Cruise: Cruisers could be shelling out an extra £10 per day on cruises due to this policy

The cruise industry has been expanding rapidly in recent years, offering a whole host of cruise opportunities. While there is something for everyone, a luxury experience tends to remain the central theme for most cruises.

READ MORE

  • Coronavirus: Hundreds from infected cruise ships swamp Sydney

It’s no surprise, then, that many holidaymakers spend months, if not years, saving up for their dream escape.

However, it seems that even once the holiday bill has been paid, passengers could have yet more cash deducted from their accounts.

In fact, cruise experts estimate cruisers could be seeing anywhere between £9 ($12 USD) and £11 ($14 USD) charged to their accounts every day, but why is this?

Well, it comes in the form of cruise gratuities.

According to cruise experts and Youtube creators Ben and David, these are a necessary cost which benefits the hardworking crew.

In a recent Youtube video, Ben explains: “Gratuities is an automatic tip or what we would say is a service charge that’s charged to your account every single day.

“So it’s a set fee per person per day that is automatically added to your account.

“In addition to the automatic daily charges, you’ll find an 18 to 20 percent gratuity on things like drinks packages, meal packages, speciality restaurants, the spa or if you buy drinks without a drinks package you’ll pay that gratuity per drink.”

DON’T MISS
Cruise: Royal Caribbean launches new cruise for 2021 [DEAL]
Cruise: Former worker exposes secret onboard bars [INSIDER]
Cruise secrets: Cruise crew reveal what they really think about you [INSIGHT]

Unlike regular tips, these fees are automatically deducted from your account.

David adds: “On average gratuity costs around $14 US per person per day but this can vary depending on the cruise line and the type of cabin that you’re in.

“Somewhere between $12 and $14 per person. Suites and cabins above the suite category are usually more expensive than a regular balcony cabin.

“But as you can imagine this can add up, particularly if you are a family. Say you are a family of four with two adults and two children, that’s going to cost you around $500 for a week’s cruise.”

READ MORE

  • Cruise: Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruises extend suspension

As you might expect, many budget-conscious cruisers aren’t too keen on having this money come out of their accounts, especially if they don’t know where the money is going.

Although some cruise lines make it their duty to inform passengers exactly how gratuities are broken down, it remains a grey area for others.

David explains: “Each cruise line differs in this respect but its usually split between the crew. Things like room attendants, dining staff, wait staff and people behind the scenes.

“Dining staff usually get the biggest chunk of this, but there are some grey areas around this because we don’t know whether or not cruise lines take a cut of this so we don’t know exactly what proportion is going to each person and how much the cruise line, if any, are taking off the tip.

“But the crew work incredibly hard with ridiculous hours.

“You’re talking 15+ hours a day, barely any breaks, seven days a week for months on end and cruise passengers are really demanding so it is a really tough job to be crew on a ship.”

It is also thought that gratuities can actually make up wages which are traditionally low on some cruise lines or for some workers.

Cruise Critic explains: “Most cruise lines are based in the US, where the crew members’ pay structure is based on tips – whether you like it or not.

“If you refuse to tip on principle, you are impacting the salaries of the people who have served you well onboard.”

This is why the cruise experts say passengers should not remove gratuities, even if they have a negative experience on board.

Instead, they recommend speaking up about a negative experience and allowing the cruise staff to make up for any bad service.

“At least give them the opportunity to make it back up to you and have your voice heard as well,” says David.

“By just removing your tip you’re not actually saying there’s an issue and that means they can’t resolve it for future cruises as well.”

Source: Read Full Article

York’s only five-star hotel gets one star for food hygiene

York’s only five-star hotel, The Grand, scored just one for food hygiene after a recent inspection.

Inspectors cited a number of issues after visiting the property on 21 February.

Food hygiene and safety were both rated “bad”, reports The Press.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Inspectors also reported that there was little confidence in the management when it came to training, policies, procedures and management records related to maintaining a good standard of hygiene.

In the UK, there are five different ratings for food hygiene standards, with 0 being the lowest and 5 being the best score.

Getting a rating of 1 means “major improvement is necessary”, according to food.gov.uk.

The only score lower is 0, which means “urgent improvement is required”.

“Following a recent Environmental Health Officer inspection, The Grand, York is naturally extremely disappointed to have been given a low star rating,” said a hotel spokesperson.

“The senior management team has taken immediate action to rectify all the areas of concern.

“In the two inspections prior to this most recent one, The Grand received four and five-star ratings and the hotel is 100 per cent confident that it will continue to achieve similar ratings in all inspections going forwards.

