Airports UK: UK airports are offering a limited number of flights- but what about arrivals?
There are more than 40 airports in the UK, and some of them are normally the busiest in Europe. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice advises British nationals against “all but essential international travel.” It also warned those who live in the UK but are currently abroad to return now if possible.
Many airlines are suspending flights, airports are closing and preventing flights from leaving, and some airlines- like Flybe- are going into administration.
If you are stuck abroad but live in the UK, you might be worried that there are no flights to UK airports.
The FCO advice reads: “If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.”
So are airports in the UK are still allowing incoming flights?
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Are UK airports open to incoming flights?
Yes, UK airports are still open to incoming flights, however, flight traffic is severely reduced.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority is providing information for passengers, holidaymakers and the rest of the industry regarding COVID-19.
The site says: “On 30 March 2020, the UK Government announced a partnership between airlines to fly British travellers back to the United Kingdom.
“British tourists stranded abroad who want to return to the UK should first check if there are commercial routes available by visiting the airline websites, Foreign & Commonwealth Travel Advice pages for the country they are in and British Embassy social media.
“If there are no commercial options, they should visit the Travel Advice pages and sign up to alerts for their location and follow local Embassy social media and email updates.
“When special return flights become available, these will be advertised by the local Embassy and British nationals on Travel Advice Pages and Embassy social media and those who have registered for updates will be contacted via email.”
What do I do if my flight has been delayed or cancelled due to coronavirus?
If your flight has been delayed or cancelled due to the pandemic, you are protected by a European regulation called EC261.
The CAA website explains: “Under EC261, your airline has a duty of care for you if you were flying out of a UK airport or if you were flying back to a UK airport with a UK or EU airline.
“If you faced a delay of over two hours, you may be entitled to assistance, potentially including the provision of food and drink, as well as accommodation if a delay continues overnight.”
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The statement further says: “If your flight has been cancelled, then your airline should offer you the choice of a full refund or alternative flights.
“Under the current situation, alternative flights may not be practical to organise, for example where government advice is to avoid travel to particular destinations.
“A refund may therefore be the only option available for you.
“Speak to your airline for further assistance.
“Please be aware that airlines will likely be dealing with more queries than usual and some may be prioritising consumers that are currently abroad or due to travel imminently.”
Can I get a refund on cancelled or delayed flights?
You may be entitled to a refund if your flight has been cancelled o delayed because of coronavirus.
The CAA added: “If the Government has advised against all but essential travel to your destination, your airline will likely cancel your flight and offer a full refund.
“If you are due to travel imminently and your flight has not been cancelled, check the airline website before contacting the airline. “If the airline has confirmed that your flight will go ahead, they may still be able to offer a refund, allow you to change your booking to a later date, or your travel insurance may be able to provide assistance.
“We are aware that some airlines and travel providers are offering vouchers in place of refunds.
“If your flight has been cancelled, you are entitled to a refund, so if you would rather the financial payment, please request this from your travel provider.
“If you believe you are entitled to receive a refund from your airline but they are refusing, you may wish to open a complaint with the airline.”