How Can I Tell If My Flight Is Cancelled Due To Coronavirus?

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With over 134,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK so far, schools being closed and a lockdown in progress, a lot has changed and that includes future plans, events and holidays. So, how will the new coronavirus affect your future holidays and will your flights be cancelled?

For those who have booked holidays, and flights abroad, new information has been set out by the British government. On March 17, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all but essential travel (urgent family or business commitments, for example). It also stated: "If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now."

How Do You Cancel Travel Plans Disrupted By The Coronavirus Crisis?

According to the FCO, if you need to cancel travel plans as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, you should firstly contact your airline, holiday company or travel accommodation provider. The easiest way to check if your flight has been cancelled is through the airline you booked with by entering your booking reference in their website. Most airlines will email if your flight has been cancelled.

Each airline will have its own set of policies. Easyjet grounded the majority of its planes from March 24 onwards. For Virgin Atlantic customers, those with cancelled flights will be contacted directly with alternative options. They are now only offering flights scheduled flights between London Heathrow and New York-JFK, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

As of March 30, British Airways is continuing to fly where travel restrictions allow. The company has said they will allow customers to change destination and date of travel.

Accommodation provider Airbnb says, for those who made reservations before March 14 with a check-in date between March 14 2020 and May 31 2020, they will be offered a full refund. However, any check-ins after May 31 are not covered by their COVID-19 insurance. Secondly, FCO advises holidaymakers to get in contact with their travel insurers.

TOPSHOT - An information board displays cancelled flights at the airport Stuttgart, southern Germany, on October 27, 2016. 380 of 555 flights of budget airlines Eurowings and Germanwings were cancelled due to a 24 hours-strike.AFP/DPA/Getty Images

What To Do If You’re Stranded Abroad Due To The Coronavirus Crisis & Need To Get Home

For travellers who set off before lockdown measures were implemented, they may now find their flights have been cancelled or borders have been closed. Again, the best way to check if your flight is cancelled through the airline your flights are booked with.

The UK government has asked the Brits who are still abroad to come home immediately where commercial flights are still available

On March 30, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced a £75 billion plan to bring back British nationals who are stuck overseas. The FCO is working with Easy Jet, Virgin, Jet2, and Titan Airways – all of whom signed a memorandum of understanding – to bring people home. British Airways have "also made clear that they will work with [the FCO] in the national interest to get people home, and other airlines are expected to join," the gov.uk website states. On March 27, Raab and the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, wrote a letter to the airlines urging them to help UK nationals "find alternative routes or change their tickets."

Speaking at a press conference he said: “Where commercial flights are not possible, we will build on the earlier charter flights we organised back from China, Japan, Cuba, Ghana, and Peru. The arrangements agreed today will provide a clearer basis to organise special charter flights where Britons find themselves stranded. Our priority will always be the most vulnerable.”

The gov.uk website site says: “Special charter flights will operate in some countries to help British tourists and short term visitors and their families to return to the UK.” To find out if you are eligible to get one, you should go to the "Return to the UK" section of the FCO webpage dedicated to the country you are in. You can find a list of those places here.

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