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To have no sympathy?

(165 Posts)
1981m Fri 03-Apr-20 08:54:20

Do you feel sorry for these people trapped abroad due to the Coronavirus? I keep reading articles about people trapped who say they are running out of money and that the Uk government should be paying for them to get home.

I don't think they should, depending on when they left that is. These people left for a month at the beginning of March, another young man left for Morocco on March 15th! Surely it was stupidity to fly at that time? It was obvious we would go into lockdown imminently, lots of other European countries were going into lockdown by then. Now they are moaning that they are stranded and want to be bailed out. Surely it's totally there own fault. They must have been told not to fly especially by March 15th.

I feel more sorry for those trapped because they were away for business or travelling around the world. But not those who decided to go on holiday in the middle of a pandemic.

Dreamersandwishers Fri 03-Apr-20 09:08:34

I am struggling with this one too OP.
My first instinct is like you ‘serves you right’; that said I think our government was too slow with the do not travel’ advice (probably as the advice would trigger insurance, credit card claims) and some people just don’t consider the big picture.
I think it’s pretty shit for them, and I think they are wrong to suggest the UK owes them a trip home, but I am pleased to see there is movement with the airlines to assist. It won’t be free though, and they may not understand that.

Stronger76 Fri 03-Apr-20 09:15:51

My in-laws set off in their motor home on boxing day for their annual saunter around southern Europe. They were fortunate to have booked their return ferry before they stopped sailing and we're glad to have them home. My stepmum went to Mexico on March 6th before flights were getting cancelled, ended up unable to leave the accommodation and was on one of the last UK-bound flights back.

The situation was still changing daily when my stepmum went out but it's really made us think what we'd have felt like if she was stuck out there.

All very well saying essential travel only (even now) but when the return flights are cancelled it has such wide-reaching consequences for everyone.

slipperywhensparticus Fri 03-Apr-20 09:19:47

The travel insurance companies should be paying but they are refusing to

I have some sympathy because they had to go or lose their money then they got stuck and the insurance wont pay out yet we still have flights coming in and out of our country there is no reason why they cant be repatriated in many cases except the cost

LightACandleHoney Fri 03-Apr-20 09:27:09

I get where you’re coming from OP.

The government was definitely too slow to issue a DNT directive but people have to take responsibility for themselves and use some common sense.

I have some family members currently living overseas. One single person in one country and a family in another. Single person is due back for the summer in May and family are due back for good in June. Their schools and jobs have stopped due to covid and there is literally nothing stopping them from coming home. They have family they can stay with here when they get back so no problem coming back early. But they’re staying put and have said repeatedly that if there is a problem getting back at the time then the government will “just have to” get them on a flight, and if need be, their host country will “just have to” extend their visas. I kind of hope they do get stuck - it would serve them right. They are being unbelievably selfish.

purpleboy Fri 03-Apr-20 09:32:20

On the surface I agree with you, people knew the risks and still took them, I saw plenty of people on here with the same attitude, if they don't cancel our flights we're still going. But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and no one knew for sure what would be happening, although it seemed obvious to some of us.
I feel for the Brits in India, they don't even have access to basic food and water, some are literally starving and on the streets because the they have been thrown out of the hotels/hostels just for being foreign.

1981m Fri 03-Apr-20 09:37:08

Yes I agree that the government were too slow to suspend travel but unless you live under a rock it was obvious it wouldn't be long before we went into lockdown. Flights were being grounded, very few passengers on them and airline staff asked to have unpaid time off.

I get they would loose their money which is hard but they took a risk going. They can't now expect free flights home and moan that the foreign office isn't doing anything for them. I expect they have better things to do.

PennyGold Fri 03-Apr-20 09:38:46

YABU it isn't as if they travelled against government advice.. because there wasn't any, as far as they were concerned it was safe to go. The government should have acted sooner.
There's also a huge risk to the safety of those who are abroad e.g. that woman and child being spat at and men are beaten in the street.
How can you not have sympathy? I think the government should be doing absolutely everything in their power to get them back.
I'm sure we've all made a mistake which with hindsight we'd change.
I wish everyone would have a bit of compassion to those who are stranded with no accommodation, food or money because of something that ISN'T their fault. I hope they all get back safely.

