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TRAINS, PLANES & BREXIT - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Tuesday February 26, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

What you need to know if you're travelling to your ski holiday in the EU by any public transport means after 29th March.


So far our Brexit guides have looked at new requirements for UK passport holders and for motorists driving to the EU.

And we've covered the future of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).


Now we look at planes and trains to destinations in the EU.

In fact, all forms of public transport including coaches, buses and ferries and journeys as part of package holidays.

If there is an EU-UK withdrawal deal struck before 29th March, most arrangements will stay the same at least until December 2020.

Even without a deal, much will continue as normal, though there are some unknowns.

Of course, the Brexit date could yet be postponed but here's our latest information we have.


The threat of widespread disruption and the grounding of flights have been avoided by contingency arrangements made by the UK and the EU.

Flights will continue without interruption, even in the event of a no-deal.

Easyjet at Innsbruck airportNo change for air travel to the EU
















The EU has provisionally agreed that flights from the UK can continue to operate with the same rights as those from European states.

The details of the plans are not yet clear but it's thought that direct flights between the UK and the EU will have permission to operate for 12 months from 30th March.

If a UK-EU deal is agreed before Brexit, the status quo will continue during the transition period, which will continue until December 2020.

By then a new permanent air transport agreement will need to have been negotiated.

Airport security/immigration controls

The European Commission has proposed measures to avoid extra security screening of passengers from the UK when transferring to onward flights at EU airports.

If the UK exits without a deal, it is possible that UK passport holders will experience delays getting through immigration at EU airports.

As a non-EU national, British citizens will no longer be able to use the separate EU/EEA aisles as passport control.

Lyon Airport, FranceLyon Airport, France












Air passenger rights

Passenger rights to compensation for things like delays or cancellation or an airline going bust will not change, even without a deal.


Even if there is no deal, passengers on all cross-border rail services, including Eurostar and the Eurotunnel shuttle will continue to be protected by the EU regulation on rail passengers' rights, which is being incorporated into UK law.

Passengers can continue to use Eurotunnel's existing complaints procedure.

It is not clear what effect increased passport checks by French officials at Eurostar's London St Pancras station will have if there is no deal in place by 29th March.

There have been reports that the extra checks will lead to long queues and train cancellations.

Eurostar says it has been working extensively with all parties on both sides of the Channel to ensure robust plans are in place to protect services and manage customer flows.

London St Pancras Eurostar terminalEurostar London St Pancras terminal














Eurotunnel has emailed customers saying the company is ‘Brexit-ready' and Le Shuttle will be running as usual throughout 2019, whatever form Brexit takes.


Even if there is no EU Exit deal, passengers on cross-border bus and coach services will continue to be protected by the EU regulation on bus and coach passengers' rights, which is being incorporated into UK law.

Again, there may be additional immigration checks in the event of a no deal.

Snow Express coach in TignesCoach to the Alps














Most of the rules under which ferry services operate are international rather than EU, so there'll be no changes to them.

Even if there is no deal, passengers on ferry services will continue to be protected by the EU regulation on passengers' rights, which will be brought into UK law.

Prepare for extra immigration controls should be expected in the event of a no-deal.


Customers who book a package holiday with a UK travel company have the best protection of all, should anything go wrong with their travel arrangements post-Brexit.

The UK government has confirmed that the Package Travel Regulations will continue to be part of UK law when the UK leaves the EU, with or without a deal.

It means holidaymakers have the right to a full refund if the holiday cannot be provided.

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