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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.
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Monday, 20 July 2009
FAMILY PACKAGE AIR & CRUISE HOLIDAYS IMPOSE DENIED BOARDING FOR SUSPECTED SWINE FLU CARRIERS
Dirty Swines Wreck UK Holiday Flights & Cruises
Passengers with swine flu symptoms AND ALL MEMBERS OF THEIR PARTY EVEN ALTHOUGH NOT SHOWING ANY SIGNS OF SWINE FLU will be stopped from boarding flights and boarding cruise ships, airlines British Airways,Virgin Atlantic and Royal Caribbean, confirmed today.
The UK Department of Health in an amazing display of ignorance as to how the package holiday industry works, warned tourists who contract the illness abroad to delay and not to travel home until their symptoms have gone.
This of course is impossible as holidaymakers, usually in family groups, will all travel out on a fixed day/date and return with the same plane or shipload of people at a pre-determined time and date say 7 or 14 days later.
There is no option on package holidays or cruise schedules to stagger return dates in case of swine flu infection. In fact, cruise lines will put ashore at the next Port of Call anyone (along with their family or party) displaying signs or showing symptoms of swine flu.
In extreme cases, as our picture shows, they will be helicoptered off ships whilst still at sea, such as carried out on the Independence of the Seas which is catering exclusively for the British market with round trips, throughout the year, out of Southampton.
"The British on holiday are known for their low levels of personal hygiene,and when Norovirus breaks out is it usually because some one already contaminated has concealed the symptoms in order not to lose their paid for holiday. I have not reason to believe some swine flu infected passengers will do the same." commented a cruise ship crew member.
The airlines confirmed they had provided check-in staff and cabin crew with guidance on how to act if they believe a passenger is unwell. Medical advice would be taken to assess the condition of passengers exhibiting symptoms, including having a headache, sore throat, runny nose, and aching muscles.
Virgin Atlantic said those suffering from the condition would be prevented from flying until they could provide a fit-to-fly certificate from their doctor or a hospital.
The new measures come at the height of the summer tourist season, with thousands of families either already on holiday or about to go.
So far, though, BA said there had only been a "very small number of cases" where passengers displaying symptoms of H1N1 had been advised not to travel, and all had complied. The airline said it has a "wide range of contingency plans in place which we can use depending on how the situation may evolve".
Passengers who catch swine flu abroad, are also being advised not to travel home until they have recovered.
The travel association, ABTA, said the precautions were "sensible" and stressed the cost of flight cancellations due to the virus should be covered by travel insurance. But in reality this has not been tested and insurance companies are likely to resist any such claims.
The home secretary, Alan Johnson, stressed the government was "well prepared" and had placed the danger of pandemics even above terrorism as a main threat. He also said suggestions would-be mothers should delay pregnancy were "an over-reaction".
Paul Charles, the director of communications for Virgin Atlantic, said: "If there are signs of something being wrong, be it excessive sneezing or coughing, not looking well, or high temperature, then the airport staff can call in a medical team for extra advice.
"If the medical team believe there are reasons not to fly, the passenger will be asked to produce a fit-to-fly certificate from their doctor or a hospital.
The strong advice being that all intending holidaymakers should ask thie local GP for a "fit to fly" and "fit to cruise" certificate which has to be paid for and is not part of the NHS offer. GP's will charge around £60 per certificate adding £240 to the cost of a family holiday for four.
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TELEVSION AND RADIO LIVE INTERVIEWS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
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