Tunisia travel advice changes: what you need to know

Tunisia travel advice changes: what you need to know

Your options if your holiday is affected by the change in FCO travel advice.

Simon Ward

Motoring and Travel

Simon Ward
Updated on 10 July 2015

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised all British citizens to leave Tunisia and has changed its travel advice for the country to advise against all but essential travel.

But what does this mean for holidaymakers already over there and for people with holidays booked for the coming months?

If you’re already in Tunisia

If you’re in Tunisia on a package holiday, your tour operator will be arranging for you to return to the UK on a flight as soon as possible.

Package tour operators say they will be issuing refunds for days missed from their holiday.

If you are in Tunisia independently, you should look to leave on a scheduled flight as soon as possible. Any travel insurance policy you have should remain valid even though the FCO advice has changed.

You should contact your airline to switch your flight. The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) says its member airlines are arranging alternative flights.

Depending on the terms of your travel insurance policy, you should be able to claim back any lost days of your holiday.

If you were booked to go to Tunisia

If you have a package holiday booked, you should contact your tour operator or travel agent as soon as possible to discuss your options. Tour operators have cancelled all flights and holidays to Tunisia until the end of October.

[SPOTLIGHT]Thomson and First Choice are offering holidaymakers the choice of changing their holiday to any of their other destinations with a £50 discount per person on flights. Or you can claim a refund.

Their customer service centre can be reached on 0800 009 3847 or 0203 636 1998 between 9am-9pm on Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm Saturday and 10am-8pm Sunday.

Thomas Cook is also offering all customers either a full refund or the opportunity to change to another holiday with no amendment fees. The company has asked that people whose holiday is more than 14 days away wait a few days before trying to call their hotlines so it can sort out those who leave more immediately.

The helpline number to call is 01733 224 536.

Monarch is offering a refund or credit for a flight to an alternative destination. The Monarch helpline number is 0333 003 0700.

Abta is advising people with a package holiday booked after the end of October to wait until closer to their departure to see if the situation changes.

If you’ve booked an independent holiday, you should contact the companies you have booked with to see if they will offer you the option of deferring your trip or changing to another destination.

If your flight is cancelled, your airline should offer you a refund.

If you have a travel insurance policy, you should contact your insurer to see if you can make a claim for any losses.

Nationwide has said that it will extend the travel insurance cover for cancellation to its FlexAccount customers who have booked holidays to Tunisia.

If you do decide to travel to Tunisia during this period of changed FCO advice, any travel insurance policy you have would be invalidated.

The importance of travel insurance from when you book

The change in travel advice for Tunisia highlights why it's important to have travel insurance from the moment you book your holiday rather than a day or two before you go. It means you're covered if something unforeseen happens between booking and going, particularly if you're not booking a package holiday.

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