Tui Germany alters Egypt policies but no change in UK

Tui Travel in the UK has not followed its German arm in allowing holidaymakers to cancel their bookings to Egypt or change destinations without paying a penalty.

Tui in Germany is reported to have changed or cancelled 40% of planned departures to Egypt after it waived charges to let holidaymakers make changes.

Most have switched holidays to other destinations, including the Canary Islands. A spokeswoman said the UK operator was a separate business and as such had a different policy from the German operation which has cancelled Egypt tours up until February 14.

Tui in Germany has extended a deadline for amending holidays without charge for travellers due to arrive in Egypt up until February 28. 

The spokeswoman said Tui UK was still operating to Sharm el Sheikh and other Red Sea resorts but was repatriating clients from Luxor today (Wednesday) following Foreign & Commonwealth advice.

The ship Thomson Celebration has also switched its itinerary away from affected Egyptian ports. Tui UK brands Thomson and First Choice have more than 11,000 holidaymakers in Egypt, with 8,700 in Sharm el Sheikh and 950 in Luxor.

Thomson and First Choice have no customers in Cairo and all excursions to the city have been cancelled. 

“The majority of our customers are in Sharm el Sheikh, which has not been affected by the demonstrations and is a considerable distance – indeed, an eight hour drive – from Cairo,” a company statement said. 

“To put this distance into context, it is the equivalent of driving from London to Dortmund, Germany or from Manchester to Bruges, Belgium via the channel tunnel.”

Tui added: “Thomson and First Choice have been working with the FCO very closely throughout this issue and are confident that their policy of advising against non-essential travel to specific cities, rather than to the whole of Egypt is correct. 

“The FCO advice has not changed for Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada, Taba and Marsa Alam. The safety of our customers is always our number one priority and we will continue to take a measured approach throughout, as the situation continues.”

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