Green list 'makes no difference to the consumer', says CEO of Irish Travel Agents Association

Green list 'makes no difference to the consumer', says CEO of Irish Travel Agents Association

Pat Dawson also pointed out that the only waived fees for changing flights are for those booked after March.  File image.

The CEO of the Irish Travel Agents Association, Pat Dawson, has said that the Government’s green list published last night will have no impact and will bring “no real change” for the public.

Mr Dawson told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that over €800,000 is being lost every day to people cannot go on the holidays they booked because of the policy on non-essential travel.

“Nothing really has changed. It’s a slight movement, but it makes no difference to the consumer.” 

The Government should step in and refund people who have lost money on holidays they cannot take, he said. 

Airlines are being paid (by consumers) for between 75% to 80% of seats on flights which means they are “at least breaking even,” he added.

When asked why the Government and not the airlines should refund consumers, Mr Dawson said that the airlines were too powerful “to be made to do it.” 

“It’s not the law. The flights are flying and if it flies there’s no refund.” 

Mr Dawson also pointed out that the only waived fees for changing flights are for those booked after March. 

Anyone who booked their holiday late last year or early this year is being charged high fees to change their holiday to 2021.

“The situation is no clearer now.”

The countries included on the green list are: Greece, Malta, Finland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia, Greenland, Gibraltar, Monaco and San Marino.

However, the advice remains to avoid all non-essential travel.

Dr Martin Daly, former president of the Irish Medical Organisation, said the list is sending out a mixed message to the public.

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