Travelling to Australia During COVID-19 (Discussion)

awmac1

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Please excuse me here - I'm new but loving the forums here!

I have been following madrooster and it seems he is very knowledgeable and has good info, but why do a couple of you see the need to use a good TA for these events as opposed to just booking direct? I have no idea - is madrooster a TA or just an airline 'insider' lol?! Is there something tricky with the itinerary you or relatives have booked that makes you see the need for a TA? I am of the impression booking directly is easier for changes etc. especially if it needs to be done when TA is not available (like out of hours).

I am currently booked directly with SQ on several flights in J class towards the end of Sep (ABZ-AMS-SIN-PER) in case I get bumped off one as yes, the wait time is around 9 weeks for another flight. I actually have to get to the UK first with RGN-ICN-AMS-ANZ! Tricky! Life is an adventure for sure!

Just wondering if anyone had any tips even though I 'believe' I am already sorted as well as I possibly can be :)?

Thanks everyone.
 

mviy

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If you have the time and funds to book several flights you’ll probably be fine.

Some airlines are taking bookings for flights unlikely to even fly and if a flight is cancelled you can’t expect to be put onto a flight to Australia the next day or two.

For many using a TA such as @madrooster will be helpful to increase the chances of getting on a flight hopefully without breaking the bank.
 

awmac1

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If you have the time and funds to book several flights you’ll probably be fine.

Some airlines are taking bookings for flights unlikely to even fly and if a flight is cancelled you can’t expect to be put onto a flight to Australia the next day or two.

For many using a TA such as @madrooster will be helpful to increase the chances of getting on a flight hopefully without breaking the bank.
I see. Thank you. Yes...I am in the fortunate position that work is paying for this. It would be a different matter if I had to do this all out-of-pocket.

Thank you.
 

Mattg

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Is there something tricky with the itinerary you or relatives have booked that makes you see the need for a TA? I am of the impression booking directly is easier for changes etc. especially if it needs to be done when TA is not available (like out of hours).

FWIW, I've found that @madrooster is pretty responsive at almost all times of the day. I sometimes wonder if he ever sleeps!

Of course, not all travel agents provide that level of service.

I am currently booked directly with SQ on several flights in J class towards the end of Sep (ABZ-AMS-SIN-PER) in case I get bumped off one as yes, the wait time is around 9 weeks for another flight. I actually have to get to the UK first with RGN-ICN-AMS-ANZ! Tricky! Life is an adventure for sure!
Yikes! Good luck 😱😁
 
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PineappleSkip

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Why do a couple of you see the need to use a good TA for these events as opposed to just booking direct? ... I am in the fortunate position that work is paying for this
My first post covid trip was also a work trip. On the return journey various sectors were cancelled with a total of eight cancellations. I had booked through a travel agent which was a big relief as I couldn't afford the time to call up and wait forever eight times.

Cheers skip
 

awmac1

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My first post covid trip was also a work trip. On the return journey various sectors were cancelled with a total of eight cancellations. I had booked through a travel agent which was a big relief as I couldn't afford the time to call up and wait forever eight times.

Cheers skip
Understood. Yes, seems to be appropriate in some circumstances, thx.
 

madrooster

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For many using a TA such as @madrooster will be helpful to increase the chances of getting on a flight hopefully without breaking the bank.

Using @Flying mermaid's son as an example (see here: Travelling to Australia During COVID-19 (Discussion)).

There was no publicly available availability at all on the flight that I ultimately booked him on. I utilised my contacts within SQ to get him a seat. Airlines especially currently do hold back some inventory for a number of reasons.

In the case of another AFFer that I recently booked, they had done their own research already and asked me to book a certain date and flight fully knowing what the price was going to be. I was able to knock off $1k off the ticket cost for each passenger.

Many airlines also value their agency-airline relationships, the result of this is agency bookings often get spared when it comes to offloading. I have had instances where my passengers in economy end up being the only passengers in economy.

If the government forces the airline to cancel the entire flight (ie. zero cap allocation for a given flight) which has happened a lot for July and August, then preferred agencies often also get prioritised for re-accommodation. To date, I have never had any passengers offloaded off a flight that actually operates with passengers.

I have only had a small number of passengers offloaded in a situation where the entire flight was cancelled or operated as cargo only. Those passengers all flew within a week of their originally booked date without having to pay anything extra.

This ultimately means that I have never double/triple/quadruple booked passengers on multiple flight options just to ensure that they fly.
 
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awmac1

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Thanks madrooster.

I didn't know some, in fact most of this! Seems some very valid reasons to use a TA that I didn't think about or realise.

