There is a lot of Brexit-related news out there at the moment, but what does all this mean if you are travelling to Europe with a school or student group over the coming months? Well the UK has been granted an extension to remain in the European Union until 31 October 2019, with the option to leave before this date.
This provides certainty that people will be able to continue to travel to the European Union exactly as they do today and travel businesses will continue to operate within the remit of EU regulation and legislation at least until the end of October 2019.
There are still a number of possible scenarios as to what may happened including the possibility of a no-deal Brexit or a longer extension. Until the matter is resolved we will continue to monitor the information provided by travel industry experts, organisations like ABTA and the UK Government and picked out what we believe is relevant for you.
Will my tour price change?
If you have an existing booking with Study & Sport Experiences:
As we have forward contracts for foreign currency, fluctuations in the exchange rate are highly unlikely to affect the price of your tour.
Please note however that, if there is a change in legislation that will affect your overall tour price and which is out of our control, eg visa costs, surcharges, this cost would be passed on to you.
As is always our policy at Study & Sport Experiences we will do our best to do the right thing to work with you to ensure your trip would continue.
If you have not yet booked your tour:
Due to our forward buying policy for foreign currency, we will work with you to ensure there is no or a low impact on pricing. The travel industry is reporting that the sensible advice is to book now to secure your booking on current currency rates.
What is the law on price changes?
If there are increases in transportation costs, taxes or fees chargeable for services post Brexit, the law says that package holiday providers, like Study & Sport Experiences, are permitted to increase their prices. However, we are pleased to confirm that there would be no change within 20 days of your departure and we would cover the first 2% of any price increase. In the unlikely circumstances that prices were to increase by more than 2% you may be asked to pay an additional fee however where the price increase is 10% or higher, you have the right to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid, except for any amendment charges.
Will overall prices go up in the future?
Tour prices in the future will always be open to normal market and economic fluctuations such as currency and service prices. Our foreign currency forward buying policy means we always look to protect customers from the impact of currency fluctuations. However, overall tour prices may in the future be affected by changes in legislation such as visa costs, surcharges etc. or increased cost in services such as flights or ferry crossings.
At Study & Sport Experiences our experienced staff will always provide you with a tour price which is based either on the actual current rates for your service or estimated rates which are based on our extensive knowledge of the travel and industry. We will always communicate any price changes as they are given to us and have an open and honest pricing policy, which will ensure you should have no surprises later on.
Will I need a new passport?
The UK Government recommends that travellers going to the EU after Brexit have 6 months left on their passport and is also advising that any extra months which have been added to a 10-year passport will not be valid.
The Passport Office now have this useful tool where you can check if your passport will be valid when you are travelling Check A Passport
If you would like to know more take a look at the latest Government advice.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?
The European Commission has approved legal changes to ensure that UK citizens will not need a visa to travel the EU for short stays after Brexit, even in the event of a no-deal exit. The European Commission announced in November its intention that, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will still be able to travel to the EU for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without needing a visa. As has always been the case, if you have any travellers in your group who are non-UK citizens, they must check with their own embassy whether they require a visa to enter the countries they are visiting. For more details, please visit GOV.UK for the latest advice.
Will it take longer to cross borders within the EU?
It shouldn’t take any longer, as all countries within the Schengen Zone remain border free. These countries are:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Will we have to show our passports at each border?
We do advise you keep passports handy when travelling throughout Europe, as you may be required to prove your right to travel at border crossings or security checkpoints.
You can always check on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out more about visa restrictions for your destination.
Will Brexit affect flight routes in the future?
In December 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation that, in the event that the UK leaves without a withdrawal agreement, would entitle UK airlines to continue to operate services between the UK and a point in an EU country. A final version of the draft regulation has been provisionally agreed by the EU and is expected to be confirmed by the Council and the European Parliament shortly.
Subject to the necessary approvals, the UK intends to grant EU airlines an equivalent level of access to that granted to UK airlines under the EU’s draft regulation.
Will anything change at airport check in?
There should be no changes at airport check in provided your passports/visas are valid. We are able to arrange airport assistance for an additional fee. This means that a representative will meet your group at a pre-arranged location in the airport and will assist you with check in and direct you to security and will cover any questions you may have. Please contact us if you wish to add this service on to your tour.
Will my EHIC card still be valid?
In the event of no deal, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid. ABTA has always advised when travelling to the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances. We are able to provide comprehensive travel insurance at an additional cost. Please contact us if you wish to add this service on to your tour.
Further advice on travel insurance can be found at https://www.abta.com/travelinsurance
Can I still use my phone in the EU?
Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using internet on your phone in the EU is the same as in the UK. If the UK leaves without a deal these rules will no longer apply. Some UK companies have said they may continue to offer this to their customers. Before you travel, check with your mobile phone provider.
Until we know if a deal has been reached, the policies around Brexit will continue to be subject to change. We will continue to keep our customers up to date with the latest news, as and when we have it. At Study & Sport Experiences we place the needs of our customers at the heart of the decisions and actions we take and can assure all customers, old and new, that we will work tirelessly to ensure learning outside the classroom experiences are as hassle free and enjoyable as possible, deal or no deal!
Here are some useful links if you wish to know more:
Check A Passport – to see if your passport is valid for your destination