Marriott Hotel in Brisbane
The Marriott Hotel is one of several COVID-19 quarantine facilities in Brisbane. Photo: Kgbo via Wikimedia Commons.

Tens of thousands of Australians have undergone 14 days of hotel quarantine since March 2020, and reviews have been really mixed. Some have said it was the worst experience of their lives, but others have found it quite bearable.

In Episode 67 of the AFF on Air podcast, Matt is joined live from hotel quarantine at the Marriott Hotel in Brisbane by Alisa, whose AFF handle is oz_ally.

oz_ally flew from Darwin to Brisbane via Melbourne just under 2 weeks ago. At the time, Darwin was not a COVID-19 hotspot but Melbourne was. Unfortunately for Alisa, the airline changed her flights four times and her 2-hour layover in Melbourne eventually became a 23-hour overnight layover. Since Brisbane was also in lockdown at the time, no direct flights were offered.

With such a long layover, Alisa made the fateful decision to leave Melbourne Airport overnight to go to an airport hotel just 600 metres away from the terminal, wearing a mask at all times and interacting only with the hotel receptionist.

It was a costly mistake. Although the Queensland government allows people to transit via airports in places it considers to be COVID-19 hotspots while en-route to Queensland, it considered this visit to an airport hotel to be leaving the “confines of the airport”. As a result, Alisa was hauled into hotel quarantine for 14 days when she arrived back home in Queensland – a stay that will cost her $3,220.

Alisa says she wasn’t aware at the time that this counted as entering a COVID hotspot, but does acknowledge that she should have checked the rules more carefully before travelling and has accepted the consequences. As you’ll see from the interview on this episode of AFF on Air, as well as oz_ally’s live updates on the AFF forum, she’s stayed admirably positive about the whole experience!

Also in this episode, Qantas Frequent Flyer announces another round of 12-month status extensions. And hear the latest airline & frequent flyer news from the past fortnight.


Listen now to AFF on AIR Episode 67: “What’s Hotel Quarantine Like in Australia?”

You can also view the episode notes. If you’d like to discuss this episode, ask Matt a question or suggest a topic for a future episode, you can join the discussion on the AFF on Air Discussion thread.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]


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