Since Article 50 was triggered in March of 2017 and Britain began to formally leave the European Union, concern has been growing over how this massive series of changes will impact travel between Britain and the EU. Airlines are facing major alterations to their flight planning, and citizens are having to plan their holidays much more carefully, both in terms of where they’re travelling and what types of documentation they need to get there and back. Also of major concern for UK citizens in the months to come is how travel protection will be impacted, especially when it comes to having health care protected with the European Health Insurance Card.
Cutbacks in Flights To and From the UK
Smaller airline companies like easyJet and Ryanair, who have become big names in EU airfare, are facing possible cutbacks on flights to and from the UK starting in March of 2019. UK airlines have already been warned by EU officials that, if they wish to continue flying their intra-European routes, their operations sites must be moved to any of the remaining 27 countries.
While these UK airlines might be able to stay functioning about as they are right now by setting up subsidiaries, other countries’ airlines might put a block on Open Skies after the Brexit. The costs of and time spent negotiating bilateral treaties is likely to be immense.
Passports Won’t Hold As Much Power
Any passport that is currently held will be valid for the full extent of its issuage (10 years for adults and 5 years for children). However, these will no longer be EU passports. Replacement UK passports will largely remain the same in their construction as the current EU passports. Since they will no longer be EU passports, though, there will likely be many more formalities in travelling throughout Europe.
Will Airfare Become More Expensive?
Many UK citizens are worried that airfare between the EU and UK will become exponentially more expensive than it has been for a while. Since 1994, open skies has provided affordable airfare between the UK and EU countries. It is likely that Article 50 negotiations will strive to keep Open Skies as much as possible due to the benefits it provides. However, if Open Skies is lost to bilateral dealmaking, there will likely be a return to the high-cost airfare rates of the 1980’s, prior to the EU’s aviation deregulation.
Health Benefits For Travelers Might Suffer
Currently, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)ensures that UK citizens can get access to free or reduced-cost health care while travelling abroad in EU countries. In lieu of the Brexit, this arrangement is going to have to be renegotiated, and the outcome is likely going to be highly dependent upon whether or not the UK allows EU citizens the same level of health care benefits.
If you are planning your next holiday, keep paying close attention to the changes that are occurring. It might be a smart idea to budget out extra funds in advance in case any changes cause price increases. There are currently many potential scenarios for how travel will be impacted, so it is important to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.