How will your travel be affected?
Following Saturday’s air disaster in the Sinai Desert the UK and Irish governments have decided today to cancel all flights to and from the UK to the Egyptian resort indefinitely. This is because air crash investigators have said that there is a ‘significant possibility’ that the crash was caused by an act of terrorism. On Saturday an Islamic group claimed responsibility, but this has been dismissed.
Today our thoughts are with the victims' families in Russia.
It is estimated that around 20,000 Britons are now ‘stranded’ in Sharm el Sheikh with no way of getting back to the UK in the foreseeable future. The UK government says that extra consular staff have been deployed to Sharm el Sheikh airport to assist holiday makers trying to get home.
If you are in Sharm el Sheikh and due to fly home or are stranded after your holiday.
The FCO has now advised against all but essential travel by air to and from Sharm el Sheikh airport and have issued the following advice “We are now advising against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh. UK carriers will not take passengers directly to Sharm el Sheikh airport. We are working with the Egyptian authorities and air carriers to put special security measures in place which will permit travellers in Sharm el Sheikh to return by air, whether as scheduled at the end of their stay or before that if they wish. British nationals affected by this should contact their tour operators or carriers to arrange an orderly departure.”
They also added “Carriers will not be permitted to fly from Sharm el Sheikh until we are satisfied that it is safe for them to do so.”
- If you are delayed at Sharm el Sheikh airport then your tour operator should look after you. However, if you are delayed more than 12 hours on your return journey we will be able to assess it on a case by case basis with a view to being as sympathetic as we can.
If you are due to fly to Sharm el Sheikh
If you are due to fly in the next 24 hours, check with your tour operator before leaving home.
Thompson say on their website “All customers booked to travel to Sharm el Sheikh in this period will be provided with a full refund. As a priority, we are contacting customers due to travel tomorrow and ask those travelling later in the week to please bear with us as we manage this evolving situation.”
Many operators are suspending flights for the next week, or at least until 12th November. However, they all differ so if you are booked to fly in the next week or so, contact your travel or tour operator. You may be offered a refund or alternative destination.
After that it depends on the Foreign Office advice and the situation in Egypt.
- If you are due to fly in a few week’s time or at Christmas then you are advised to wait before cancelling, as this may result in you losing part or all of your deposit and will not be covered by your travel insurance. This is because your cancellation cover does not cover you for a disinclination to travel as a result of the threat of terrorism when there is no FCO advice in place.
- For all policies booked before the date of the crash on 31st October, 2015, we would like to confirm that we will offer cover under the travel delay section of the policies where this cover exists.
- However, if you book an alternative trip we will happily transfer cover to the new location, although any charges for an increase in cover will still apply. Likewise, we will look to reimburse if they decrease. This is dependent upon you confirming in writing that no claim will be made against the Sinai trip.
- As far as cancellation of trips after a 12 hour delay, we will assess these on a case by case basis with a view to being as sympathetic as we can.
- The advice is to sit tight and see how the situation develops. If the FCO continue their suspension then your operator will offer refunds or alternatives. So keep checking with your tour operator.
Travelling or worried about travelling?
As Know Before You Go partners we always recommend that anyone who is worried should keep checking with the FCO. The situation is changing all the time and the FCO will always have the latest advice.