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Flights: Jet2, TUI, Ryanair, and easyJet cancellations amid 'freedom day' devastation

In a devastating blow, last week the Government made the decision to push back its plans for “freedom day” which would see a number of Covid restrictions in the UK eased. Though this did not directly impact foreign travel, it has caused some concerns for the next traffic light review which is anticipated on or around June 24.

A number of airlines have already been forced to cancel flights or holidays following the last green list review.

For holidaymakers who had planned to jet off over the summer, the latest Government announcement could cause concern for their future plans.

What are the latest updates from Jet2, TUI, Ryanair, and easyJet?

Jet2

Jet2 made the decision to push back its flight and holiday schedule, with the exception of flights operating to Jersey, until July 1.

The Leeds-based carrier had initially hoped to resume holidays from June 24, however, bosses said there was simply not “enough certainty”.

In an updated statement on its website, Jet2 explained: “We’re really looking forward to restarting our holidays and flights programme again from July 1 2021.

“Our Jersey programme will restart on June 24, 2021.

“We’re taking the time to get everything ready at our airports, onboard our planes and in our resorts to give you the safest and smoothest holiday experience possible.”

READ MORE: Royal Caribbean cruise ship hit by new coronavirus cases

Though the airline is hopeful the ongoing vaccination rollout will lead to “more positive news” for travel, it notes some bookings could face cancellations in the future in line with the “traffic light system.”

For holidaymakers with travel plans to a red list country, Jet2 says it will be cancelling holidays and automatically issuing a full refund.

For amber and green list countries due to depart on or before June 30, with the exception of Jersey holidays, Jet2 will automatically cancel bookings and issue a full refund “within 14 days”.

It adds: “We’ll review the status of destinations on the Amber List following the next UK Government review which we expect to be on or around 24 June 2021.

“We expect the Government to review the status of destinations on the Green List on or around 24 June 2021. If your destination is then on the UK Government’s Green List – we’re looking forward to taking you on holiday.”

Jet2 assures all customers impacted by any changes or cancellations will be contacted directly.

“Please visit our website 14 days before you’re due to depart when we’ll have all the latest official information,” it continued.

“Between now and then, there’s no need to take any action – and we’d recommend that you don’t start arranging things like COVID-19 tests until closer to your time of travel, as travel requirements both here and abroad can change.”

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TUI

Last week, TUI announced another round of holiday cancellations, citing “ongoing uncertainty”.

A range of travel plans have now been axed up until July 11.

Holidays to Zante are cancelled up to and including June 28. Holidays to Aruba, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece – Crete (Chania), Kavala, Kefalonia, Mykonos, Preveza, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, Thessaloniki, Italy, Jamaica, Malta, Spain – Mainland Spain, Formentera, Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, La Palma, and All TUI Lakes & Mountains destinations are now cancelled until July 4.

Meanwhile, holidays to Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Mexico, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey are cancelled until July 11.

“All customers impacted by these cancellations will be contacted directly and will be able to request a full cash refund, or to change to a later date or alternative holiday and receive a booking incentive,” TUI explained.

“If we need to cancel any future holidays because of updated Government guidance, we will be in touch directly and aim to give customers at least seven days’ notice.

“We would like to thank our customers for their understanding at this time.”

Ryanair

Ryanair has continued to operate flights throughout the pandemic and has been gradually ramping up its service offering since May.

The airline has not recently announced any major cancellations as a result of the June 21 pushback.

However, the airline is allowing customers more flexibility when it comes to changing their travel plans.

The Irish carrier has extended its no-fee flight changes policy for bookings made before 30 September 2021, for travel before 31 December 2021.

“Our Zero Change Fee promo is applicable for bookings made after 10 June 2020,” explains the Ryanair website.

“Flight changes must take place at least seven days before the original scheduled departure dates to avail of promo.”

The airline is also currently calling for more transparency from the Government on upcoming changes to the traffic light travel list.

