British Airways set to resume flights to Pittsburgh


British Airways is continuing to rebuild its transatlantic network with flights from London to Pittsburgh due to resume on 3 June.

The airline will fly from London Heathrow to Pittsburgh International airport four times per week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ director of networks and alliances, said: “We’re delighted to be returning to the vibrant city of Pittsburgh, offering the only direct route to and from London.”

British Airways’ summer 2022 transatlantic schedule will see the UK airline flying to 26 cities across the US.



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Spain: British tourists may incur ‘rotten’ sludge on beaches – environmental | Travel News | Travel


is one of the most popular summer holiday destinations among Britons, but it may become less picturesque than in years previous.

Environmentalists are urging local councils not to remove unsightly sea algae from beaches.

Their argument is that it is all part of marine life and conservation and the fight against climate change.

In parts of Alicante, this is coming into effect, with the local authority announcing just yesterday that it has approved an order to protect it at all costs.

However, it is often unsightly and annoying for sunbathing tourists.

READ MORE: Flight attendant shares hotel room tip – ‘replace your room key’

Other holiday resorts across Spain are also keen to hold off on removing the algae slush, despite beachgoers having to jump or wade through it in order to get to the sea.

The Spanish Institute of Coastal Ecology recommends delaying the removal until the arrival of high season.

Even still, they only recommend it to be removed on the busiest of beaches.

The Valencia council has had to remove some of the sea grass on busy beaches due to the extremely hot weather.

However, it has introduced conservation measures which British tourists may not be best pleased with.

The Coastal Ecology Institute said: “Algae and marine plant debris have an important ecological role to play in coastal ecosystems.

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“This role is clearly set out in the criteria under which beaches can obtain Blue Flag status.”

The Blue Flag website reads: “The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators.

In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.”

The Coastal Ecology Institute continued that coastal areas are not simply an “asset in the local leisure industry that only needs to be kept clean”, but rather “natural and living environments”.

Tourists have been reminded that until the algae becomes “harmful” for beachgoers, it is “inevitable and should be accepted” as part of nature.

The institute suggested that when possible, the first option should be that debris are left – “precisely because of its important environmental and beach protection role”.

Scientific director, Gabriel Soler explained that when firms were brought in to clear the algae, 80 percent of the matter cleared was in fact sand. which therefore contributed to beach erosion.

Because this contributes to beach erosion, he found: “The longer the posidonia is left, the better.”

But he made a distinction; while the matter should remain in coves and natural beaches year-round, it can be cleared on urban beaches in the high season.

This is between June – August.

Spanish politician Monica Oltra explained that Friday’s degree “responds to the need to protect these ecosystems due to their great environmental wealth, since they are inhabited by more than 400 species of plants and 1,000 animals, many of which are of commercial interest and some are seriously threatened”.

But despite the environmental positives, the visual pollution is proving too much for some tourists.

In Ibiza’s Platja d’en Bossa, one businessman stated: “We used to have up to four rows of hammocks but now there is not even a beach.”

Locals have also taken to social media to voice their displeasure, with one commenting: “Posidonia is decomposing organic matter, piling it up on urban tourist beaches is a health risk. It smells rotten.”

Posidonia oceanica, also known as Neptune grass or Mediterranean tapeweed, is a seagrass species found in the Mediterranean Sea.

The local council said that in areas where sand has been washed away, the posidonia is being left “in order to act as a natural barrier and thus favour the regeneration of the beach”.

In Elche, beach councillor Héctor Díez said that since May 9, they had cleared up 200 cubic metres of posidonia to better the area’s “image”, and this would increase in the coming weeks.

However, he explained that posidonia is actually a symptom of the good quality of the waters of the Elche coast, while he did lament that it was a nuisance for beachgoers.

In beachy Benidorm, the local council is raising awareness to tourists to hit home the importance of posidonia and sustainable tourism.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.





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CDC: British Virgin Islands at ‘high’ travel risk for Covid-19


(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added one destination — a relaxed Caribbean playground — to its “high” category for Covid-19 risk.

The British Virgin Islands moved up to Level 3 on Monday; it previously had been at Level 2.

The islands are known for the famous Virgin Gorda Baths (a bay dotted with giant granite boulders); water sports such as diving and sailing; and a pace that is more casual than some of the Caribbean’s hot spots.

Overall, this week’s CDC travel risk update saw little in the way of the dramatic shifts in status that characterized this past winter and early spring during the original Omicron variant surge.

The CDC recently overhauled its ratings system for assessing Covid-19 risk for travelers.

The Level 3 “high” risk category is now the top rung in terms of risk level. Level 2 is considered “moderate” risk, and Level 1 is “low” risk.

Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern or health care infrastructure collapse. Under the new system, no destinations have been placed at Level 4 so far.

Level 3

Customers sit on a terrace alongside a canal in Amsterdam, on April 28, 2021,

Amsterdam is blessed with urban biking and canals, but the Netherlands is still ranked “high” risk for Covid-19.

FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS/AFP via Getty Images

In the CDC’s new system, the “Level 3: Covid-19 High” category applies to countries that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

Much of Europe is still lodged there with the summer travel season getting ever closer. As of May 9, some popular European destinations remained at Level 3:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italy
• The Netherlands
• Portugal
• Spain
• United Kingdom

It’s not just European favorites that find themselves at Level 3. Other popular travel spots around the world still ranked at the high risk level:

• Brazil
• Canada
• Costa Rica
• Malaysia
• South Korea
• Thailand

There are almost 110 destinations at Level 3 this week. Level 3 locations now account for nearly half of the roughly 235 places monitored by the CDC.

The CDC advises that you get up-to-date with your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to a Level 3 destination. “Up-to-date” includes not only the full initial vaccinations but any boosters for which you’re eligible.
The CDC does not include the United States in its list of advisories, but on its color-coded map of the world, the CDC had it at Level 3 on Monday.

Level 2

The Temple of Hercules at the Amman Citadel. Jordan was moved to "moderate" risk by the CDC.

The Temple of Hercules at the Amman Citadel. Jordan was moved to “moderate” risk by the CDC.

Maurizio De Mattei/Adobe Stock

Destinations carrying the “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” designation reported 50 to 100 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Seven destinations — spread all around the planet — were moved to this level on Monday:

• The Bahamas
• Fiji
• Jordan
• Mongolia
• Namibia
• Paraguay
• St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The move to Level 2 was a step back for the Bahamas, Namibia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which had been at Level 1.

But the move was good news for tourism-dependent Fiji, along with Jordan and Mongolia, which had been at Level 3. Paraguay was previously “unknown.” Almost 25 places are now at Level 2.

In its broader travel guidance, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
If you’re concerned about a health situation not related to Covid-19, check here.

Level 1

The Plaza Murillo and Bolivian Palace of Government in La Paz. Bolivia became a Level 1 destination on Monday.

The Plaza Murillo and Bolivian Palace of Government in La Paz. Bolivia became a Level 1 destination on Monday.

diegograndi/Adobe Stock

To be in “Level 1: Covid-19 Low,” a destination must have had 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days. Two landlocked destinations were added to the category on May 9:

• Bolivia
• Kosovo

South America’s Bolivia had been at Level 2, while Kosovo, part of Europe’s Balkans, dropped all the way from Level 3, making it the biggest mover of the week.

This level is dominated by destinations in Africa, including Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda. Level 1 had more than 50 entries total this week.

Unknown

Finally, there are destinations for which the CDC has an “unknown” risk because of a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places with ongoing warfare or unrest. Only one addition was made on Monday to this category: Angola.

The CDC advises against travel to these places precisely because the risks are unknown. Also attracting their fair share of visitors in this category are the Azores, Cambodia and Tanzania.

A medical expert weighs in on risk levels

Transmission rates are just “one guidepost” for travelers’ personal risk calculations, according to CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen.

We’ve moved into “a phase in the pandemic where people need to make their own decisions based on their medical circumstances as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” said Wen, who is an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

There are other factors to weigh in addition to transmission rates, according to Wen.

“Another is what precautions are required and followed in the place that you’re going and then the third is what are you planning to do once you’re there.

“Are you planning to visit a lot of attractions and go to indoor bars? That’s very different from you’re going somewhere where you’re planning to lie on the beach all day and not interact with anyone else. That’s very different. Those are very different levels of risk.”

Vaccination is the most significant safety factor for travel, since unvaccinated travelers are more likely to become ill and transmit Covid-19 to others, Wen said.

And it’s also important to consider what you would do if you end up testing positive away from home. Where will you stay and how easy will it be to get a test to return home?

Top image: BVI, now at Level 3, has plenty of beach escapes. (Matt/Adobe Stock).



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Travel news: British tourist to visit world’s most dangerous island | UK | News


Miles Routledge, who uses the Twitter handle Lord Miles Routledge, has built a reputation as being a “danger tourist” having visited multiple hotspots in the past – including Kabul during the Taliban takeover. His latest plan will be to visit a renowned island in the Indian Ocean known for a hostile indigenous tribe who have had very little contact with the outside world and remain one of the world’s last uncontacted peoples in the world.

Devout Christian Mr Routledge is hoping to visit North Sentinel Island located in the Bay of Bengal.