“A second and immediate inspection has been requested but in light of the current lockdown this is not possible right now.

“The Grand, York, would like to reassure all customers and guests that this is an isolated case which does not reflect the exemplary standards the hotel adheres to in both front of house and behind the scenes.”

The Grand underwent a £15m refurbishment in 2018, upping its room count to 207.

The hotel is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Read Full Article

Caribbean Resorts Supporting COVID-19 Fight

Caribbean hotels are stepping up to aid in the fight against COVID-19, providing accommodations for quarantine centers and housing for essential personnel during the outbreak.

Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), is providing Jamaica’s government with the 52-room Carlisle Inn hotel in Montego Bay as an incubation center, said company officials in a Jamaica Observer report (the newspaper is owned by Stewart).

The SRI chairman has additionally helped finance the purchase of 40 ventilators for $20 million, “to be used to treat COVID-19 patients,” the report said. “The hotel will be at the disposal of the Government for as long as it takes to bring this COVID-19 disease under control,” said Adam Stewart, SRI’s deputy chairman.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s minister of health and wellness, had earlier this week appealed to Jamaican hoteliers to provide emergency accommodation for patients recovering from COVID-19. Jamaica had 27 confirmed coronavirus cases through March 27, with one death and two recoveries.

Tufton said SRI’s offer “[is] the kind of response that we are very appreciative of as part of the national plan to respond to this COVID threat,” in the Observer report. The hotel is “very appropriately positioned to assist, in that it has its own rooms with bathrooms, a common area from which our staff can manage the process, and the location is strategic to Cornwall Regional Hospital,” Tufton added.

Although the company’s Caribbean resorts remain temporarily closed, Stewart is also retaining Sandals’ permanent workers rather than instituting layoffs, opting to pay 40 percent of employee salaries fortnightly. SRI workers will also receive health insurance benefits and paid vacation leave.

SRI also distributed food and vegetables from its freezers to create care packages for employees. “We were very proud to have done it,” Stewart said. “It shows the relationship we have with our team members who are at the center of who we are as a brand.”

Meanwhile, several U.S. Virgin Islands hotels are keeping their doors open to essential personnel during the COVID-19 outbreak, said officials at the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association and the St. Croix Hotel & Tourism Association.

The territory’s government has authorized hotels and resorts to remain open to provide housing for essential personnel including government workers, relief workers, business travelers and airline associates, officials said.

The properties remaining open include St. Thomas’ Bluebeard’s Castle, Calypso Realty, the Green Iguana Hotel and St. Croix’ Buccaneer Hotel, Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, Hotel Caravelle and Tamarind Reef Resort.

Source: Read Full Article

Coronavirus: Obese cruise passenger unable to fly home to sail from Australia to Germany

Cruise ship the Artania arrived in Fremantle in Australia on Friday and 800 European passengers were flown home. MV Artania is a cruise ship chartered since 2011 by Phoenix Reisen, a German-based travel agency and cruise ship operator. Australian newspaper The West has reported that 16 passengers will be remaining onboard, in the latest cruise news.

READ MORE

  • Easyjet flights: When will Easyjet fly again?

This is allegedly due to obesity and being unable to fit in a plane seat.

Phoenix Reisen did not reveal the reasons for 15 of the passenger deciding to remain onboard but confirmed to Express.co.uk that one was too obese.

Phoenix Reisen said in a statement: “16 travelers also decided to stay with the crew on board MS Artania under the care of Captain Morten Hansen and cruise director Klaus Gruschka.”

They added that “the nautical crew will remain on board with a reduced service crew.”

MailOnline reported that the crew are mostly from Asian countries including Indonesia and the Philippines.

Seven people tested positive for coronavirus onboard the Artania, Phoenix Reisen said, after Australian health authorities onboard MS Artania tested passengers and crew members for Covid 19 due to cold symptoms.

On Sunday, passengers and crew were flown from Perth to Frankfurt.

Guests were only allowed to take “one piece of hand luggage weighing seven kilograms,” said the cruise company.

“The additional luggage will be delivered to the guests as soon as the organization between the authorities, the shipping company and Phoenix Reisen has been completed.”

The company’s statement continued: “The total number of people who have been positively tested by the Australian health authorities over the past few days is 36.

“These people, 23 guests and 13 crew members, have been placed in Australian hospitals in a fortnightly quarantine. Phoenix Reisen will organize the return trip of the guests in coordination with the Federal Foreign Office, the German Embassy and the Australian authorities.”

