Updated: Foreign Office advice against overseas travel extended

Airlines face calls for flights beyond April 15 being taken off sale so customers cannot make bookings for departures that are unlikely to be flown.

On Saturday, The Times, reported that bookings remain open beyond the current lockdown period in which the Foreign Office has banned all non-essential travel on leading airline websites.

The Foreign Office extended its advice against travelling overseas for an ‘indefinite period’ on Saturday.

EasyJet, Tui and British Airways, are still selling flights for late April and May despite the current travel restrictions likely to be extended for months.

Airlines are already facing criticism for offering customers who have had flights cancelled credit notes instead of cash refunds.

Consumer watchdog Which? called on the government to extend its travel advice beyond April 15 so “people don’t needlessly book flights they won’t be able to take.”

EasyJet told The Times that even though the date for restarting services after grounding its entire fleet was unclear and cabin crew are on furlough until June 1 it remains ready to resume.

It said it is continually evaluating its stance based on regulations and consumer demand and it has an “ongoing rolling cancellation programme on place and are working through these having taken April off sale”.

Tui said all holidays departing after April 15 remain on sale because that is the date that the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to.

“Should the advice be extended, we will proactively contact affected customers to discuss their options and take holidays off sale.”

Tui added anyone travelling on or before June 30 ca amend their holiday free of charge.

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