Previous attempts by others visiting the protected island, which belongs to India, have resulted in death at the hands of the locals.

In 1867, British explorers had to fend off attacks from the natives as they awaiting rescue following their vessel becoming shipwrecked off the coast of the island.

In 2006, two fishermen were killed by the natives known as the Sentinelese.

And American Christian missionary John Allen Chau met the same fate when he attempted to spread the word of God on the island in 2018.

Contact with the islanders is not only discouraged due to their extremely violent nature but to protect the group from the outside world, in particular from disease and viruses other nations have long become immune to.

Mr Routledge has devised a plan to document the group without putting himself or the tribe at risk

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Buy 2 small boats and go to North Sentinel Island.

“One crew sets off fireworks to distract the primitives.

“One crew in decontaminated suits sets up Starlink, cameras and a solar panel all hidden.

“Twitch of uncontacted tribes, $$$ and help science.

“Tell me why this wouldn’t work.”

READ MORE:
World’s most mysterious places Britons can’t visit

Mr Routledge claims this would allow for a Twitch stream to be set up and monitor the mostly undocumented tribe.

He says this will help science and make money along the way.

Adding another plan to his ambitious adventure, he wrote: “Or like, go with a drone disguised as a big bird, film content, boom exclusive footage of non-contacted tribe that’s near priceless.”

Warning of the dangers ahead, one Twitter user replied to Mr Routledge by saying: “Go in a suit of armour.

“What are they going to do against a knight with their little sticks?”

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Mr Routledge has conducted other dangerous trips in his travels.

In April, he was seen to have “tea with the Taliban” during a visit to Afghanistan.

Tweeted about the encounter, he wrote: “Tea with the Taliban.

I’m in Afghanistan, walked into Taliban residency by accident and after talking they gave me food, tea and even offered for me to stay the night.

“They are so kind!”

Should Miles Routledge visit the island? Will the visit pose a danger to the islanders in light of the recent global virus? Let us know your thoughts by CLICKING HERE and joining the debate in our comments section below – Every Voice Matters!

He has also travelled to Ukraine during the Russian invasion, and spent time in Kazakhstan during riots.

In reference to his Sentinel Island idea, he later claimed that he wasn’t being completely serious.

He tweeted: “I mentioned this before but I’ve had a lot of new followers then, it’s always good to get further perspective on s**t posts that may turn into something real one day.”

Mr Routledge has been contacted by Express.co.uk for comment.





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British YouTube Travel Star Benjamin Rich Arrested at Baikonur Cosmodrome -Russia | World News


(Reuters) – British YouTube travel blogger Benjamin Rich, who specialises in remote and sometimes dangerous parts of the world, has been arrested at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Saturday.

Dmitry Rogozin said in an online post that Rich – whose Bald and Bankrupt channel has 3.53 million followers – and Alina Tseliupa had been detained near one of the launch pads at Baikonur, which Russia rents from Kazakhstan.

Local authorities were determining “the exact level of participation in illegal activities” by the pair, said Rogozin, who posted photos of Rich’s visa and Tseliupa’s passport. Some of Rich’s videos feature a woman called Alina but it was not immediately clear whether she and Tseliupa were the same person.

The most recent video on Rich’s channel was filmed in Syria and posted on April 24. In an Instagram post last week, Rich said “Syrian suntan and back in a country with Soviet mosaics” but did not specify where he was.

In London, Britain’s foreign ministry did not have an immediate comment.

Political Cartoons on World Leaders

Baikonur, once a closed Soviet city, is now open to tourists who apply for permission from Roscosmos. It lies in the steppe around 1,100 km (680 miles) southwest of the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.



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British Airways-Owner IAG Says Business Travel Recovering | Investing News


LONDON (Reuters) – British Airways-owner IAG said on Friday it had seen a strong recovery in business travel in the first quarter and it expected to be profitable from the second quarter onwards and for the full year.

The company, which also owns Iberia and Aer Lingus, said the continued easing of government-imposed travel restrictions, particularly in Britain, resulted in improved travel demand, with no noticeable impact from the war in Ukraine.

“Demand is recovering strongly in line with our previous expectations,” Chief Executive Luis Gallego said, adding that the company was currently focused on improving operations, customer experience and its operational resilience.

British Airways was hit by separate technical issues in February and March and also had to cancel a small number of flights in April due to staff sickness and delays in ramping up crew levels.

IAG said it would ramp up capacity from 65% of 2019 levels in the first quarter to around 80% in the second, 85% in the third and 90% in the fourth, with North Atlantic routes close to full capacity by quarter three.

