Call us on: 0208 920 1144

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE & THE RETURN TO FLYING

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

 

07 AUGUST UPDATE
 
IMPORTANT!! If you are travelling overseas, please follow this Link to a form that MUST be filled in within 48 hours of returning to the UK


REFUNDS – The subject on most people’s lips. For those of you who are still waiting for refunds on cancelled bookings. It is now apparent that refunds with Virgin Atlantic and to a lesser extent with British Airways continue to be coming back to us at snail pace. We understand the frustration and hardship this may be causing clients and feel that the speed of processing from the airlines is completely unacceptable. To date we have refunded over a £Million Pounds worth of cancelled tickets and much of this from our own funds while we wait for the airline to refund us.
Unfortunately, because of the volume of tickets to be refunded there is ultimately a limit to what we have been able to refund from our own funds. However, I am pleased to report that we have now secured additional financing which will allow us to once again begin to refund tickets prior to receiving the funds back from the airlines. Once again, this is not an unlimited amount and therefore we will be refunding those bookings that have been waiting the longest first, starting with March and April departures that have not yet been refunded. March & April departures should be completed within the next 2 weeks. These refunds will not impact those where we have received the monies back from the airlines and these will be refunded immediately they are received.

 

ENTRY PROTOCOLS. The Islands are beginning to open up for visitors. However, they do have very strict protocols for entry and you MUST check them before travelling as it is your responsibility to ensure you adhere to them. For your convenience, please follow the links to the various destinations to find out what you have to do.
 
The first link is from the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Authority. Please click HERE. This is a useful guide to let you know the status of each Island with regard when they are open to receive tourists.
 
Please click on the Country name below to open the link.
 
ANTIGUA     BARBADOS     JAMAICA     ST LUCIA

DOMINICA   ST VINCENT   ST KITTS (Please read If you are travelling onwards but transiting one of these Islands as it may apply to you too.)
 
Other travel advice can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office site. Please click HERE

 COVID19 FIT TO FLY CERTIFICATES. Many destinations now require you to turn up with a test certificate to show that you have had a negative test result for Covid 19 within 72 hours prior to departure. If you are unable to obtain this certificate through an NHS test we have made a  special arrangements with CityDocs for Newmont clients to obtain this.
Please go to www.citydoc.org.uk/newmont/ for more information and how to obtain your certificate at a discounted price.

You will need to enter the following password to gain access:  mrnewmontsentme (no spaces). You can either visit one of their test centres or order a home kit.

 VIRGIN ATLANTIC CLIENTS IN ST LUCIA. Our discussions with Virgin Atlantic are still ongoing with regard how clients holding unused St Lucia to London coupons get back to the UK. I have to say it is very difficult to get a definitive answer from them. If you urgently need to get back, the only recommendation  we can suggest is to purchase a one way ticket with British Airways and on your return, provide us with your ticket receipts and we will endeavour to get the cost of the ticket cost back for you from Virgin Atlantic.

DALSTON & SHEPHERDS BUSH STORES. Both the Dalston and Shepherds Bush shops remain closed for the time being. With the level of interest in bookings and with us still dealing with refunds, cancellations, rebookings and repatriations we felt that it would be impossible to restrict the numbers of people coming in to the stores to a safe level for both clients and our staff. We are hoping that we can reopen the   branches early to mid September. Our Staff are still working from home and can be contacted on  020 8920 1122. For those regular visitors to our Shepherds Bush office you will be pleased to hear that while we have been closed, the office has been refurbished.

 PHONE LINES. Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 09:30am to 5:00pm. We are still using the weekends purely for administration and therefore our phone lines will not be open on a Saturday & Sunday for a few more weeks.  We have had a lot of complaints about the hold time and we sincerely apologise for this. To alleviate this we have reduced the number of calls that the system allows to have on hold and once this number has been exceeded you will get an engage signal. We are here and we are doing our best to service all the calls coming in.

