Travel Companies Are Offering Tours To Egypt Despite UK Government Warnings
The world watched in horror after 224 people were killed when a Russian passenger plane was shot out of the sky in October 2015.
The plane was on its way from Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, to Saint Petersburg in Russia when it was blown up.
People gather at vigil for the victims of EgyptAir Flight 804. Credit: PA
As a result of the terror attack, the UK Foreign Office advised against anyone travelling to the resort destination.
The government's website says it advises against all but essential travel due to "the significant increase in criminal activity and continued terrorist attacks on police and security forces that have resulted in deaths."
Despite the concern for safety from the UK government - travel operators Thomas Cook and Thomson have begun accepting bookings for autumn.
This isn't illegal - but investigators at the consumer website www.aspokesmansaid.com say the companies make little reference to the strong warnings from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The only mention from Thomson comes at the end just before the payment page. But they also have in small print that the booking could be amended or cancelled if the warnings remain in place closer to the date of departure.
It says: "At present as a precautionary measure the government is advising against all but essential air travel to Sharm el Sheikh. Should the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice not change, then we will be in direct contact with you to amend or cancel your booking."
As a result of the investigation from www.aspokesmansaid.com, Thomas Cook has changed its system to have a warning at the top of the page.
But when investigators quizzed a Thomas Cook rep on its webchat, the rep said: "After November it is considered safe to travel so you can book your holiday."
The rep added: "As for the moment this is what the FCO advise and we follow it and offer holidays in the period that has been voted as safe so you shouldn't be worried and complete your booking."
But a spokesperson from the FCO couldn't have contradicted them more: "Advisories are updated constantly and when new information comes in. If Thomas Cook has some advice we don't know about we'd be interested to see where it comes from."
While this all seems like a storm in a teacup - the actions from Thomas Cook and Thomson could have much bigger ramifications.
Travel company Tui - which actually owns Thomson holidays - has been put under the microscope during an inquiry into the deadly Tunisia terror attack, which claimed the lives of 38 tourists - 30 of whom were British.
Tourist lays flowers at the site where 38 people were killed in Tunisia. Credit: PA
The attack - where gunman Seifeddine Rezgui unloaded on tourists at a popular beach resort in Tunisia in 2015 - was the biggest loss of British life in a terror attack since the 2005 London bombings.
Some families of the victims are holding Tui accountable because it allegedly hid the warnings from the FCO about travelling to Tunisia.
The company is also said to have sold customers travel insurance, which didn't include cancellation cover caused by terrorism risks.
Even though Thomson and Thomas Cook have been a bit more forthright with their information about travelling to Egypt, they clearly haven't explicitly warned their customers about the risk until investigators called them out.
Featured Image Credit: PA