The company reported a first-quarter operating loss of 731 million euros, compared with a restated 1.07 billion euros for the same period a year ago.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by James Davey)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.



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British Masters TV times and FREE golf betting tips


The DP World Tour returns to The Belfry this week for the Danny Willett-hosted Betfred British Masters. Barry Plummer has everything you need to know

After two weeks in sunny (or not so sunny if you factor in the untimely weather delays) Spain, we return to home shores for the Betfred British Masters. As it was in 2021, the tournament will be held at The Belfry and will be hosted by Danny Willett, so there is certainly a useful angle in for all you punters out there. Before I share with you my free golf betting tips for the week, here is all the info you need to keep up with the action…

Betfred British Masters details

Venue: The Belfry (Brabazon), Sutton Coldfield, England

Date: May 5-8, 2022                                                                                    

Course stats: Par 72; 7,232 yards

Course summary: This four-time Ryder Cup venue is an icon of British golf, and with two events held there in the past two years we are pleased to see it becoming a European Tour mainstay once more. Heavily tree-lined fairways, water in-play on nine holes, and small, well-bunkered greens await the players here, with the ability to find the green-in-regulation a critical factor. Plenty of risk and reward options should appeal to the brave few in the field, so strap in for a dramatic finish on Sunday.

Purse: £1.85 million

Defending champion: Richard Bland (-13)

Betfred British Masters TV coverage

Thursday: Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 1.30pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 1.30pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 1pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 3pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 1pm

Betfred British Masters free golf betting tips

Bazza’s Banker: Adrian Meronk @ 22/1 with Bet365

After impressing on both of his previous two starts, Meronk justifies favouritism here for me. I intended to select Meronk prior to the odds being released, and I was under no illusion that I would get a much better price than what is on offer. Back-to-back 3rd-place finishes marry perfectly with a 3rd place finish in this event last year to create a fantastic opportunity for his first DP World Tour title.

If his course form and performance at the Belfry last year are not enough to convince you, then consider the fact that he has finished in the top-6 on four out of eight tour starts this season. That 50% strike rate, plus a perfect record of seven consecutive cuts made since his early season withdrawal, again justifies why he is my headline pick this week.

The Each-Way Play: Nicolai Hojgaard @ 40/1 with Bet365

I tipped brother Rasmus in this event last year, and after an incredible 12 months I am switching allegiances and siding with the other half of these incredible twins.

While I am aware that is a decision that could come back to bite me, especially considering the immense talent of Rasmus, I like Nicolai’s numbers enough to see value in his price. The young Dane won his second DP World Tour title in the UAE just four starts ago, and after a disappointing couple of events that followed he has now steadied the ship with a T13 finish in Spain last time out.

Nicolai ranks 15th for Greens-in-Regulation this season, and 8th for SG: Tee-to-Green, so there are certainly no question marks about his suitability for this test.

His scrambling was also much improved in Spain last week, ranking 5th in the tournament, and that can also be a great indicator for success at the Belfry. At this price, I think you will struggle to find many better each-way shots.

The (slightly) long(er) shot: Justin Harding @ 45/1 with Bet365

Harding is quietly having a fantastic season, and I think that could be the reason he is such a good price for this event. Harding was 7th last time out at the Tour Championship on the Sunshine Tour, but previously finished 5th in his most recent DP World Tour start in Qatar. The South African also finished in the top-10 on three other occasions this calendar year, with six top-25 finishes in eight starts.

Harding’s consistency is also evident in his stats, ranking 27th for SG: Tee-to-Green, 9th for Scrambling and 12th for Putts-per-GIR. As an accurate driver, who holds a 19th place finish at the Belfry last season, I like his chances of a third DP Tour title.

For more prices visit Bet365.

Subscribe to NCG





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Travel tips for British tourists with arthritis to reduce the risk of flare ups | Travel News | Travel


Becky added: “Pace yourself, don’t feel under pressure to see and do everything all at once.

“Try to check in on how you feel each day and take time to practice self-care. Make a schedule that works for you and don’t feel guilty about having a rest.

“When sightseeing, try to plan the main parts of your day and transport to get about. If there’s too much walking or high activity, you can use public transport or taxis between periods of high activity and take plenty of rest breaks.”

Arthr advises tourists not to put pressure on themselves to keep up with family and friends if they’re in pain.





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Masks on planes no longer required by some British airlines


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Two major British airlines and London’s Heathrow Airport announced Monday they are planning to drop their mask mandates over the next month. The policy shift followed news from the United Kingdom that it will lift its remaining travel restrictions this week, including coronavirus testing requirements for unvaccinated visitors.

