Travel Alerts

Severe delays on Eurostar

Due to industrial action by French customs, Eurostar are experiencing severe delays on all services today.

Passengers who chose not to travel today can apply for a full refund or a free exchange in the same class of service through their original point of sale within 60 days of their departure date. All passengers having entered their details via the Eurostar website will be informed by Eurostar. This does not apply to groups bookings.

You can check all updates on https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/disruption_hub or contact your Giles Travel team.

BREXIT – advice for UK & EU Nationals

BREXIT – advice for UK & EU Nationals

With BREXIT less than a month away (in theory), we work closely with our Visa partners, CIBT, to offer business travellers practical advice in an uncertain world. Click HERE for more information.

 

VISA NEWS from our partner CIBT

Remaining in the UK After Brexit: Essential Settlement Guidance for EU Nationals
An estimated 3.7 million EU nationals currently live and work in the United Kingdom. With Brexit quickly approaching, many of these people and their employers are confused about the new procedures and what they need to do to ensure their immigration status is protected. Join the immigration experts at Newland Chase, a CIBT Company, for a live, interactive webinar on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm GMT/9:00 am ET, as they cover the essentials for a successful Brexit transition for EU nationals living in the UK. Learn about the impact on the rights of EU nationals, immigration requirements, and how employers can assist. Can’t make the time? Don’t worry; a recording will be sent to all registrants after the webinar.  Learn more and register today.

New Trip? You Will Most Likely Need a New Visa Application
Visa applications and requirements change frequently and it is not advisable to store visa forms or application packs for future use. We can provide you with the latest visa information so you can avoid processing delays. Remember: new trip – new visa application. Visit our website and start your application today. CIBT will take care of the details. 

Concierge Service
Don’t put your travel plans at risk. A dedicated Concierge Specialist will manage the entire process from start to finish, providing the expertise necessary to ensure your request is approved as quickly as possible. Learn more.

IMMIGRATION NEWS

In the interest of serving the totality of our clients we are including the following information from our immigration experts at Newland Chase, a CIBT company. We are pleased to provide the most up to date immigration news that may affect you or the travellers that you support.

Work Permits in Switzerland for No-Deal Brexit
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, a separate quota of work permits will be available beginning March 30, 2019 for British citizens who wish to enter Switzerland for work. Learn more

Saudi Arabia Work Visas, Block Visas, and Nitaqat Changes
The Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD) has made several significant changes to the rules for issuing work visas and block visas as well as to the “Nitaqat” Saudization system. Click here to see the changes

New Dependent Visa Endorsement Procedure in the UAE
Effective immediately, the immigration authorities in Dubai have modified the dependent visa endorsement procedure. The changes have added up to 4 days to the processing time. Please plan accordingly and allow for the additional time when applying for your visa. Read more about these changes.

 

CONSULAR UPDATES

Russia
At least two blank facing visa pages are required if you are applying for a multi entry visa to Russia.

 

CONSULAR CLOSINGS

The main upcoming closed dates are:

  • Ghana: The Embassy is closed on 5th March
  • South Korea: The Embassy is closed on 1st March
  • Russia: The Embassy is closed on 8th March
  • Laos: The Embassy is closed on 8th March
The current status of UK nationals travelling to EU destinations – what you need to know NOW

The current status of UK nationals travelling to EU destinations – what you need to know NOW

Until the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, the UK remains a full member of the EU. As a UK national, there will be no change to your rights or status when travelling to an EU destination up until 29 March 2019.

You can:

  • continue to travel freely within the EU using a UK passport
  • enter another EU country without a visa

Visa and border arrangements

If the UK leaves with a deal, travel to the EU will remain the same as now until at least 31 December 2020. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel or work in the EU during this time.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for travelling or working in Europe will change after 29 March 2019.

The European Commission has proposed that in a no deal situation, if you are a British Citizen, you would not need a visa for short stays in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU. You would be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Visits to the Schengen area within the previous 180 days before your date of travel will count against the 90-day limit.

If you are intending to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, or your stay would take you over the 90 days in the 180-day limit, you may need to get a visa before you travel.

Travel to EU countries currently outside the Schengen area (Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus) would not count towards the 90-day total.

On arrival in the Schengen area, you may be asked to confirm that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your stay. As non-EU nationals, different border control checks will apply, and you may also be asked to show a return or onward ticket. UK nationals would not have an ongoing right to use the separate lanes provided for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals.