CorianderLord Fri 03-Apr-20 09:42:00

They're not expecting free flights home, they expected their travel insurance to pay if something were to happen. Insurance won't pay and the gov isn't making them, so if they don't have the money they just cannot get home and need to be repatriated.

If the flight costs £1k lots of people just do not have that amount. What should they do? Be stranded with no money for the hotel? Become homeless abroad? Go live in the embassy for the next two months?

MediocreOmens Fri 03-Apr-20 09:44:29

I’m in two minds about this. If they left before the shit really hit the fan/travel advice hadn’t changed and had adequate travel insurance (which I agree should be paying out!) then I feel the government should probably help as these people as this is an extreme circumstance. The government should then be charging the insurance companies for it.

On the other hand part of me feels in a more general sense why does the government (and in turn the taxpayer) have a responsibility to someone who willingly left the country, albeit temporarily. Then there are the times I read stories of people who don’t get adequate travel insurance, go abroad, get into trouble and expect the government to step in or start a go fund me complete with Daily Mail sad faces which just gives me the rage.

1981m Fri 03-Apr-20 09:45:39

But when most people make a mistake they don't expect to be bailed out by the government. Ok hindsight is a wonderful thing so notch it up as a mistake and pay for your own flight if you can get one don't expect the foreign office to do it for you.

They weren't advised not to go that is true, but they need to take responsibility for themselves, they chose to go when other countries were already locking down and travel being suspended. It's not like the UK were hit first and this was a complete surprise. People need to take responsibility for their own actions.

Yes, the situation in India in dreadful for people being treated like that because they are foreign but again India can be a hostile country in the best of times as can Morocco, all the more reason to stop and think about this before going in uncertain times.

clareOclareO Fri 03-Apr-20 09:46:38

People who are stranded only have themselves to blame. It was blindingly obvious in January that things would turn out this way. Sure, the government advice might have been slow, but there is a thing called common sense. It's unfortunate that they can't get home, the best thing to do would be to camp out at the airport until they can arrange a flight.

TheVanguardSix Fri 03-Apr-20 09:47:49

The problem is, by not flying Brits home, our government is putting its own people at the mercy of already burdened healthcare systems abroad. It's on our government to take responsibility for the league of idiotic Brits who thought it would be a good idea to go to Morocco on March 15th. Yep, I recall those threads very, very clearly, not long ago... the 'should I cancel my holiday to Spain? Nah!' threads. I feel for a lot of them though. There are grandparents who went in October to spend 6 months with the family in India and now they're at the mercy of that system if they can't get back home to the UK. And I do think the majority of Brits abroad are those who've been travelling for months on a gap year, grandparents spending months in the Old Country, etc. And those people could never have predicted they'd be facing a pandemic by home time. It's only right to bring them all home though. God knows you'd want to be back here and not in Delhi, whether or not you think that we have an obligation to our citizens. If it were you, you'd be fighting tooth and nail to get home.
Watch the Travel Show on iplayer if you want a bit more insight into travel and coronavirus.

TheVanguardSix Fri 03-Apr-20 09:51:18

It's unfortunate that they can't get home, the best thing to do would be to camp out at the airport until they can arrange a flight. That's what's been happening in a lot of places. And there are no flights, hence repatriation flights. We wouldn't be doing this if you could wait it out at an airport.

1981m Fri 03-Apr-20 09:52:22

The vanguard- yes I feel for those people and I am not taking about those people who were already out there when this hit.

