Thursday 29 September 2016

Tunisia Attack: What should holidaymakers do now?

Q&A: Travel Advice

Published 26/06/2015 | 14:07

Tunisian flag.
Tunisian flag.

Following the recent terrorist attack at the Tunisian resort of Sousse, we're answering your holiday questions.

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Is travel to Tunisia safe?

Following the terrorist attack on Marhaba Beach, the Department of Foreign Affairs' travel advice is to "exercise extreme caution".

According to the UK Foreign Office, however, "further terrorist attacks in Tunisia, including in tourist resorts, are possible, including by individuals who are unknown to the authorities and whose actions are inspired by terrorist groups via social media".

Despite this, neither has declared travel in Tunisia to be unsafe, or even to avoid non-essential travel - the alert level below its 'red flag'.

Tunisian authorities have now deployed 1,000 armed security personnel to the country's tourist resorts in a bid to reassure and protect holidaymakers.

Irish citizens in Tunisia can register on the DFA's citizens’ registration database so that it can contact them in case of urgency.

You can call the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on 01 408-2000.

Are Irish tour operators still flying to Tunisia?

No. Sunway issued a statement on Wednesday, July 1, to say it has suspended its weekly flight schedule from Tunisia as of July 3.

Just Sunshine, which shared the weekly Friday charter from Dublin to Monastir, has also cancelled its Tunisia holidays "for the entire season".

The return flight from Monastir to Dublin on July 3 will operate, however, allowing holidaymakers in Tunisia this week to return home.

I booked a Tunisia holiday. What happens now?

Customers that have booked to travel with Sunway and Just Sunshine are now being offered a choice between a full refund of monies paid, or an alternative Sunway holiday.

For prices higher than originally paid, any additional cost will be incurred by the customer. If the price is lower, Sunway will refund the difference, it says.

Sunway's Tunisia hotline is 01 231-1805.

Will my travel insurance cover a cancellation?

Having the appropriate travel insurance in place can defray these costs... but you need to check the small print in your policy.

If the DFA declares travel to Tunisia to be unsafe, you will be entitled to a full refund. You are unlikely to claim successfully if you are simply nervous about travel, however.

Claims for terrorism are generally excluded on policies other than in the cases of claims for Emergency Medical and Other Expenses, Hospital Benefit and Personal Accident.

Did last Friday's 15.30 flight from Dublin depart as planned?

A Sunway charter operated by Aer Lingus (EI4490) was due to depart for Monastir at 15.30 on Friday. This departed at 18.58.

Of 171 customers booked on the flight, 59 opted not to travel in the wake of Friday's events. Sunway offered these passengers a full refund.

I'm in Tunisia. How can I get home?

This Friday's return charter flight from Monastir to Dublin will go ahead.

What are travel agents saying?

The Irish Travel Agents Association has issued a statement:

"We continue to monitor the situation in Tunisia in close partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs. ITAA member agents are striving to keep customers informed and facilitate anyone who needs to change their travel plans."

Wasn't there another terrorist attack in Tunisia this year?

Tunisia has been on high alert since March 18 of this year, when terrorists attacked the Bardo National Museum in central Tunis. 24 people were killed in the attack, including 20 foreign tourists, and many others were injured.

You can view FCO travel updates here and DFA updates here.

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