Airlines ‘giving passengers incorrect testing information’


irlines are giving out incorrect information on Covid testing requirements that could see passengers turned away from flights, a watchdog has warned.

Which? said a mystery shopping exercise found most agents for five major UK airlines – British Airways (BA), easyJet, Jet2 Ryanair and Tui – were unable to provide clear, consistent or accurate answers.

In nearly half of the calls, the passenger would have been turned away from their flight had they followed the information provided by the agent.

If a traveller does not meet the entry requirements and cannot board their flight, they have no recourse to a refund.

The UK and devolved Governments set the rules on testing for people’s return to the UK, and foreign governments in other countries determine the rules for UK passengers’ arrivals.

The most reliable place to look for information on testing requirements for travel to your destination is the FCDO’s website

However, when Which? contacted a number of major UK airports, all confirmed that it is up to airlines’ ground staff to enforce these rules and decide if someone should be allowed on a flight.

All the airlines Which? contacted outlined that it is a passenger’s responsibility to ensure they meet the requirements for boarding, and that if they do not, they can be turned away from their flight with no recourse to a refund.

Posing as passengers, Which? phoned the customer service lines for BA, easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair and Tui three times each and asked the same four questions about testing requirements when flying to mainland Portugal.

At the time of the research, passengers travelling to mainland Portugal were required to take a test, regardless of previous infection or vaccination status. Only PCR tests – not lateral flow tests – were accepted for entry to Portugal, and only children up to the age of two were exempt.

The consumer watchdog’s mystery shoppers were given incorrect or contradictory information in seven of the 15 calls.

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