Family vacations shattered after a Covid test carried out 15 minutes too early – .

Family vacations shattered after a Covid test carried out 15 minutes too early – .

A mother and son spent the day at Luton Airport rather than on the Adriatic after easyJet diverted them from a flight to Split.
Their mistake: passing the lateral flow tests, Croatia requires 48 hours before departure, not arrival.

Ground staff turned them back, which cost them a day’s vacation and left them with hundreds of pocket books for new flights, tests and a hotel before the Thursday morning flight.

The couple, who do not want to be named, traveled from Norfolk to Luton in the early hours of the morning for the 6:40 am flight to Split.

Croatia requires arrivals from the UK to show a negative Covid test result, even if they have been vaccinated. The simplest option is a rapid antigen test (lateral flow), which produces results quickly and relatively inexpensively.

EasyJet mentions a 48 hour delay in its online guide, but does not specify whether it relates to the departure or landing of the flight.

The airline’s Covid online hub simply tells UK passengers: “Time window: no more than 48 hours. “

Croatian authorities, however, say it must be taken within 48 hours of arrival.

The mother and son had passed the required tests by 8:55 a.m. Monday morning, within 48 hours of departure.

But the easyJet plane’s expected arrival time was 9:10 a.m. (UK time) on Wednesday – 15 minutes past the 48-hour window before arrival.

The father, who was tested later, continued on his journey to minimize the financial cost to the family.

A family member said The independent: “I myself traveled to Split recently and they only check before I fly.

“At the Croatian border, they don’t ask for documents.

“I know it doesn’t make a difference – it’s just a very stressful situation.

An easyJet spokesperson said: “We know that flying is currently different than the number of our customers who are used to traveling, which is why we are alerting customers to the importance of checking current local travel requirements before their flight. by e-mail and on easyJet. .com through our Covid Help Hub, where they can also access government website links and the most recent travel information.

“Unfortunately, as these passengers were unable to provide test results that meet the criteria required by the Croatian authorities, they were unable to travel on this occasion.

“We offer a backup fare at the airport for customers who miss their flight so they can book the next available flight at a fixed rate which in most cases will be cheaper than buying a new ticket. the same day. Our customer team contacts them to review their rebooking options. “

The cost for new flights alone will be £ 220.


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