Published on Friday, July 31, 2020

Jet2 adds 30,000 seats to Turkey and Greece after telling Brits in Spain to fly back early

Jet2 has added more flights to Greece and Turkey for summer 2020, after suspending its Spain programme and telling customers already on holiday they have to fly home early. and Jet2holidays' Greece and Turkey programmes have been boosted by 30,000 seats with additional flights and larger aircraft.

CEO Steve Heapy said: "We are seeing a real spike in demand for holidays and flights to Turkey and Greece, and as usual we have been quick to respond to what our customers want."

The focus on Greece and Turkey for summer 2020 comes after Jet2 suspended flights to the Balearics and Canaries until August 10, and to mainland Spain until August 17, following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advising against all non-essential travel to the destination.

Despite the FCO saying Brits already in Spain did not need to cut their holidays short, Jet2 has contacted customers to say they need to  fly home earlier than planned.

The decision to cut short holidays has led to criticism of the travel company, which has been widely regarded as being one of the stand-out operators throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

Some holidaymakers received emails and texts notifying them that their return flight was no longer operating and were told to rebook flights up to and including 3 August.

Customers have taken to social media to vent their frustration, with some saying they feel 'abandoned', many complaining that the new return flights are more expensive and some saying return flights home were already full.

The BBC reported some holidaymakers on Majorca were refusing to fly home early.

Jet2 has said the cost of the original flight will be refunded within 21 days, but has not responded to questions over whether passengers will be reimbursed for having their holiday cut short.

Jet2 said: "We are operating empty outbound flights to pick up customers from these destinations up to and including 3 August, and we are contacting customers who are currently in these destinations to advise them of their options regarding flying back to the UK.

"We appreciate that some of our package holiday customers were due to stay on holiday for longer than this and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

"We are responding to a very fast-moving situation with updates coming from the government with little or no notice, and we have had to make decisions about our programme accordingly.

"We can assure these customers that we will be in touch with them to resolve any issues that they may have."

Consumer campaign group Which? called on Jet2 to be clear with passengers on where they stand.

Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said: "Holidaymakers are increasingly stuck in the middle of a tug of war between government advice and travel company policies.

"The government had said people on holiday in the Balearic and Canary Islands don't need to return early, but Jet2 has decided that they should.

"Jet2 must now urgently clarify whether this is a requirement or a choice, and make it clear to customers whose package holiday has been cancelled what their rights are to a partial refund for the remainder of their trip."

He added: "The past week has seen utter confusion for holidaymakers. The government needs to work more closely with the travel industry so that tour operators and airlines can better manage these changing requirements, and holidaymakers aren't caught between following government advice or potentially losing the money for their holiday."

By Lisa James, Deputy Editor (UK)

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