Tourists leave Kenya after warning

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Hundreds of British tourists are being evacuated from Kenya after the Foreign Office warned against all but essential travel to parts of the country.

Thomson and First Choice have cancelled all flights up to the end of October and are flying back holiday makers as a precautionary measure.


On its website, Thomson Airways said: "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is now advising against all but essential travel to Mombasa island, Kenya.

"Thomson and First Choice have been continuously monitoring the situation as it developed and have been working very closely with the FCO and follow its advice at all times.

"As a result of the change in FCO advice, the decision has been taken to cancel all our outbound flights to Mombasa, Kenya up to and including 31 October.

"As a precautionary measure, we have also taken the decision to repatriate all customers currently on holiday in Kenya, including our Air Fare passengers back to the UK on Thursday and Friday this week..."

According to reports, Thomson has about 400 customers in Kenya, including those in Mombasa and on safari.

The Foreign Office has warned against all non-essential travel to Mombasa Island, on which part of the city of Mombasa lies.

Holidaymakers are also being advised to avoid the surrounding area, but not including the tourist areas of Diani or Moi international airport which serves the city.

Explaining the threat, the advice reads: "There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping. The main threat comes from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group that has carried out attacks in Kenya in response to Kenya's military intervention in Somalia.

"There has been a spate of small-scale grenade, bomb and armed attacks in Nairobi (especially the area of Eastleigh), Mombasa, and North Eastern Province.

"You should take care in public places where people gather, and exercise a heightened level of vigilance. "

In the last few days the Kenyan government has pledged to step up security for tourists following a number of terrorist-related incidents.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We estimate there are 5,000 British nationals resident along the coast and approximately 500 in Mombasa and surrounding area."

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Tourists leave Kenya after warning

If you are a victim of a strike, or any other event beyond the airline's control (including ash clouds!), they must offer you a refund (in which case it's up to you to find a way home) or an alternative flight. While you are waiting for the flight you have the right to food and refreshment and accommodation.

If you are on a package holiday, your tour operator is entirely responsible for looking after you until you get back to the UK.

This is more likely to happen due to the financial crisis, but in some situations you are covered. 

If you pay by credit card and it's over £100, you'll get a refund from the card company. 

Your travel insurance may well cover you too, but check before you go.  

Talk to the airline, and if it is temporarily misplaced they should arrange for it to be sent to your accommodation, and you should be either given cash to cover the essentials in the interim.

If it's completely lost you must wait 21 days and then make a claim for compensation. If you are travelling as part of a package you can claim costs from your operator.

If you are travelling within the EU you need an EHIC card, which gives you access to public healthcare. However, this won't necessarily be free, and if you need extra services such as accommodation for a carer, a helicopter home or a delayed flight, you could end up seriously out of pocket.

The only protection that will guarantee you will be looked after without running up a horrendous debt is by having travel insurance - which often covers up to £10 million of costs.

The most common form of theft is pick-pocketing, followed by theft from a car and bag snatching. Meanwhile, 752,000 of those surveyed had items stolen from their hotel room or villa.

If you have anything stolen, your only protection is insurance. You need to tell the local police immediately and get a crime reference for your travel insurer.

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