Brexit’s Lasting Impact on Travel is Still Unclear



Professional analysts and casual observers alike have for months weighed the potential impacts of the Brexit divorce. Since the referendum, changes have arisen across many sectors of the economy, and clues have also emerged, highlighting the ways consumers have altered their behaviour, following the vote. As Brexit nears, even more details are coming to light, including predictions about how the shift will impact post-Brexit travel outside and within the UK.

One of the problems preventing precise conclusions about Brexit is the fluid nature of the negotiation process, leading up to the planned exit. Though progress has been made in many areas, a no-deal Brexit leaves lots of unanswered questions, with little time to iron out the details, before the March transition date. One case in point, a no-deal Brexit contingency plan was recently shared by the European Commission, outlining some of the ways travel may change under various Brexit scenarios.

Whether you’re concerned about an upcoming holiday, or just want timely information about post-Brexit travel, consider some of these possibilities, which may change travel practices for Britons abroad, as well as visitors traversing the UK.

You’re Protected For Now

Air travelers booked with an EU airline or travelling within the EU have rights and recourse against poor providers, under the current arrangement. If you’re confirmed for travel and arrive at the airport with ample time, your ticketed airline must meet certain performance standards, or compensate their passengers for actual expenses caused by airline shortfalls.

Though rules may change following a finalised Brexit agreement or no-deal scenario, protections are currently in place for airline customers. Steps have been taken to solidify passenger protection after Brexit, so it may be business as usual following the split. But until all of the pieces are in place, it’s hard to accurately predict the particulars. The compensation scheme currently underway provides payments for eligible airline customers, meeting certain criteria.

Under the terms of the Denied Boarding Regulation initiative, your EU or EU-airport booked flight is subject to oversight, requiring timely takeoff – acts of nature aside. If your departure is delayed more than 2 hours, resulting in additional travel expense for you and your travel companions, each inconvenienced passenger may qualify for as much as £500 flight delay compensation.

When your flight is delayed or canceled, it can cause a chain reaction of unanticipated spending. In the event your airline lets you down, failing to provide on-time service, they are responsible for expenses, such as:

  • Internet connection and emails
  • Phone calls
  • Food
  • Refreshments
  • Ground transport
  • Accommodation

Flight delay compensation addresses actual costs resulting from airline failures, so it’s important to save receipts and document your expenses, when problems arise. If delays or cancellations stall your journey, you can start your claim online.

Changes Ahead?

With the March 29th date rapidly approaching, the current agreement keeps many rules and regulations unchanged through the transition, including travel laws and regulations. If terms aren’t agreed upon, the European Commission’s contingency arrangements provide a fallback alternative, which should ease travel disruptions connected to the departure from the EU. The EC plan is focused on keeping the skies open and maintaining normal travel flow between the UK and EU.

The particulars need working out, but the EC plan goes a long way, shoring-up confidence in post-Brexit travel. Matters like insurance, mobile service, and car hire are all subject to the effects of a no deal outcome, but even these industries are working to orchestrate a trouble-free transition. The Association of British Travel Agents has taken an optimistic position about Brexit travel concerns, assuring Britons bound abroad that their holiday plans will not be interrupted, as a result of a no-deal Brexit.

The road to Brexit is filled with challenges. Among them, maintaining travel laws and regulations that accommodate free travel between the United Kingdom and European Union. Though the specifics are still under negotiation, the current agreement protects travelers, leading up to the transition. Even if a lasting deal doesn’t materialise before the 29th of March, the EC contingency plan and other measures will keep business and leisure travel flowing between the UK and EU.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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