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16th December 2020

Be prepared for festive travel, advises The Consumer Council

The Consumer Council is encouraging passengers due to travel over the festive period to plan in advance and be prepared, due to the impact of COVID-19 and EU Exit.

Richard Williams, Head of Transport Policy at The Consumer Council, said: “This year more than ever passengers need to be prepared before travelling. COVID-19 has created huge uncertainty for travellers. EU Exit is compounding the uncertainty with reports that from 1 January 2021 travel to and from the EU may be affected.

“The Consumer Council advises anyone due to travel to plan in advance and be prepared to change your arrangements.  To help, we have compiled top tips for consumers with travel plans.” 

The Consumer Council’s top tips are:

  • Check the latest government restrictions before travelling;
  • Check with the service operator you plan on using before you travel to see if the service is still running or there are any changes to frequency of the service;
  • Be prepared to change your arrangements at short notice;
  • Be aware of the rules around the wearing of face coverings and social distancing in airports, ferry, bus and train terminals, and during the journey;
  • If travelling abroad check the latest travel restrictions including quarantine periods on return;
  • Make sure you have travel insurance that meets your needs especially if travelling abroad;
  • Know your rights when your flight or sailing is delayed or cancelled;
  • Check with the airport/airline when you should arrive before departure;
  • Check-in online or pre-book hold luggage in advance of travel to avoid additional charges;
  • Be aware of any airline hand luggage allowances or restrictions; and
  • Pre-book special assistance 48 hours in advance if you have a disability or reduced mobility to ensure you get the assistance you need.

Richard added: “Visit The Consumer Council’s website at https://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/coronavirus/christmas#section-3468 for information on essential travel operators’ policies. You can also use our website to find out more about your passenger rights or make a complaint.”

For more information on travel rights and complaints contact The Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022 or email contact@consumercouncil.org.uk for free, independent advice.

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