 3 August or make their own way home., which had made conscious efforts to maintain its well-regarded customer service reputation during the coronavirus pandemic by issuing refunds in a timely manner, is now under fire. Airlines and travel companies are having to act fast and drop plans that have been in place for months with every move being criticised by current and future holidaymakers.

A glimmer of hope for a European summer no more

As international travel was permitted from the UK in July, it gave hope for a rebound for airlines and travel companies who had spent months in the dark. Bookings of short European getaways shot up with the possibility of a recovered summer holiday that many travellers did not think was possible.

However, the volatility of countries being included and excluded from the ‘quarantine-free’ list has decreased the confidence of already confidence-hit travellers. What was supposed to be a rebound summer has ended up with reduced revenues, increased costs as schedules are still running with reduced passenger numbers, leading to further financial difficulty.

The number of places UK tourists can visit ‘quarantine-free’ is decreasing

After months of lockdown restrictions, UK travellers are desperate to find a summer getaway, even in current circumstances. With many popular holiday destinations such as Spain, France, the Netherlands, and recently, Croatia requiring a 14-day quarantine period upon return to the UK, these are out of the question for many British travellers.

Greece, which is free to travel to without restriction, has become the most popular destination of summer 2020 for British travellers. Airlines and hotels have the opportunity to take full advantage of this increase in demand by raising prices and maximising one of the few income streams they have. If more and more tourists flock to Greece for a last-minute summer getaway, there could be problems of overcrowding on its beautiful islands. Tourists must consider the possibility of Greece being removed from the ‘quarantine-free’ list at short notice like other destinations and run the associated risks.

Portugal, which has only just been added to the ‘quarantine-free’ list after initially being left out in the first instance, will likely see this spike. British airlines and travel companies will take advantage of this by maximising revenue from the customer while the opportunity presents itself.

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