Travel Choas caused by COVID-19 measures gives passengers headaches at summer end


A heap of new travel restrictions has thrown Europe’s long-anticipated August break into disarray, dealing a setback to airlines and leaving passengers on the hook for the cost of the last-minute change.

In the UK, quarantine measures have been reimposed on Spain, France, Malta, and the Netherlands. With infection rates rising, Croatia could be next, creating another headache for would-be travelers who are running out of time as schools reopen.

Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest discount carrier, has cut back on schedules, saying the uncertainty has discouraged people from booking foreign trips. Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s Eurowings unit said Tuesday it’ll reduce capacity to Spain, in response to a German travel warning.

“Airlines are stuck in an awkward place where there’s no visibility beyond two weeks, and they’re having to ramp down and then ramp down again, at short notice,” said Mr. Mark Manduca, an analyst with Citigroup.

“Every airline is adapting as best they think they can.”

An industry proposal to move the U.K away from country-based quarantines in gaining momentum. The government is working on ramping up Covid-19 testing at airports, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Wednesday, a measure that could be used to ease the burden on travelers to self-isolate after arriving from overseas.

Schools have already opened in the UK, leaving families with fewer options. Airlines are ignoring regulator’s warnings and refusing to offer refunds to affected countries, said Mr. Rory Boland.

He also said that “Passengers will not easily forget how they have been treated through this period. The impact on trust in the travel industry has been devastating.”


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