 LIAT: As most of you know by now, LIAT has ceased flying and like everybody else we wait to see the outcome of when or if they resume flying under a new name. In the meantime, extra schedules and routes have been added by Caribbean Airlines and Inter Caribbean Airlines and we are currently discussing getting these integrated into the flying programme.

 BRITISH AIRWAYS FLIGHTS IN AUGUST & SEPTEMBER. These flights are still operating from Gatwick on a reduced basis. If you have a forthcoming flight, can we suggest you go to ba.com and click the ’Manage’ tab. You need to insert your surname and BA booking reference which can be found on your e-ticket.  This will allow you to check that your booking is all in order, add any special requests, your passport details, your contact details if different while you are away and within 24 hours of departure, you can check in. Please note that during August, BA are departing from North terminal. Please confirm this when checking in as they will be returning to the South terminal at some stage. Please contact us immediately if any of your flights appear to have been cancelled.

 BRITISH AIRWAYS TO MONTEGO BAY. After an absence of many years, British Airways will resume flying to Montego Bay in October. We have some fantastic fares and more information and bookings can be found online at www.newmont.co.uk  or by phone on 020 8920 1122.

 VIRGIN ATLANTIC FLIGHTS IN AUGUST & SEPTEMBER. During these 2 months, Virgin Atlantic are only operating a Saturday Barbados service, returning from Barbados on a Sunday arriving Monday. These flights are from HEATHROW. If you have flights booked for any other day to Barbados or to any other destination we have already started to submit your tickets for refund. However, if you wish to change your dates rather than obtain a refund you must contact us immediately. You can phone on  020 8920 1122 or email: changes@newmont.travel  

OCTOBER FLYING & ONWARDS. The positive signs are that schedules are beginning to get back to normal during the month of  October and both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have some great deals in place for future flying. These can be booked by phone on  020 8920 1122 or as usual online at www.newmont.co.uk.

Once again, through these troubled times we thank you all for the patience you have shown. We are aware that at times we have not been able to get to your calls or respond quickly to your emails. However, our staff have been completely inundated with phone calls and emails. The workload caused by the airlines has not helped and we can only hope that things get back to normal as quickly as possible.

 

 

UPDATE 08 JULY 2020 (This update is in addition to previous updates and doesn’t replace them)
 
As Islands open their doors, certain protocols and requirements have been put in place that need to be adhered too by you, the traveler. We have put together some links for those Islands that have made their protocols available and if you are travelling or thinking of travelling you must read them to make sure you are compliant. The last thing we want is for you to travel and either be refused boarding, refused entry or face a lengthy wait and cost when you arrive in destination.
 
Complying with these requirements is your responsibility. Some of the protocols are quite in depth and it is imperative that you read them carefully and comply to each of the measures.
 
The first link is from the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Authority. Please click HERE. This is a useful guide to let you know the status of each Island with regard when they are open to receive tourists.
 
Please click on the Country name below to open the link.
 
ANTIGUA     BARBADOS     JAMAICA     ST LUCIA  (Please read If you are travelling onwards but transiting one of these Islands as it may apply to you too.)
 
Other travel advice can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office site. Please click HERE
 
For those who are not able to get an NHS Covid Free Fit to Fly Certificate, we are in discussion with a private clinic in order to get a discounted rate for Newmont clients. We will hopefully be able to provide you with this information in the next few days.
 
LIAT – Unfortunately, we have as much information as you do at the moment and we are not getting any response from the Airline itself. We are talking to the various High Commissions and tourist boards and hope the situation will become clearer in the following few days.
 
BRITISH AIRWAYS FROM GATWICK – British Airways have moved back to the North terminal for the month of July. Before travelling to the airport, please check in online here.
 
VIRGIN ATLANTIC FROM HEATHROW – Virgin Atlantic are currently operating at Heathrow from Terminal 2. Before travelling to the Airport, please check in online here
 
REFUNDS – We are now beginning to see more refunds coming in from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. However, still not as fast as we would like. After discussions with senior management at both airlines we are expecting to see a steady quickening of refunds being returned to us. On receipt of them we will process the refunds back to our clients. We are of course so sorry and apologise for the delays.

 

LIAT
 
‘If you have a departure booked involving a LIAT flight in the next 4 weeks, please contact us immediately.’

 

REFUNDS
 
LATEST UPDATE: British Airways are quoting anything from 4 to 12 weeks to process refunds from the date they are submitted. Virgin Atlantic are quoting up to 120 days from the date of submission.

 

UPDATE 23 June 2020
 
Despite the government allowing non essential shops to reopen our Dalston and Shepherds Bush stores are still closed temporarily. Because of the high demand for bookings and rebookings we feel it will be impossible to maintain social distancing and subsequently, a safe environment for both clients and staff. We are taking advantage of the closure to redecorate!!

 

Our staff are working from home and can be contacted on the usual telephone lines: 020 8920 1122. Phones are busy and we are aware of the delays. We are doing all we can to get to your calls as soon as possible. If you would prefer you can email us on Covidchange@newmont.travel. Please ensure you include you booking reference.

 

If you do want to make a booking for later on in the year or up to March 2021, this can be done on the website www.newmont.co.uk.

 

BRITISH AIRWAYS RESUME FLYING TO THE CARIBBEAN. We are pleased to announce that British Airways are looking to resume services on a limited schedule to Barbados, St Lucia and Kingston Jamaica from the middle of July, and Antigua from August.    Prices are currently at seat sale levels and some bargains can be picked up. If you are interested in getting a price and availability and to book it is most probably best to do so online at www.newmont.co.uk as our phone lines are still very busy with staff organising repatriations, rebooking of cancelled departures and refunds. If you are currently booked for mid July onwards and    August, you may find that the day of operation of your flight has changed.  Please click here and to the ‘Manage My    Booking’ section, using the BA reference on your e-ticket to see the current status of your flight. British Airways flights to the  Caribbean up to the 16th of July are now cancelled and as stated there is a limited revised schedule for the second half of July and August, therefore, if we don’t hear from you by the 1st of July to reschedule your flights, we will begin to process all  cancelled flight tickets for refund. PLEASE BE AWARE—If your flight is operating and you wish to cancel, BA are only offering a credit voucher. You MUST cancel prior to departure by emailing us on Covidchange@newmont.travel or on BA.COM . If you do not cancel prior to departure, the airline will treat you as a No Show and normal cancellation fees  will apply.

 

VIRGIN ATLANTIC TO BARBADOS. We have now been advised that Virgin Atlantic will be operating to Barbados once a week in August and September. The flight will depart Heathrow on a Saturday and Depart Barbados on a Sunday. If you are ticketed to Barbados or onward on any other day of the week and wish to transfer to the scheduled departure please contact us on 020 8920 1122 or email with your booking details to Covidchange@newmont.travel. The rest of Virgin Atlantic schedules for July to the Caribbean are now cancelled and therefore, if we don’t hear from you by the 1st of July to reschedule we will begin to process all tickets for refund. If you know of friends or relatives who are in the Caribbean that you are in contact with and have Virgin Atlantic return tickets and want to get back to the UK, please let them know to contact us.

 

VIRGIN ATLANTIC CLIENTS IN ST LUCIA. If you are still in St Lucia and looking to return to the UK, you can now take advantage of the Virgin Atlantic Barbados service with a connection using LIAT. Please contact us for rebooking. Again, if you are receiving this email or seeing our social media post and have friends or relatives in St Lucia who you are in touch with, please pass this information on to them.

 

OCTOBER ONWARDS AND 2021 SCHEDULES. The schedules for these flights with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are in the system and pretty much back to normal and all at SEAT SALE RATES, INCLUDING EASTER 2021. If you are looking to travel around these dates, their’s never a better time than now to book.

 

Rebooking a later date - If your booking has been affected and you wish to advise us that you would like to rebook for a later date in the year please contact us on 020 8920 1155 or email us at Covidchange@newmont.travel, If emailing, please state your booking number and give specific instructions on what dates you would like us to change your booking to. Without both of these we will not be able to process your request. 

 

If you wish to email us about anything other than a rebooking, refund or repatriation due to the Covid 19 situation then please email us at changes@newmont.co.uk.

 

Applying for a refund. We will not start the application for refund until the airline has actually notified us that your flight is officially cancelled. We are doing this as the airlines are trying to get people to accept credit vouchers if they cancel before they officially cancel the flight. Once they cancel the flight themselves they will have to issue a cash refund. Once again, if you are applying for a refund and haven’t supplied us with your booking reference then please re email us including this reference.

 

Under normal circumstances, we would refund the monies due to you immediately and before we receive it back from the airline. Unfortunately, due to the enormous amount of cancellations and refunds it is not possible for us to do this and we will not be able to reimburse you until we have received it back from the airline. Because of the furloughing of staff by the airlines we have been advised that refunds will take a minimum of 6 weeks from the date of application.

 

We are so sorry for the time it will take to process refunds but the airlines are not making this process very easy. Basically, we have a procedure in place that allows us to automatically apply for the refund when we actually cancel the booking. Unfortunately, as with most airlines in the world, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have switched this facility off, meaning that each and every refund has to be administered manually. A job which should only take us a few days will now take us weeks. The trade in general along with ourselves are lobbying both the airlines and the government to try and speed this process up. Newmont Travel has not furloughed any of its admin staff and we have moved staff from other areas to assist in processing all of these rebookings, cancellations and refunds.

 

In order for us to devote as much time as possible to administering these refunds we would respectfully request that you do not phone us to enquire on the progress of your refund. We are processing them as fast as we can.

 

If you want more information on what the airlines are doing or if you are currently overseas, please click on the following links Airline names:

BRITISH AIRWAYS, VIRGIN ATLANTIC, DELTA, AMERICAN AIRLINES, AIR CANADA, LIAT, CARIBBEAN AIRLINES

 
What will be refunded. As per our booking conditions. your money will be refunded in full minus a £45.00 per person (Maximum of £100.00) per file admin charge. The £5.00 per person consumer Protection Charge is non refundable. We’ve never before invoked this charge but in order to keep our staff working to process this work and with no new bookings coming in we have had no option but to make the admin charge.
 
We are so sorry that your travel plans have been disrupted like this and hope that you and your families both here and in the Caribbean stay safe and well and that as soon as this terrible crisis is over you can once again travel home and be with your loved ones.
 
We have had thousands of calls relating to the same thing and we have tried below to answer some of them for you.
 

FAQ’s
 
Q. If my balance is due to be paid, can I delay making the payment to nearer the time of departure.
A. This was one of the first things we approached the airlines about and requesting that balance due dates were extended. Unfortunately, both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic were adamant that this could not be done and that the balance due dates as per the confirmations stood. This also means that if you choose no to pay and we are therefore unable to issue your ticket this will incur a loss of deposit.
 
Q. What happens if I cancel my booking while the flight is still showing operating.
A. As with failing to pay your balance on time, the cancellation charges as shown on your booking form will apply
 
Q. What if I want to change my flight which is still showing as operating.
A. Most airlines have a Covid change policy and how it is applied will depend on what date you are travelling and what date you want to rebook. These changes will incur the normal £60.00 per person admin fee.
 
Q. What if my flight has been cancelled and I want to rebook another date.
A. We are happy to hold your funds on file or rebook your dates. Their will be a £15.00 + £5.00 consumer protection fee per person charge +/- any difference in fare.
 
Q. When I first cancelled my flight due to the travel restrictions the flight was still showing as operating and the airline would only offer me a voucher. Subsequently, the flight did not operate as it was cancelled by the airline. Can I now exchange my voucher for a refund.
A. This issue has taken up many hours of arguing and at the moment, the airlines are adamant that they will not exchange the voucher for a cash refund. However, it is our view that the airlines will eventually have to offer a refund so please hang on.
 
Once again, we would respectfully request that if the above information answers your question that you please refrain from phoning as we will not be able to give you any further information and it just takes our staff away from administering bookings that we can action.
 
Yours Sincerely
 
The team at Newmont