How will Brexit affect your travel arrangements?
With levels of apprehension soaring amongst the business community about the impact of Brexit on business travel, Steve Hall, founder of Burnley-based Mint Business Travel, gives an expert view on what changes leaving the EU may bring.
Steve Hall says, “According to recent research by business consortium the *DCC Forum, more than a third (36 per cent) of UK business travellers are apprehensive about the UK’s exit from the EU next March. This is up by more than 10 per cent since before the referendum, so it’s a good time to advise on what the outcome may be. In truth, the changes aren’t likely to be as far-reaching as current fear-mongering suggests.
“The major fear amongst companies and business travellers is an increase in airfares. When the EU removed bi-lateral agreements between airlines and the countries they fly to, pricing became more stable. But as the likelihood of these agreements having to be re-introduced increases, prices will probably rise. On a positive cost-saving note, airlines such as Dublin based Ryanair should not be affected and will still enjoy the benefit of being able to move freely between the UK and EU countries.
Visa Requirements & Health
“Visa requirements are also a source of unease. The probable outcome is that we will not need visas to travel to Europe on holiday or business, but frustratingly UK citizens will have to join a longer queue for non-EU citizens at passport control. Paperwork around health benefits will also need looking at because the entitlements under the European Health Insurance Card will need to be renegotiated. However, whilst we continue to allow EU citizens access to the NHS, there should be no noticeable difference for business travellers.
ATOL & The Package Travel Directive
“The biggest headaches in my view would come from the scrapping of EU implemented improvements to the ATOL scheme, such as the package travel directive. This improvement increased the protection for customers when booking a travel component combined with another service. In addition, compensation claims for flight delays and cancellations could be set to become more difficult as they will revert to being different for each airline, and travellers may have to make the claim in the EU country they were travelling to or from.
“From the perspective of business travel organisers such as Mint, these changes will present an opportunity to assist companies to negotiate these new regulations and companies should look at the cost, time and risk saving benefits of leaving booking travel to the experts.”