FLIGHTS from Portugal to the UK hit £784 today as 10,000 Brits race home to beat new quarantine rules that kick in at 4am Tuesday morning.
The 13 one-way flights from Faro, Algarve, to London today averaged around six times more than the usual price.
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Brits face forking out for more expensive flights after Portugal was ditched from the Government's quarantine-free "green" list last Thursday.
Holidaymakers can expect to pay around £250 for a last minute flight home on Monday compared to between £30 and £55 every day for the rest of the week.
The 5.55pm BA flight to Heathrow only had only business-class seats costing £784 left. Other BA flights were much cheaper, but still far more expensive than average.
The cheapest flight of the last UK departures from Faro was the 6:40pm WizzAir trip to Luton, costing £136.
There are just three flights heading back to London today from Lisbon, costing between £456 and £464, but prices drop to start from just £42 on Wednesday.
Of the three remaining direct flights from Lisbon to Manchester, tourists will have to pay between £127 and £322 to get home before the deadline, but prices fall to £62 on Wednesday.
Holidaymakers who do not make it home in time for the deadline will have to quarantine for 10 days.
Brits travelling back from amber list countries are also required to take a pre-departure PCR Covid test and provide a negative result.
Travel: What are your rights to a refund?
MILLIONS of Brits have had holiday plans cancelled. Here’s what to do if you’re affected.
Firstly, speak to your airline or holiday firm about a refund or rearranging your plans.
You are entitled to a cash refund if it's cancelled your holiday but many have large delays processing cash or may offer vouchers instead.
If the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to countries or regions, you may also be covered for cancellations by your travel insurance if the holiday provider or airline is not helping you.
Keep in mind travel insurance must have been taken out before the FCDO advice changed, otherwise you won't be covered.
If you don't have travel insurance or the excess on your insurance is so high it's not worth claiming, you may be able to claim your money back through your credit or debit card provider.
Credit card payments between £100 and £30,000 are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act.
To start a claim, you need to contact your credit card provider directly – Which? has a free tool that can help you do this.
Debit card claims or credit card claims of under £100 may be covered under similar Chargeback guarantees.
They will also have to pay for a further two tests on day two and eight of quarantine, adding £800 for a family of four.
The extra costs caused a last minute scramble for flights, with one mum telling The Sun the short notice rule change had cost her £1,000.
Of course, airlines regularly change prices based on supply and demand.
There are fears some travellers are sneaking from Portugal to the UK via Brittany Ferries services from next-door amber-list Spain, risking bringing Covid with them.
Expat Trevor Mitchell said: “We travelled by ferry from Spain to the UK with people from Portugal who travelled through amber-list Spain, but their day two and eight Covid tests were waived by the UK.”
Experts say Brits are being forced to abandon July and August holidays abroad by hardline Government cutbacks to green list destinations.
Travel consultant Paul Charles of The PC Agency said: “Summer is being squeezed by a policy of fear. Green list decisions damage consumer confidence.”
Ahead of last week's announcement, it was hoped that holiday hotspots including the Spanish and Greek islands could be added to the quarantine-free travel list this week, opening up more destinations by June 7.
Instead, no new countries were added to the green list, while others, including Egypt and Sri Lanka, have been pushed into the red.
Brits travelling back from a red list country face a 10 day hotel quarantine stay that costs up to £1,750 per person.
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