Airline boss Michael O’Leary has confirmed the airline is suing the Government, with the backing of easyJet, TUI and British Airways group IAG, as a result.

According to reports, Ryanair and Manchester Airports Group are calling for transparency over the decision of which countries move to the “safe” list every three weeks, and have taken legal action against the Government.

Mr O’Leary said: “We are trying to force the Government to at least either a) be more transparent [over the traffic light system], b) publish what exactly the thresholds are at which international travel will be allowed to restart. Or c) get some injunctive relief against the Government generally on the back of vaccines that says the longer lockdown is restricting people’s freedom of movement.”

He added: “I think [the UK] is going to be embarrassed by the Europeans.”

easyJet

easyJet has been forced to cancel flights and holidays amid the changing traffic light rules in recent months.

The airline is working in line with the Government’s traffic light system which means red list holidays are cancelled, meanwhile amber list holidays can only go ahead if customers are willing to follow the travel rules in place.

“Holidays to ‘amber’ destinations can go ahead if you’re happy to travel and follow the re-entry steps set out by the Government,” it states.

Green list holidays, which so far only include Gibraltar and Iceland, can also go ahead.

Currently, easyJet’s Protection Promise means customers are given a refund guarantee if their holiday or flight is cancelled. They will be allowed to rebook travel to a later date, request a credit towards future travel or request a full refund.

Customers are also able to change their travel plans up to two hours before departure.

According to the company’s website: “Transfer your flight fee-free this summer, anytime up to 2 hours before your departure to any flights currently on sale and to any destination on our network.

“Applies to changes made up to and including 30 September 2021. Only if the new fare is higher will you be asked to pay the difference.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Saturday was the 53rd anniversary of 'Loving Day', celebrating landmark interracial marriage ruling

MILFORD, Virgina — On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down 16 state bans on interracial marriage as unconstitutional. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by Richard and Mildred Loving, a white man and Black woman who had been jailed for being married to each other.

After the court’s decision, the Lovings lived quietly in their native Virginia with their three children until Richard Loving’s death in a 1975 car crash. Mildred Loving, critically injured in that same crash, never remarried and largely shunned publicity.

She granted a rare interview to The Associated Press in 2007, the 40th anniversary of her legal victory, and died the following year.

In observance of the 50th anniversary of the landmark Loving decision, The Associated Press is republishing its last interview with Mildred Loving, by reporter Dionne Walker.

SEE ALSO: Interracial family outraged after receiving threats in their new home

Reporters no longer beat a path to the modest white house just over the Caroline County border – and that’s fine with its owner, a soft-spoken 67-year-old who never wanted the fame that her marriage brought her.

Born Mildred Jeter, she’s mostly known by the name she took when she – a Black woman living in segregated Virginia – dared to break the rules by marrying a white man named Richard Loving.

The union landed the Lovings in jail, and then before the U.S. Supreme Court, and finally in the history books; 40 years ago Tuesday, the court ruled in favor of the couple, overturning laws prohibiting interracial unions and changing the face of America.

Mildred Loving is a matriarch to thousands of mixed couples now sprinkled in every city. But she hardly considers herself a hero – just a girl who once fell in love with a boy.

“It wasn’t my doing,” Loving told The Associated Press, in a rare interview. “It was God’s work.”

SEE ALSO: Councilman’s opposition to interracial marriage leads to his resignation

While the rest of the Jim Crow South struggled to divide the races in the early ’50s, Blacks and whites in tiny Central Point had long been intertwined. They worked together on farms, raising chickens and tobacco. And often, they were intimate, explained Edward Clarke, who grew up in the town an hour outside Richmond, today little more than vast fields, ragtag homes and weed-choked farm houses.

Standing in the hilly cemetery which Richard Loving is buried, he swept his hand out over the markers reading Jeter, Byrd and Fortune – Black folks, he explained, many so pale they could pass for white.

“The white people were just like the Black people,” said Clarke, a Black man. “You lived and survived … it was a sharing thing.”

