As if gambling on the COVID-19 cautiousness of your fellow travelers and waiting it out to see if our pre-flight PCR tests come back negative (and in time) wasn’t all the excitement we could handle, Virgin Atlantic Holidays has swooped in to offer up yet another way to roll the dice this winter. The British travel company is now offering a new ‘Escape Pass’ that basically promises a quarantine-free Caribbean vacation—clutch during a time where traveling to many countries (if you can even get in) requires some length of quarantine on either or even both ends.
Sound too good to be true? Well, there is a catch. You won’t get to pick where you’re going.
Travelers who book the Escape Pass will get to pick basic preferences for their trip, such as how long you want your trip to be, hotel rating, whether you want regular or Upper Class seats on the plane, and if you want to go all-in with an all-inclusive package or other food and beverage options. Virgin selects the rest, including your specific hotel, your exact flights, and your destination.
“The Escape Pass has been created to take all the stress and uncertainty out of booking that dream Caribbean trip,” said Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, in a statement. “Through this ATOL protected package, we will ensure customers are sent to a beautiful island with the peace of mind that they won’t need to quarantine on their return."
According to Virgin, word on the street is that over half of Brits would be more likely to book a holiday if they knew there was a guarantee they wouldn’t have to self-isolate on return. No doubt, this was a major wheel-turner for the company as they came up with the new roulette-style travel pass. But it’s not all blind odds: currently, travelers on the Escape Pass will be packing their bags and heading to places like Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, and Tobago. (Hint: these are all destinations that are a part of the UK’s Travel Corridor list.)
With the constantly changing entry and re-entry requirements, it makes sense—and takes some of the cancelation pressure and nail-biting off of you, the traveler, who won’t feel the need to monitor the current quarantine situation at your destination because you won’t know where exactly that is until two weeks before you’re set to jet. Travelers on the Escape Pass will also have secondary insurance coverage for COVID-19-related illness thanks to Virgin Atlantic’s free COVID cover. If restrictions change and you have to quarantine, you’ll get a full refund or a travel credit voucher.
It’s a win-win situation, at least for 2020. If you’re ready to spin the globe and bet on red, you can book your Escape Pass via Virgin Atlantic’s website.