Confusion over international travel is costing Irish consumers nearly €800,000 a day, according to the Irish Travel Agents Association.
The association said the resumption of flights in and out of Ireland in recent weeks means anyone who follows government advice and avoids international travel may no longer be entitled to a refund.
Travel expert Eoghan Corry says airlines only have to compensate people if their flight is cancelled.
“Once the flight runs, you are treated as someone who just didn’t show up,” he said.
“This is a huge issue because the Department of Foreign Affairs advisory is still against all non-essential travel to every country in the world.
“The green list of countries we were expecting yesterday won’t be published until July 20th but as far as the airlines are concerned, you decide not to travel, you are a no-show.”
He says the aviation industry expected Ireland to reopen last week – with many flights returning to Dublin as a result.
“It has been a big week of openings in Dublin Airport,” he said. “Air Canada returned on July 2nd, we had Newark came back on Tuesday and tomorrow the Dallas to Dublin flights return.
“All of these flights are returning because the aviation industry scheduled them expecting Ireland to open in common with the rest of Europe, which took place on June 15th – but we have increasingly become standalone in the way we approach reopening our aviation.”
Mr Corry says consumers are likely to battle it out with insurance companies for compensation in the coming months.
“Insurance companies, in theory, should be able to compensate people,” he said.
“If there is a government advise not to travel, that means you can’t travel and the travel insurance […] if you have disruption cover, should cover the cost of the lost flight.”
He says customers are “unlikely” to win out.