A new survey carried out by Jack’s Flight Club has found that the ever-changing rules around international travel are posing a serious concern to would-be fliers everywhere – even more so than COVID-19 itself.
Jack’s Flight Club, Europe’s largest cheap flights club with over 1,500,000 members, found that:
73% of travellers said that they’d cancelled or reconsidered travel plans since the new Omicron variant was discovered.
Respondents were more worried about the strictness of travel restrictions than the risk of catching COVID at the airport – 60% more respondents agreed that the travel rules were their biggest concern.
Even fewer said they were most concerned about catching COVID once they arrived at their destination (just 14% in total), and respondents were most likely to agree that seeing other travellers wearing masks and social distancing would make them feel more comfortable about travelling again.
This concern was shared by all demographics, regardless of vaccination status: 59% of unvaccinated travellers said that they were most concerned about the strictness of restrictions.
Meanwhile, 79% of travellers agreed that they’d found the changing travel rules difficult to keep up with.
A number of respondents were worried that they might miss some key piece of documentation and find themselves stranded at the airport.
One traveller said, “I’m just worried I’ll miss some guideline and get stranded at the airport without the right tests or paperwork.”
Others were concerned that the rules might change suddenly once they arrived at their destination.
“I understand the travel industry has taken a huge knock financially but I won’t lock money into holidays that may not go ahead, or may be worthless – either because of our restrictions or restrictions at the destination.
“What if you flew all the way to a country only to not be permitted out of the hotel? Or for everything to be closed? It’s a lottery as to how much you would be charged for an exchange or refund, if you’d get one at all!”
Jack Sheldon, founder of Jack’s Flight Club, said,
“While COVID-19 means that governments often need to react quickly in the face of a fast-moving situation, there’s no doubt that travellers are struggling to keep up with the complex and constantly changing rules around international flights. Most of our members are more worried about the admin than they are about catching COVID now – and the associated costs of testing, insurance and refunds make trip planning even more stressful.
“At Jack’s Flight Club, we’ve been working to do our part to make things easier on our members. We’ve focused on promoting airlines that don’t just offer cheap flights, but can also provide flexibility around rebooking and refunds.
“But if governments and the airline industry want to encourage travellers back into the air in 2022, it’s more important than ever to provide clear communication, reassurance, and support so that people feel more confident investing in a holiday abroad again.”
What’s your take on all of this? Are you struggling to keep up with all the different rules and regulations for different countries? Have you travelled during the pandemic and did you find it more stressful than usual, worrying about whether you had all the correct documentation? Perhaps you travelled as a family and had to oversee all of this for multiple passengers? Was it unreasonably stressful? Would it put you off travelling again or do you feel more confident having gone through the process previously?
Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!