British Airways celebrated on its social media Sunday morning (8), after three Boeing 777s landed almost simultaneously in the UK. The celebration had a reason: the plane managed to land before the new quarantine rules came into effect for passengers arriving from Mexico.
“There were celebrations at British Airways’ operational control center in the early hours of this morning, after our three rescue flights took off from Mexico and our customers returned home just in time,” the company said. on Twitter, along with a screenshot from FlightRadar24. tracking application.
The flights landed at 2:40 am, 1 hour and 20 minutes before the new quarantine rules came into effect that include Mexico on the “red list”. The last flight to arrive was the BA-2202 from Cancun. Had there been any delays, all passengers would have been quarantined in a hotel for 10 days and non-UK citizens and residents could have been deported.
The rescue operation was planned after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced he would place Mexico on the ‘Red List’, giving thousands of Britons just four days to return home or face a bill. quarantine of $ 2,000 per person to stay in state-designated hotels.
See also: Mexico enters “red list” of countries with UK travel restrictions
In a statement, the Ministry of Transport justified the inclusion of Mexico in the “Red List” by saying that the so-called Lambda variant of COVID-19, which was first described in Peru, represents a “high risk for the public. UK health. ‘
There were celebrations at the British Airways operations control center early this morning as our three rescue flights from #Mexico got home on time for our clients. #Welcome to the house #YouMakeUsFly
✈️👏🇲🇽 @ flightradar24 pic.twitter.com/hZfk6BoxmF
– British Airways (@British_Airways) August 8, 2021
Some tourists who had just left on a trip found that their vacation was ruined in the air. The British, taken by surprise, said there was no indication that Mexico could be included on the Red List. The decision surprised the tourism industry. Fortunately, British Airways have decided to carry out additional flights to get customers home just in time, as our partner Aeroin.net reported.
After securing seats for British Airways Holidays customers, the airline announced significantly reduced ticket change rates. Seats on the last two flights were selling for just $ 120 before taxes.
“We would now like to help as many Brits as possible return home to the UK, so we have introduced reduced emergency ‘rescue costs’ at the lowest possible price to cover our costs,” explained a spokesperson. word of the British company.
On social media, some users celebrated the airline’s action while also criticizing the UK government for its constant changes in health policy. “We were on the last flight from Cancun, which was brought forward six hours to avoid quarantine. Thanks BA, ”said user Jo Rogers, who also said that“ there was no indication that Mexico would turn red when we flew two weeks ago. In fact, compared to other countries, this should not be the case now. This government is a joke. ”
Another user said his 80-year-old father was literally the last to board the flight to Gatwick and was initially returning on August 11 but was rescheduled by British Airways at no cost.
“You know we are lost when an airline celebrates the fact that it managed to evacuate its customers from a country before their own government jailed them in their own country on their account,” the also added. user Adam Harris.
British Airways flight BA-2202 was scheduled to land at 9 a.m. on Sunday, but take-off was brought forward to evade Red List rules. A flight from Mexico City had to be diverted to Gatwick to comply with the night landing ban at Heathrow Airport.