Russian plane crash: Sharm el Sheikh Q&A

I am flying to Sharm el Sheikh next week. What are my options? 

Official warning: Sharm el Sheikh airport
Official warning: Sharm el Sheikh airport

Q I have relatives in Sharm el Sheikh who are supposed to be flying home. What is happening?

The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for Egypt (bit.ly/EgyFCO) to warn against "all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh". Crucially, though, the FCO says: "We are not raising the threat level in the resort. The above advice applies only to air travel to and from Sharm el Sheikh. Carriers will not be permitted to fly from Sharm el Sheikh until we are satisfied that it is safe for them to do so." Flights are continuing to the holiday airport of Hurghada, and to Cairo.

Q What are they worried about?

Intelligence officials believe there is a high probability that the Russian jet was downed by a bomb placed aboard at Sharm el Sheikh. The security team is looking at the passenger screening process and baggage handling procedures, and assessing the effectiveness of background checks on airport staff.

Q I am flying to Sharm el Sheikh next week. What are my options?

If you are booked with the biggest UK tour operators, Thomson and Thomas Cook – or on the biggest scheduled airline to Sharm el Sheikh, easyJet – on any date up to and including Thursday 12 November, your trip will not be going ahead. You are entitled to choose between either a full refund or an alternative holiday. In addition, easyJet says it will offer the choice of a refund or an alternative flight to anyone booked to fly to the resort in the next two weeks. Past experience suggests British Airways and Monarch are likely to make similar decisions. Note, however, that if you have booked accommodation separately, for example through an online travel agent, you may not be able to get a refund for the room – unlike people with proper package holidays.

For more of Simon Calder's advice, see bit.ly/SharmFlights

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