Brexit is coming! Nobody really knows when or how it will happen, but it will happen. Probably. So here are all the details an air passenger like you should know about Brexit and its impact on air travel.
The United Kingdom has to finalize the processes for leaving the European Union by October 31. There are two ways to go about it: to strike some sort of deal with the EU, or to carry out a “no-deal” Brexit, letting the cards fall as they may. A cursory glance at any news site dealing with UK politics tells us that nobody knows how it will actually go down.
However, we have some outlines of how both of those scenarios will affect travel. Should the UK leave the EU with an agreement, the conditions of entering the country wouldn’t change before 2021. However, in a No-Deal scenario, this gets a little more interesting.
Irish citizens will still be able to enter, live and work in the UK without a visa. EU citizens, people from European Economic Area countries and Swiss citizens will be able to enter the UK normally up until December 31, 2020. Anyone else who wants to visit jolly old England will have to get a visa and bring a passport.
So what do you do if you want to enter the UK after October 31? Well, if you’re a citizen of an EU country, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein or Switzerland, you need to bring either your passport or a valid national ID card – but no visa! This state of affairs will last till December 31, 2020, if the UK exits without a deal.
EEA territory ID cards will not be accepted past 2020 – the actual date will be announced by the UK government sometime in the future.
Now, how about that luggage? Well, you still have to be mindful of the limits your carrier set – those are liable to change at any time, Brexit or no Brexit. Meanwhile, the UK has no plans to add bans on anything you can be reasonably expected to carry on your rollaboard. The only big difference comes to those trying to import animals on the endangered species list, which is not exactly a concern for the regular traveller. Check what additional documentation you’ll need to provide!
Do you know what else is slightly irregular? Anyone bringing more than £10,000 in cash with them when entering the UK. These days, a person doing it will have to declare it in customs. Previously, this was only the case for travellers that weren’t coming from the EU.
On a more serious matter: phone and roaming charges will be impacted by the way the UK handles things. If the United Kingdom exits the Union with a deal in place, nothing will change. The prices are set by regulations, and those remain in place. In the case of a No-Deal Brexit, the prices will fluctuate depending on the operator. Best start googling “free wifi spots London” today.
However, what happens if you’re a Briton who wants to enter the same EU your country has just left? Well, for one, you will need to carry your passport, which must be valid for at least six months past the date of entry. Furthermore, a UK citizen entering the EU may have to show their return flight tickets as well as proof that they have enough money to stay in the country until their scheduled return.
There is a 99% probability that deals or no deal, UK citizens will have to get visa waivers through ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System). They will join people from 60 other countries who currently can visit EU visa-free. ETIAS is supposed to be easy to use and the form will take about 10 minutes to fill.
Your EHIC cards will no longer be valid and you’ll need to seek alternate means of health insurance. If you have a credit card, you can check if it comes with health insurance (or if you don’t have one, you can get one with travel insurance)
UK citizens going to the EU should also know that free-roaming ends on October 31. Charges will then be set by individual operators.
This may also be the end of bus trips to countries that are not members of the EU (so, Switzerland, Andora and so on). Due to the issues that may arise crossing such borders, trips like that may be discontinued.
Now then, onto a subject near and dear to our hearts: flight compensation. Yes, you will be able to claim flight compensation for flight disruptions that happened on your way to/from the UK. Standard restrictions still apply.
So there you have it! Even if the future of Brexit is clouded and uncertain, you rest assured that Skycop is always looking out for the air passengers out there. If you ever experience delayed flights, cancelled flights or overbooking, claim with us! Up to €600 in compensation can be yours with minimal effort!