They added: “The ship and the remaining crew are still in Fremantle.

“The shipping company is in contact with the Australian authorities and the embassies of Indonesia and the Philippines to arrange a special flight departure for the crew.”

READ MORE

  • Cruise: Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruises extend suspension

The Australian Border Force wrote to the ship’s management on Sunday ordering the Artania to leave Australian waters as soon as possible.

However, the vessel wants to stay put until April 15 so the ships can be cleaned and any further crew or passengers who have coronavirus can be identified before the Artania sails back to Hamburg in Germany.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said: “I’d urge the Australian Border Force to get the ship on its way.”

“I think the Federal Government needs to step up here. If the ship needs to be cleaned, well, clean it and then get it on its way.”

Federal Attorney General Christian Porter told radio 6PR: “The vessel is the subject of an order to leave. They don’t have to do that tonight but they are subject to an order to leave.’

“My information is that there are still 12 passengers on board, some of whom… cannot get into a plane.

“Passengers who are too unwell to fly, and the crew, will have to go home in the boat, back I presume to Germany.

“We’ve got a responsibility for those passengers to ensure the Western Australian health system gives them the available attention to ensure that they don’t, let me put this bluntly, don’t die on the voyage home because they’ve not received the proper attention before that voyage commences.”

Source: Read Full Article

Nearly half of UK’s major insurers stop selling travel insurance amid coronavirus pandemic

Nearly half of all major UK insurers have now stopped selling travel insurance as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect trips worldwide.

Some 31 of the nation’s 75 leading insurers have pulled their travel insurance offerings, according to Which?.

A further 13 companies have also changed their terms to exclude claims related to Covid-19 for new customers.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Brands that have suspended the sale of travel insurance include Admiral, Aviva, Churchill and Direct Line.

Existing customers who purchased insurance before the coronavirus outbreak started heavily impacting on travel in mid-March should still be covered in most cases.

For those who have a trip booked post-16 April – which is when the Foreign Office advice against all foreign travel is currently due to expire – but haven’t taken out insurance yet, it may be difficult to purchase cover that includes coronavirus-related travel disruption.

Which? recommends new customers look out for policies that include “travel disruption cover”, which allows travellers to claim for costs associated with delays, missed departures or an unplanned extended stay in a destination for those who can’t get home.

Travel insurers are expected to pay out a minimum of £275m in coronavirus-related claims this year, according to estimates from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

This would be the biggest annual cancellation payout ever, almost double the previous record set in 2010.

Top: Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Bottom: Charles Bridge, Prague

Grand Mosque, Mecca

2/20 Grand Mosque, Mecca

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

3/20 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Nabi Younes market, Mosul

4/20 Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

5/20 Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

Charles Bridge, Prague

6/20 Charles Bridge, Prague

Taj Mahal hotel, India

7/20 Taj Mahal hotel, India

Dubai Mall, UAE

8/20 Dubai Mall, UAE

Beirut March, Lebanon

9/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Gateway of India, Mumbai

10/20 Gateway of India, Mumbai

Cairo University, Egypt

11/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Amman Citadel, Jordan

12/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

13/20 Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Beirut March, Lebanon

14/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Cairo, Egypt

15/20 Cairo, Egypt

Cairo University, Egypt

16/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Victoria Memorial, India

17/20 Victoria Memorial, India

Amman Citadel, Jordan

18/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Amman Citadel, Jordan

19/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Sidon, Lebanon

20/20 Sidon, Lebanon

1/20

Top: Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Bottom: Charles Bridge, Prague

Grand Mosque, Mecca

2/20 Grand Mosque, Mecca

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

3/20 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Nabi Younes market, Mosul

4/20 Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

5/20 Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

Charles Bridge, Prague

6/20 Charles Bridge, Prague

Taj Mahal hotel, India

7/20 Taj Mahal hotel, India

Dubai Mall, UAE

8/20 Dubai Mall, UAE

Beirut March, Lebanon

9/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Gateway of India, Mumbai

10/20 Gateway of India, Mumbai

Cairo University, Egypt

11/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Amman Citadel, Jordan

12/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

13/20 Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Beirut March, Lebanon

14/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Cairo, Egypt

15/20 Cairo, Egypt

Cairo University, Egypt

16/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Victoria Memorial, India

17/20 Victoria Memorial, India

Amman Citadel, Jordan

18/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Amman Citadel, Jordan

19/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Sidon, Lebanon

20/20 Sidon, Lebanon

“Coronavirus has had a huge impact on the travel insurance market, with dozens of providers amending policies or pulling them altogether,” said Gareth Shaw, head of money at Which?.