However, perhaps they should have realised the situation and came home earlier. I have a friend who's 18 yo son went travelling around the world. The virus started hitting, things were closing down, it became obvious they weren't going to be able to enter the next country they were due to go to, they had the presence of mind to book flights and come home before they were stuck. They were 18

mummyh2016 Fri 03-Apr-20 09:59:15

It comes down to the government being too slow in saying don't travel.
My parents went to Australia for a month the middle of February, when I dropped them at the airport we were obviously aware of what was happening in China but there was no inkling that the same would happen here (to the PP stating it was obvious, it wasn't obvious to me, my family or anyone I know - it is looking extremely likely that China covered up some deaths and if they had been honest things would've been different, another topic entirely though). Anyway they managed to get back but only by the skin of their teeth, the airline they used announced the day after they got home they were suspending all operations within the next 3 days. When they left I had no idea the change that would await them when they came home. A relative was out there at the same time but was due to fly back a week later. Same airline so her flight got cancelled. She booked a number of other flights with each one then getting cancelled. Obviously she will get her money back but as we all know refunds aren't immediate. Luckily she can afford for refunds to take time to come through but a lot of people can't.
My point is those of you thinking they've brought it on themselves, you have no idea of their circumstances.

Jayaywhynot Fri 03-Apr-20 10:00:01

We were in Thailand when things started to get serious, luckily we had return flights booked, we seriously considered renting a house and staying put as we were nervous about travelling home, two airports etc. However we got our flight and met quite a few brits who had cut their holidays short to ensure they could get home. I know people personally who still risked travelling even though the news was full of covid 19 reports, one couple I know was on the plane that was turned back mid air on its way to Spain, no sympathy, dont wait for the foreign office to tell you what to do, use your common sense

mummyh2016 Fri 03-Apr-20 10:02:02

Oh and if the government do put rescue flights on I do think those passengers should have to pay a ticket price to get back, the same as they would have to if commercial flights were still running.

FizzAfterSix Fri 03-Apr-20 10:05:01

No sympathy at all.
All news stories were full of this story for months - they took a risk so they are paying the price.

purpleboy Fri 03-Apr-20 10:08:32

I think you were quoting me @mummyh2016
Your parents were there for a month, sure in the beginning they may not of taken this seriously as many didn't, but by week 4 it would of been pretty bloody obvious what was happening with the world. Really glad you parents made it home safe and well, but your other relative unfortunately in my view made a silly decision to continue with their stay and unfortunately got stuck out there even though at that point it would be roughly when the Uk went into lockdown. There was plenty of advance warning that this would happen so in their case yes its on them they got stuck out there.

forrasee Fri 03-Apr-20 10:11:23

pay for your own flight if you can get one don't expect the foreign office to do it for you.

There's a family in Australia who have been quoted £62000 for flights home. They went weeks before lockdown.

I get your point about the guy who went on March 15th but the beginning on March? Fair enough to have gone then, weeks before social distancing even came into play.

bluewafflewithmayo Fri 03-Apr-20 10:11:25

A month ago the fuckwit Prime Minster was still encouraging the Herd Immunity bullshit.

So foolish though they were to listen to UK's liar in chief, the government has a responsibility to get them home.

FuckPolitenessSSDGM Fri 03-Apr-20 10:13:15

I think there are many who have brought it on themselves. I saw one couple who flew to Egypt on the 15th March and were asking for help because they were stranded. I have no sympathy with them at all as they should have seen it coming.

mummyh2016 Fri 03-Apr-20 10:22:49


The relative tried to get back with my parents - and my parents had been trying to get back 5 days before the return flight was booked for but unless they paid to travel business class the flights were full. Not the ones into the UK but the ones from Australia into Dubai where they were connecting.
My parents were shocked how things were in the UK when they got home, they're both on social media so saw the constant posts on there but didn't think it would be as bad as it actually is. Australias panic didn't really set in until a couple of days after they got back although they were a lot quicker regarding restrictions than we were.

SerendipityJane Fri 03-Apr-20 10:24:38

Some people were made to travel by their employers. No travel = no job.

What were they supposed to do, OP ?

What were they supposed to do ?

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