In a Monday news release, Heathrow announced it will drop its mask requirement starting Wednesday but still “strongly encourages” travelers in the airport to continue covering their faces “in recognition that the pandemic is not over.”

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic provided statements to Heathrow indicating they would follow suit. In a statement, British Airways Chief Operating Officer Jason Mahoney said that beginning Wednesday, passengers will only be required to wear a mask on the carrier’s flights if their destination requires it.

Is it safe to visit Europe? What to know about traveling near Ukraine.

Corneel Koster, Virgin Atlantic’s chief customer and operating officer, said in a statement that masks would be optional on routes that are not subject to international mask regulations. The airline will introduce the change gradually, and Koster said masks “will still be required on many of our routes, including flights operating to or from the United States” until at least April 18, the expiration date for a recently extended mask order from the Transportation Security Administration.

Jet2 became the first British airline to remove its mask requirement two weeks ago, stating it was no longer legally required. The British government removed restrictions on transportation in late February.

London drops Tube mask rule as part of ‘living with the virus.’ Is the U.K. ready?

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced Monday that the U.K. will no longer require coronavirus tests or passenger locator forms from travelers starting on Friday at 4 a.m. Britain previously scrapped testing requirements for vaccinated travelers last month.

In a news release provided to The Washington Post, the Department for Transport said the government will do away with managed hotel quarantine capacity by the end of the month. The department will put contingency plans in place to deal with any future variants of concern.

“I said we wouldn’t keep travel measures in place for any longer than necessary, which we’re delivering on today — providing more welcome news and greater freedom for travelers ahead of the Easter holidays,” Shapps said in the release.

13 places vaccinated travelers can go without taking a coronavirus test

The U.K. joins a number of European neighbors that recently nixed all entry requirements. Ireland dropped all covid travel restrictions on March 6, and Iceland and Norway did the same in February.

The U.K. rule change comes despite an uptick in covid cases. According to tracking data compiled by The Post through Monday afternoon, Britain saw a 15 percent increase in daily cases over the last week, with 689 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.





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British Airways: Couple denied boarding Heathrow to Los Angeles flight | Travel News | Travel


Derrick and Sheila are demanding a £1,000 refund from the airline after delays on their initial flight from Manchester Airport to Heathrow caused them to arrive late at the west London hub. Despite being told by the pilot their next flight would wait for them, they were left upset and stressed when they arrived and were told they could not board their transatlantic journey to Los Angeles. 

They were supposed to see their son Christopher, 38, for the first time in two years due to the pandemic – and attend his wedding.

But Derrick, 69, and his wife were crushed to miss their flight.

They were offered an alternative flight 24 hours later, which they say they had no choice but to accept.

Speaking to My London, Derrick said: “We had already waited two years to see our son, and it was a day lost of our holiday – we had to cancel restaurant reservations and other plans.

“Flights to America are not cheap, and we are still waiting to hear from British Airways about a refund and compensation. If I can help it, I never want to fly with them again, and I’m looking at other airlines for our next trip.”

It’s been four months since the experience but the couple, of Oldham, Greater Manchester, are yet to receive a refund or compensation for alleged damage to their luggage.

Derrick continued: “We had to pay £70 to arrange another PCR test as the ones we took on December 22 became invalid. At an extra cost to us, we tried to arrange this at the airport – it took around five hours to get them done.

“All this time at the airport there was no customer service of any description, no help or support from anyone. Also, one of our bags was damaged when the wheel was broken on the flight from Manchester. The whole experience of travelling with British Airways is one I will not forget and do not wish to experience again ever.

“We’re owed around £1,040 for the delayed flights, our extra Covid tests cost £70 and I also wanted to claim compensation for my wife’s damaged suitcase. Even just the stress of the whole thing took its toll.”

When the couple boarded the alternative flight the next day – Christmas Eve – they were initially sat at opposite ends of the plane.

After the pair protested, they were eventually upgraded to business class, where they were content, and they eventually arrived in Los Angeles just a day later than expected.  

A spokesperson for British Airways said: “We are sorry that our customers were delayed in getting to Los Angeles due to matters beyond our control. We got them on the next available flight and provided overnight accommodation. Our crew on the flight looked after them and we have been in contact with the customer to resolve the matter.”

Derrick says British Airways has agreed to refund the money for the coronavirus tests, but has not mentioned anything about getting compensation for the delayed flights.

In an email seen by My London, a customers relations worker told him: “We’ve reviewed your claim and we’re unable to pay you back for the damage this time. This is because we only pay for damaged baggage if customers let us know within seven days of receiving their bag, and your claim fell outside this period. However, you may be able to claim through your travel insurer.”





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