The Travel Column with Katie Butler, Total Travel

Another extremely busy week at Total Travel with a flurry of last minute bookings both in the UK and overseas.

By Katie Butler
Sunday, 29th August 2021, 2:30 pm
Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca. Photo: Getty Images
Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca. Photo: Getty Images

Popular destinations include Greece, Madeira and the Balearic Islands. We are of course expecting a review on the traffic light categories this week which will be covered in full in next week’s write up.

I am due to travel to a destination that is not allowing UK passengers to enter. What does that mean for my trip?

If you are booked on a package holiday to a country which is not permitting entry to people from the UK and you are due to travel imminently, then you should be offered the choice of a rebooking or a refund. You should speak to your travel provider to discuss your options. If you are due to travel later in the year then it is likely that your travel provider will be working on departures by date. A decision may not have been made on your holiday as it may be too early. Of course it is a possibility that there is time for entry requirements to change. If you are booked on a flight and the flight is cancelled, you should also be offered the choice to rebook or a refund, again, dependent on when you are due to travel. If you have other travel services booked, such as trains or ferry crossings or separate accommodation, it is advisable to check the terms and conditions of your bookings. Be careful not to book something that is “non refundable”- if your flight or transport is cancelled to get out there, you may struggle with a refund on other separate elements booked.

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Will my holiday to New York in December go ahead?

The UK has opened its borders to quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated US citizens, but the US has not yet signalled any changes on arrivals from the UK. The current ban on UK citizens entering the US is unlikely to be lifted by the end of summer. However, some industry figures, including Robin Hayes, the chief executive of budget airline JetBlue, believe the ban could be in place for at least another two or three months, meaning we are hopeful that November and December departures stand a good chance of going ahead.

My holiday to Greece has been cancelled, yet the same airline is flying the same route the next day. So why has my holiday been cancelled?

Quite often airlines have several flights travelling to the same destination, sometimes on a daily basis. As demand is not as high for this summer, it is likely that the airline have taken the decision to not fly to that destination as often as they normally would. They will evaluate if there are enough passengers booked on the flight for it to be viable to operate it.

Lots of exciting news this week - we entered a competition with National Holidays to “Grab a Grand” and win a £1,000 marketing budget.

In order to be in with a chance of winning, we had to submit a five-point presentation on how we would spend the budget. We were delighted when our National Holidays representative came to store and handed us the winning cheque!

I also decided to book a late deal for myself and family to the Greek Island of Kos, and I can’t wait to report back first-hand on how we found travelling overseas right now.

■ If you have a specific travel question you would like Katie to answer in her column, please email: [email protected]