“This is creating confusion and uncertainty for consumers, who may feel they simply cannot make plans for future trips in the circumstances.

”The government, insurers and the travel industry must work together to tackle the huge challenge posed by coronavirus, to ensure people feel confident enough to travel in the knowledge that they will be covered.“

Firms no longer selling travel insurance

  • AA 
  • Admiral 
  • Alpha Insurance 
  • Asda 
  • Aviva 
  • Boots 
  • Churchill 
  • Clydesdale Bank 
  • The Co-op 
  • CoverMore 
  • Direct Line 
  • Esure 
  • ETA
  • First Direct 
  • Flexicover 
  • Fogg Travel 
  • HSBC 
  • LV 
  • More Than 
  • M&S Bank 
  • Now I Can Travel 
  • Post Office 
  • Puffin Insurance 
  • Sainsbury’s Bank 
  • Santander 
  • Sheilas’ Wheels 
  • Spectrum 
  • TopDog 
  • Virgin Money 
  • Yorkshire Bank 
  • Zurich

Firms that have changed their terms

  • AllClear – no new cover for coronavirus-related claims
  • Axa – no new cover for coronavirus-related cancellation 
  • Allianz Assistance UK – from 12 March, no new cover for coronavirus-related claims 
  • Columbus Direct – from 13 March, no new cover for coronavirus-related claims 
  • Debenhams – from 16 March no new cover for coronavirus-related claims 
  • Direct Travel – from 17 March, no new cover from coronavirus-related claims 
  • Ergo is still selling annual policies, but with exclusions regarding any epidemic or pandemic as declared by WHO
  • Holidaysafe is still selling travel insurance, but policies now include a Covid-19 specific exclusion
  • InsureandGo – no new cover for coronavirus-related incidents 
  • Nationwide – from 18 March, new policies won’t cover coronavirus 
  • NFU is still selling annual policies to existing home insurance customers but has stopped the sale of single-trip policies
  • Saga – from 13 March, no new cover for coronavirus-related claims 
  • Staysure – no travel disruption extension for new customers 

Source: Read Full Article

Jeffco Sheriff enforcing "physical distancing" on crowded trails

Faced with continued crowding at Jefferson County Open Space parks — coupled with an expected surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the county this week — the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says it is stepping up enforcement of “physical distancing” in open spaces.

“You may be healthy,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a post on its Facebook page. “You may think you’ll be fine. But what about the people around you? An elderly loved one? A loved one with an underlying medical condition that makes them at risk? We are asking you to physically distance yourself from others right now FOR THEM.”

The post repeated instructions Coloradans have been hearing from public health officials for weeks, reminding trail users that they could be spreading the coronavirus without knowing it if they have the virus but are asymptomatic.

The post shared three photos taken at Jeffco Open Space Parks, including one showing a line of hikers on the dirt road that leads to the top of North Table Mountain.

“As you can see from these photos that Jeffco Open Space rangers took (Sunday), many of you are not following the state order and protecting those at risk around you,” the post said. “You will be seeing more deputies working with our (Jefferson County Open Space) rangers to educate and enforce the state order for physical distancing at our open spaces.”

The post also urged open space visitors not to use trails when sick and to keep to groups of four or less.

“If you are sick, do not visit parks; stay home except to get medical care,” the post reads. “Do not gather in groups larger than four. Separate yourself at least six feet from other people at the trailhead and on the trail. Bring your own hand sanitizer/washing supplies; many of our parks lack running water. Sanitizer is not provided. Use discretion for park visits and public restroom use. Surfaces, handles, and fixtures are cleaned frequently, but are open to general public use.”

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.


Source: Read Full Article

Covid 19 coronavirus: Kiwi travel agents seek work combatting Covid 19

Grounded travel workers around New Zealand are asking if essential Kiwi businesses are in need of extra hands.

Messages asking to #HelpKiwisFly again have been trending on social media as grounded travel agents and cabin crews are looking for redeployment opportunities to make a difference during the Covid-19 crisis.

Last week the high street travel agent Flight Centre announced it would be closing 33 stores in New Zealand. This cut is part of a 30 per cent cull of staff, that represents over 4000 jobs across Australia and New Zealand.

David Coombs Flight Centre New Zealand’s managing director said it was a decision they had “hoped to avoid.”

