Welcome to Hell: the Trump New York Hotel
Welcome to Hell: the Trump New York Hotel

What has Donald Trump ever done for British travellers?

UK visitor who has benefited most from the White House incumbent is Nigel Farage

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Tuesday 03 November 2020 21:39

As America decides who will lead the nation for the next four years, it is a good moment to consider what the current occupant of the White House has done for the British traveller.

Donald Trump was the first hotelier (and failed airline entrepreneur) to become president.

But despite his evident interest in the travel industry, his decisions have not always been to the benefit of UK citizens.

Here are some examples.


1. With bookings weak because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump Turnberry Resort on the Ayrshire Coast has a special deal offering dinner, bed, breakfast and two rounds of golf for £438 for two. Golf is still legal in Scotland, but the only UK citizens who can avail of the package are Scottish residents in Level 0, 1, or 2 areas.

Despite an attempt to introduce the insidious American practice of adding “resort fees” to the bill – exposed by The Independent in 2018, there will be no unexpected extras.

2. Under Donald Trump’s administration, many billions of dollars in support have been handed to US airlines, which may allow them to sell transatlantic flights at below cost once UK visitors are allowed to travel.  Subsidised competition, though, will not help British Airways – currently selling London-Los Angeles return flights for January at just £342, assuming UK holidaymakers are allowed to take them …


1. Less than a week after he was inaugurated in 2017, Donald Trump issued an “Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” which was aimed at excluding Syrian refugees.

Banning foreigners has proved a popular policy for Mr Trump.

The presidential proclamation of 14 March 2020 banned UK travellers to the US because their presence “threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security”. 

There is no sign of the “China virus” ban changing. The principle exception: “Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest.” That is usually Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party and cheerleader at Donald Trump’s election rallies.

2. For any UK travellers heading for Iran, safety standards on the nation’s airlines are far worse than they would have been had the president not annulled the West’s settlement with Tehran – and the orders for new civil aircraft it involved.

3. Until Donald Trump took control, it was possible for British holidaymakers to combine Cuba with Florida. But one repercussion of the president’s dismantling of the entente established by Barack Obama was to render UK travellers subject to the same general flight ban as Americans.

4. Mr Trump has disparaged some of the greatest US cities, saying in 2019: “All over the world they're talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison.”

Only three weeks ago, he warned: “New York has gone to hell.”

5. Despite the number of dangerous cities in America, the president celebrated the reduction of foreign trips made by US citizens. "People are now staying in the United States, spending their money in the US, and I like that,” said Mr Trump.

The shortfall of American tourists worldwide harms the viability of airlines, hotels and the wider travel industry – to the detriment of the UK and its travellers.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments