EasyJet and easyJet holidays have introduced more flexible policies in an effort to boost consumer confidence in booking trips this summer.
Passengers will be able to change their flights this summer without a fee at any time up to two hours before departure.
Unlike other airlines, there are no restrictions on dates or destination, the UK budget carrier claimed.
Customers can transfer to any flights currently on sale up to the end of September 2022, and to any other destination across the airline’s network spanning 35 countries.
“This means that if there are some travel restrictions impacting their destination country, such as self-isolation in destination or on return to the UK, customers can easily change their trip to another country on easyJet’s network,” the airline said.
If a mandatory hotel quarantine impacts a destination this summer, customers can now request a refund for their flight within four weeks before departure if the restriction is still in place, even if flights are still operating.
They will also have the option to transfer to later dates free of charge or request a voucher, up to two hours before departure.
The airline’s refund policy for those impacted by local lockdowns and travel bans across Europe has been extended to include mandatory hotel quarantine restrictions “to ensure customers impacted by red list restrictions this summer can also benefit from this flexibility”.
The changes to the easyJet ‘Protection Promise’ aims to provide customers with more confidence to book a trip this summer, “knowing that if their plans change, so can their booking”.
The move comes ahead of the expected easing of international travel restrictions from May 17 with a government traffic light system in place.
The airline believes that it will be safe for most European destinations to be placed in the low-risk green list based on successful vaccine roll out programmes.
“However, given the potential for changing restrictions, customers will be provided with more booking flexibility than ever before to ensure they can change their bookings if they need to, should travel restrictions change.”
Package holiday arm easyJet holidays has further enhanced its Covid commitments in line with the anticipated introduction of the green, amber and red traffic light system.
Customers can make changes to their holiday, fee free, up to 28 days before departure.
“Holidays will be regularly reviewed on a rolling basis throughout this summer within weeks of their scheduled departure once more is known about the frequency of the UK government reviews of the lists,” the carrier said.
“Should a customer’s package holiday destination be in the amber list, they can change their holiday fee free right up to 24 hours before departure.
“Should holidaymakers’ destinations fall within the red list, once announced, customers can take immediate action to change or cancel their holiday fee free, or they can wait to see if the destination moves to the amber or green list.
“Should the destination stay on the red list we will cancel and refund customers no later than a week before they are due to travel.
But the holiday company added: “Should the UK government make any short notice changes or additions to the red list within seven days of travel, easyJet holidays will unfortunately have to cancel these bookings and customers will be refunded in full.”
The easyJet holidays changes will be in place for travel this summer until September 30.
The moves came as the airline revealed that 61% of British holidaymakers believe travel to low-risk green list destinations should be restriction and test free.
Almost three-quarters (74%) of the 2,000 people polled believe that if tests do remain a requirement for travel to low-risk green list countries, they should be in line with lateral flow testing being used for the reopening of the rest of the UK economy rather than the more complex and expensive PCR tests.
Almost two-thirds (62%) believe that having a PCR Covid test on our return from a low-risk country is unnecessary and the average Brit believes the cost of a PCR test should be brought down to £30 if they have to remain, with the maximum they are willing to spend being £50.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “We know that people want to travel to see friends and family or to go on a long-awaited holiday but that flexibility continues to be crucial for our customers, so we’ve made our Protection Promise across flights and holidays even more flexible to help customers navigate travel restrictions this summer.
“Offering more flexibility than ever before means that more Brits can make plans to travel without having to worry about incurring change fees or the expenses of mandatory restrictions, should their trip be impacted.
“We also know that our customers need clarity to be able to make plans and so urge the UK government to provide final details of the testing regime and let the public know the categories countries will be placed into as soon as possible.
“We believe that safe travel should be possible between the UK and most European countries and so see no reason why most wouldn’t be placed in the green list.
“Customer health and safety remains our absolute priority and we strongly believe that with vaccination, travel to low-risk government approved destinations should not be placed prohibitively out of reach by costly PCR testing so we hope the government will make good on its promise to bring the cost of testing down so travelling to safe green-light destinations is affordable and possible for all.”
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