Source: Read Full Article

Travel is Social Media's Most Talked-About Topic Right Now

According to a new analysis conducted by leading data, insights and consulting company, Kantar, using its advanced artificial intelligence (AI) toolkit, travel is the most talked-about topic in social media today.

With the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have begun living in a new reality that requires social distancing, self-isolation and increased reliance upon online platforms to stay connected. Perhaps now more than ever, people’s social media interactions are vividly mirroring the thoughts, emotions and behaviors being provoked by the uncertainty and volatility that accompany this global health crisis.

To tap into the current collective mindset of folks from about the world, Kantar’s AI engine analyzed more than 89 million social media posts, ultimately winding up with a filtered sample selection of 378,000. Sample posts came from Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the U.S. and the U.K.

Interestingly enough, in an era almost devoid of travel, the topic of ‘Travel and Mobility’ was shown to be the most highly-discussed category overall at 31,466 posts, far outpacing runners-up ‘Personal Care’ with 8,401 posts and ‘Sports’ (primarily associated with the cancelation of competitive events), which accounted for 7,571 posts.

While it’s clear that travel remains top-of-mind, the study results didn’t delve into specifics about what was driving these social media conversations. Given the progressive issuance of U.S. travel advisories and travel bans imposed by various countries over the past several weeks, it’s safe to assume that many posts centered on thwarted upcoming travel plans, or bringing home those who were already abroad.

Reports of coronavirus cases appearing aboard cruise ships and airplane flights also probably triggered discussions about the relative safety of certain modes of transportation, especially for those who may have been considering going to see relatives or convene with family members. Doubtless, given the shuttering of businesses, stay-at-home orders, and overall lack of socialization and movement have also inspired an awful lot of wanderlust, as we dream about the day that it’s once again safe to start planning our next dream vacation.

For more information, visit kantar.com.

Source: Read Full Article

Major travel insurers halt sales & amend policies amid coronavirus crisis – full list

The coronavirus crisis has thrown the entire travel industry into an unprecedented state, with airlines cancelling flights, airports shutting down, cruises banned from ports and countries worldwide rapidly shutting their borders. As a result, nearly half of the UK’s major travel insurance providers have pulled the sale of new insurance policies amid the crisis.

READ MORE

  • Flights: Where are grounded planes parked amid coronavirus crisis?

Meanwhile, many of those who continue to sell new policies have amended their terms and conditions to exclude disruption or cancellation as a result of the pandemic.

This could be worrying to some who are intending on future travel, particularly those embarking on travel deemed essential in the near future, and hope to purchase a policy to protect that journey.

Consumer rights advocate Which? contacted 75 providers serving the nation to uncover what kind of amendments they have made to policies and whether Britons could face concerning financial losses.

The good news is, regardless of whether an insurer has cancelled sales of new policies or is amending the terms and conditions to those it is currently offering, travellers with policies purchased prior to the March 11 declaration of a pandemic should still be covered.

Whether coronavirus has left you with a lost holiday booking or a cancelled flight, these policies should work to cover non-refundable costs so long as customers purchased adequate coverage.

Which?’s researchers found that 34 insurers, including well-known insurers such as Aviva, LV= and Direct Line, have temporarily suspended the sale of travel insurance to new customers as a result of the pandemic.

A further 10, including Axa, Saga and Staysure, have changed aspects of their policies making them more restrictive.

On March 11, following the World Health Organisations decision to name COVID-19 a pandemic, LV= issued a statement saying: “In light of the significant impact that coronavirus is having globally, LV= General Insurance has taken the difficult decision to pause the sale of travel insurance to new customers.

“In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen the number of policies sold double. While LV=is a major motor and home insurer, we are a small travel insurance provider and it’s important for the long-term benefit of all our customers that our exposure to this market remains at a sustainable level for the overall business.

“We considered a number of different options, such as excluding cover or significantly increasing prices for new customers but we strongly believe this temporary measure of pausing the sale of new policies and focusing on our existing customers is the right decision.

“There is no change for existing customers who already have a policy with us. They can contact us in the normal way if they need to make a claim, and we are also still offering renewals to our existing customers so they can continue to be insured with us.”

DON’T MISS
Hand luggage: How to keep your luggage clean from coronavirus [INSIGHT]
Pound to euro exchange rate: GBP shoots up to fresh two-week high  [GRAPH]
Coronavirus: Post Office issues travel money warning to Britons [WARNING]

Similarly, upon suspending new sales Direct Line released a statement saying: “Due to the impact that coronavirus is having across the world we have experienced a huge increase in demand for travel insurance.