It was in this setting that a skinny 11-year-old nicknamed “Bean” met a 17-year-old boy who was a family friend, according to Phyl Newbeck, a Vermont author who detailed the case in the 2004 book, “Virginia Hasn’t Always Been for Lovers.”

Over the years, friendship led to courtship – but their relationship took an abrupt turn when an 18-year-old Mildred became pregnant.

“We’re talking the early ’50s, when an illegitimate child was far more of a stigma,” Newbeck said. “I don’t think Richard wanted her to have to bear that.”

And so, they drove some 80 miles to Washington, D.C., in 1958, married and returned to Central Point to start a new life.

“I think he thought (if) we were married, they couldn’t bother us,” Mildred said.

Within a month, they were in jail.

Now 84, then-Sheriff Garnett Brooks vividly recalls bursting into the Lovings’ home at 2 a.m., rousing the couple out of their sleep and hauling them off to face the law. Word of their marriage – nobody’s sure who complained – had reached the commonwealth’s attorney.

“He told me to go and check on them and if they are (married), arrest them,” said Brooks, who insists the case wasn’t about race but about illegal cohabitation. “I told him I’d be glad to do it.”

A 28-year-old Phil Hirschkop was just a few months out of law school when he overheard a professor discussing the Lovings with another lawyer, Bernard Cohen.

It was 1964, and the Lovings had spent the past few years living in exile in Washington after being convicted on charges of “cohabitating as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth,” according to their indictments. Laws banning racially mixed marriages existed in at least 17 states.

The couple had avoided a year in jail by agreeing to a sentencing mandating, “both accused leave Caroline County and the state of Virginia at once, and do not return together or at the same time to said county and state for a period of 25 years.”

They got around it, recalls University of Georgia professor and family friend Robert Pratt, by riding back in separate cars and meeting up.

The frustrated young wife had written to then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who referred her to the ACLU for help returning to their Virginia home permanently. Cohen filed a motion to vacate the 1959 sentence against the couple, but hit a dead end when the courts refused to respond.

American courts had proven tough on race-mixing in the past: A handful of cases similar to the Lovings’ had come up before in other places, but were stuck in a thicket of state-sanctioned racism and red tape.

But lawmakers had just passed the Civil Rights Act, and across the South, Blacks were defying Jim Crows’ hold.

Hirschkop was convinced the Supreme Court was ready for change, too – but the right case had to come before the justices, free of any legal loopholes the state could seize upon. The Lovings presented such a case.

Hirschkop argued that the laws must treat each citizen equally, and that “when a law is based on race, it is immediately suspect and the burden is shifted to the state to show there is a compelling interest to have that sort of racial differentiation.”

On June 12, 1967, the court agreed.

“The country was ready, the Supreme Court was ready …” Hirschkop said. “They were going to do the right thing.”

Richard, by all accounts a stoic, blue-collar man content to let Mildred do the talking, moved his family into a small house on Passing Road, and tried to live happily ever after.

That ended when a drunken driver struck their car in 1975, killing Richard and costing Mildred her right eye. The small cemetery where he is buried is just a few minutes from their home.

Over the years, Mildred has granted few interviews, letting others tell her story through books, articles and a Showtime film, “Mr. and Mrs. Loving.”

“Not much of it was very true,” she said on a recent Thursday afternoon. “The only part of it right was I had three children.”

Her hands are curled by arthritis and her right eye is just a lidded hollow now. Still, Mildred’s face lights up as she talks about Richard. She thinks about him every day.

Each June 12, Loving Day events around the country mark the advances of mixed-race couples. Mildred doesn’t pay much attention to the grassroots celebrations.

Mostly she spends time enjoying her family, two dogs, and the countryside she fought so fiercely to again call home.

She wishes her husband was there to enjoy it with her.

“He used to take care of me,” said Mildred Loving. “He was my support, he was my rock.”

Video above is from previous post.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Author: AP

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed