‘Whoops of pleasure’ as passengers get ‘inexperienced gentle’ on flights to Eire forward of midnight ban
“Whoops of Joy” was heard at Heathrow Airport after hundreds of passengers traveling to Ireland were given the green light to fly to Dublin before the 48-hour travel ban goes into effect at midnight.
Ms. Scully, 23, of Dublin described it as a “Christmas miracle” after her, and about 300 other potentially stranded passengers eagerly awaited news.
Passengers flying from the UK to Ireland waited for news on their flights following the government’s decision on the travel ban tonight. Image: Rachael Scully
She originally planned a flight to Dublin on Tuesday, but booked a flight home at 8:55 p.m. today after learning of the incoming travel ban.
Upon arrival at the airport, Ms. Scully and around 50 other passengers were informed that the flight they were traveling on was overbooked and that alternative arrangements needed to be made.
“We were told they would take us to a hotel to book a connecting flight from London to a country that can fly to Dublin. Now they are working with the Irish government to get a flight to Dublin before midnight, ”said Ms. Scully.
“There are about 300 people here now, some who were for the flight we were supposed to get and some who canceled flights,” Rachel explained.
The government announced a 48-hour flight ban from the UK after fears that a new strain of Covid-19 could spread.
Transport Secretary Eamon Ryan announced the new restrictions on Sunday evening after an additional 764 new cases of Covid-19 and four other deaths were reported in Ireland.
Ms. Scully, 23, who is going to Dublin to have a “Christmas quarantine” with her parents, described the anxious scenes at the airport as people waited for news about whether they could travel.
“The mood is fearful, but the majority are just trying to make the best of a bad situation. A few start with people who are honestly doing their best and can’t believe how it turned out, ”said Ms. Scully.
Ryanair and Aer Lingus issued travel updates in response to the government’s decision to ban all UK-Ireland flights for 48 hours.
The government announced the travel ban tonight to prevent the spread of a new Covid-19 strain ahead of Tuesday’s cabinet meeting and to assess the situation.
Ireland’s announcement follows a decision by other European countries to ban travel from the UK.
Aer Lingus said it has suspended all UK to Ireland flights for the period and will operate Ireland to UK flights to repatriate customers to the UK.
UK to Ireland travel update ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/aZSVcVOeJp
– Aer Lingus (@AerLingus) December 20, 2020
The airline said it would also offer flights for passengers connecting to the UK.
Aer Lingus has announced that customers with a canceled flight will be contacted directly and entitled to a refund, voucher or rerouting in the future.
Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus released travel updates for passengers tonight following the announcement by Transport Secretary Eamon Ryan. Image: Leon Farrell / RollingNews.ie
Ryanair has announced that customers on flights to the UK that have been canceled due to government announcements will be contacted by email and offered a flight change or refund.
The airline said it would operate all other permitted flights to and from the UK, including passengers who have to travel for business reasons.
Ryanair statement on flights to / from the UK December 20-24: pic.twitter.com/U4Tu4lUsGR
– Ryanair Press Office (@RyanairPress) December 20, 2020
Any passenger who does not want to fly five days before Christmas can change their booking free of charge until March 15th.
The government’s unprecedented announcement of trips to the UK came after a meeting of government party leaders on Sunday following a day of meeting between cabinet ministers.
Transportation Secretary Eamon Ryan announced the new restrictions on Sunday evening after another 764 new cases of Covid-19 and four more deaths were reported
Exceptions were made for essential workers and those who bring goods into the country.