“Our priority is to protect and service our existing customers and therefore we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend the sale of travel insurance to new customers so that we can focus on our existing customers.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Aviva told Express.co.uk: “Following a review of Aviva’s travel insurance, we have decided to adjust our cover to reflect the current risks posed by Coronavirus.

“This means that while new Aviva direct travel insurance customers can still purchase our core travel insurance, they will not be able to select our ‘travel disruption’ or ‘airspace closure’ add-ons.”

However, while existing customers are still protected, the options for new customers are becoming increasingly limited.

While the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has urged Britons to avoid all non-essential travel, while a stringent lockdown is in place across the UK, there may be those who must embark on essential travel in coming weeks and are seeking protection.

Though some insurers are still continuing to sell new packages, many have amended their policies to rule out coronavirus coverage.

For example, a spokesperson for AXA told Express.co.uk: “Any new policy purchased, or new trip booked covered by an existing annual multi-trip policy after 3 pm on 13th March 2020, will not cover any cancellation claim in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We will continue to cover any medical claims because of coronavirus if you are travelling to an area where no FCO advice against travel exists.”

Gareth Shaw, Head of Money at Which?, said: “Coronavirus has had a huge impact on the travel insurance market, with dozens of providers amending policies or pulling them all together.

“This is creating confusion and uncertainty for consumers, who may feel they simply can not make plans for future trips in the circumstances.

“The government, insurers and the travel industry must work together to tackle the huge challenge posed by coronavirus, to ensure people feel confident enough to travel in the knowledge that they will be covered.”

Which? is currently advising those purchasing new policies to check the details and exclusions of the coverage prior to buying.

READ MORE

  • Coronavirus flights: ‘Fly first ask questions later’ says expert

Which companies are still selling travel insurance policies?

Of the insurers surveyed by Which? the below are still selling new policies, with some amendments, at the time of writing:

All Clear

The insurance firm is still selling policies to new customers but will not provide cover on those policies for coronavirus-related claims.

Axa

Axa continues to provide policies to new customers but without coronavirus-related cancellation cover.

Allianz Assistance UK

From March 12 the insurer has ruled out cover on new policies for coronavirus-related claims.

Columbus Direct

From March 13 the insurer is providing no new cover for coronavirus-related claims.

Debenhams

As of March 16, there is no new cover from coronavirus-related claims.

Direct Travel

On March 17 the insurer stated they could no longer offer coronavirus-related claim coverage on new policies.

InsureandGo

Though new policies can be purchased, they will not cover coronavirus-related incidents.

Nationwide

As of March 18 new policies will offer no protection against coronavirus issues.

Saga

From March 13 the insurer will provide no new cover for coronavirus claims.

Staysure

While new customers can still invest in a policy, there will be no travel disruption extension for new customers.

Which companies are no longer selling travel insurance?

Insurance firms currently halting the sale of new policies include:

AA

Admiral

Alpha Insurance

Asda

Aviva

Boots

Churchill

Clydesdale Bank

The Co-op

CoverMore

Direct Line

Ergo Travel

Esure

ETA

First Direct

Flexicover

Fogg Travel

HSBC

Holidaysafe

LV

More Than

M&S Bank

NFU Mutual

Now I Can Travel

Post Office

Puffin Insurance

Sainsbury’s Bank

Santander

Sheilas’ Wheels

Spectrum

TopDog

Virgin Money

Yorkshire Bank

Zurich

Source: Read Full Article

Southwest Renews Nationwide Sale With Flights From $39 One-Way

Southwest Airlines is bringing back discounted flights from as low as $39 one-way and $78 roundtrip this spring.

The latest nationwide sale runs now through Thursday, April 2 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Sale fares are valid on continental U.S. travel from April 21 through June 6 and between August 18 and October 30; interisland Hawaii travel from April 21 through May 20; travel to/from San Juan, Puerto Rico between April 21 and May 14 and from September 8 through October 30 and international travel from August 18 through October 30.

The flight deals require a 21-day advance purchase and continental U.S. travel is blacked out May 21-22, May 25, September 4 and September 7 during Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

Travelers will find the cheapest fares starting from $39 one-way on interisland Hawaii routes such as Honolulu to Kona as well as select continental U.S. routes like Atlanta-Orlando. Customers who act fast can even fly nonstop roundtrip between Fort Lauderdale and Cancun for $200.

Contact your travel advisor or visit Southwest.com to filter flight deals by your departure city.

Source: Read Full Article