The 90-day visa-free period does not entitle you to work in the Schengen area. Most countries will require a visa and work permit.

You should check with the Embassy of the country where you plan to travel for what type of visa, if any, you will need. You can find information about entry requirements on our country-specific travel advice pages.

Travelling in an EU country after 29 March 2019: plan ahead

It is possible that the UK will leave the EU without a deal. This means your rights and status when travelling to an EU country could change.

More information on the types of action you may need to take ahead of travelling in the event of a ‘no deal’ EU Exit:

 

Driving and other transport

Flybmi cancels all flights and files for administration

British regional airline Flybmi has cancelled all its flights and filed for administration, the airline has announced. The company said it had been badly affected by rises in fuel and carbon costs and uncertainty over Brexit.

The East Midlands-based airline, which has 376 staff, operates 17 planes flying to 25 European cities.

We are contacting all affected travellers directly, but if you are concerned about your own travel arrangements please get in touch with your Giles Travel team.

A Flybmi spokesman said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement.

“The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

“Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe.”

The airline issued the following advice to those due to fly:

  • People who booked directly with Flybmi should contact their card issuer to seek a refund.
  • Passengers who booked via a travel agent or one of Flybmi’s partner airlines should contact them to see what their options are.
  • Those with travel insurance should see if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights.

LAX Airport construction to affect outbound flights

Due to upcoming airport construction at LAX, some American Airlines flights will depart from remote locations between February 11 and 13.

As a result of construction, American strongly encourages travellers that are departing from LAX to arrive at the airport at least two hours early. We also highly recommend that they arrive at the gate area 45 minutes prior to their scheduled departure.

As always, it is a good idea to check your flight status before heading to the airport.  This can be done via TripCase, the Giles Travel app, on the American app or via aa.com, where you can sign up for flight status notifications

Winter weather causing travel disruptions – UPDATE

Eurostar

Services are currently subject to disruption. Due to the snowy weather in France and in the UK, Eurostar has had to cancel the following trains:
– 9006 (07:31 from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord)
– 9110 (06:57 from London St Pancras to Brussels Midi)
– 9121 (10:56 from Brussels Midi to London St Pancras)

 

USA

The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze was expected to ease today (Thursday), though temperatures could still tumble to record lows in some places before the region begins to thaw out. Disruptions caused by the cold will persist, too, including power outages and cancelled flights and trains. The blast of polar air that enveloped much of the Midwest on Wednesday closed schools and businesses and strained infrastructure with some of the lowest temperatures in a generation. The deep freeze snapped rail lines, cancelled hundreds of flights and strained utilities.

Longer wait times at US airports

Virgin Atlantic are advising customers travelling from US airports that they may experience longer wait times than usual at airport security (TSA checkpoints), due to the current US Government shut down.

We would strongly recommend that customers arrive at US airports at least 3 hours before the departure time of their flight.

If you have any questions about VS operated flights, please contact your Giles Travel consultant, or Virgin Atlantic Sales Support at sales.support@fly.virgin.com or on +44344 2097705.

For all other VSbulletin information, please visit: http://www.vsflyinghub.com/en/vsbulletin

ESTA Application

U.S Customs and Border Protection have advised that changes in ESTA application processing,  results in real time approvals no longer being available.

International travellers using the Electronic System for authorisation for travel to the United States should apply as soon as possible but not less than 72 hours before their international flight is scheduled to depart. Failing to do so may result in denied boarding.

Those not eligible to use the visa wavier program will need to process a visa before travel.

For more information https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta

London Gatwick Airport Closure

Gatwick Airport remains closed this morning following reports of drones flying near the airport. We are checking the impact on any of our travellers, and will contact those affected.

Eurostar Cancellations – December 2018

There have been a number of cancellations to Eurostar services in December and over the Christmas/New Year period. The cancelled trains include:

16 December –   9112, 9145
21 December –   9021
22 December –   9013, 9060, 9129, 9136
23 December –   9021, 9030
28 December –   9021
29 December –   9013, 9060, 9129, 9136
01 January     –   9021, 9030, 9112, 9133, 9136

Customers can apply for a full refund or free exchange within 60 days.
We will contact our travellers affected by these cancellations.

If you’re concerned about the affect that any current trending travel alert may have on your travel plans, please contact your Giles Travel account manager or use the contact form below.

 

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