Would you have any other advice for my particular circumstance? I don't really see there's much more I can do at this point, but would take any and all advice onboard. Thx :)
 
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Thanks madrooster.

I didn't know some, in fact most of this! Seems some very valid reasons to use a TA that I didn't think about or realise.

Would you have any other advice for my particular circumstance? I don't really see there's much more I can do at this point, but would take any and all advice onboard. Thx :)
I was very traumatised at the beginning of the year when our daughter was trying to get back to Aus from London. She managed it in the end but the amount of stress it caused made me realise in these unusual times someone like Madrooster who is not your average TA is worth their weight in gold.

Our daughter was in the fortunate position of being able to pay for J and at one point had paid for two J fares, one with Qatar and one with SQ.

It can work booking yourself particularly if you can travel J and book multiple flights, but after our previous experience I was more than happy to put our son with Madrooster and he certainly has made it easy!
 

OZDUCK

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Hopefully some signs of movement with the selection by the Commonwealth of a site for a new 'Quarantine Station'. Jandakot Airport is only about 5 minutes drive from me. The biggest problem I see for their plans to have it open by early next year is the shortage of construction workers and equipment. The mining industry is still scrambling for staff and three fairly large new passenger rail line extensions are in progress.


 

serfty

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I didn't know some, in fact most of this! Seems some very valid reasons to use a TA that I didn't think about or realise.
There are TA's and the arere TA's - @madrooster can indeed do things most can't do online and even other TA's. They are one of the few I have used this century.
 

peet

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Well, another shoe has dropped, folks. UA has suspended service from LAX and SFO to SYD for the month of August:

View attachment 254335 View attachment 254336


So that leaves just DL as the sole North American carrier flying to Australia:
View attachment 254337

How poetic that the only airline serving Australia now from the Americas shares its name with the variant we are trying to fight off.

I wonder what the over/under is on UA cancelling its flights in September or October?

The One & Only,

KangarooFlyer88
A Facebook COVID travel forum is saying that both Delta and United have notified intention to pull out of Australia until November. I haven’t seen any proof, but wondering If anyone has heard this too?
 

MEL_Traveller

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A Facebook COVID travel forum is saying that both Delta and United have notified intention to pull out of Australia until November. I haven’t seen any proof, but wondering If anyone has heard this too?

In post 235 of this thread there's talk of United suspending services. AFAIK Delta will be the only carrier on the AU-US route (AA, QF, FJ all suspended)
 
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A Facebook COVID travel forum is saying that both Delta and United have notified intention to pull out of Australia until November. I haven’t seen any proof, but wondering If anyone has heard this too?
It’s the reason Madrooster booked Master FM from San Francisco to Sydney with SQ. While there was no definite info he felt it was a risk to fly Delta so we went with SQ.
 

dajop

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A Facebook COVID travel forum is saying that both Delta and United have notified intention to pull out of Australia until November. I haven’t seen any proof, but wondering If anyone has heard this too?

Surely it's a matter of who blinks first? If there were 3.5 flights a day into Australia before the cap was cut in half, there would surely still be room for 1 flight passenger flight a day.
 

PineappleSkip

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A Facebook COVID travel forum is saying that both Delta and United have notified intention to pull out of Australia until November. I haven’t seen any proof, but wondering If anyone has heard this too?
The FB forum I'm on I see noone suggesting that Delta is pulling out, but I did read the rumours there a while ago about United. I'm not going to raise the question because it will freak a lot of people out*, and it seems implausible that every US carrier will pull out.

I also read there that the exemption application form has been updated, and saw a screen shot. It now includes questions about
* vaccination status
* date of last vaccination
* country where last administered
* brand of vaccine

Form claims that this is "for statistical purposes only" but it would be relevant to the moves toward home quarantine for vaccinated people. Of course Scomo also made the announcement on 9 July that Vaccinated people would be "strongly preferenced" so a bit wary of the "statistical purposes only" claim

Cheers skip

*The FB forum should be compulsory reading for the "shut the borders forever" crowd. So many gut-wrenching stories...
 

madrooster

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Surely it's a matter of who blinks first? If there were 3.5 flights a day into Australia before the cap was cut in half, there would surely still be room for 1 flight passenger flight a day.

One of the issues is US union rules around crewing. This is what's make or break at the moment.
 

Revenge

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Well, another shoe has dropped, folks. UA has suspended service from LAX and SFO to SYD for the month of August
Please don't scare me like this. I have flights out of here on UA in September. It looks like this weeks UA flights between LAX/SFO and SYD are still flying. Hope they keep flying despite the rumours 🤞
 

Mattg

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@dajop is this likely to affect you?

 

dajop

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@dajop is this likely to affect you?


Thanks for sharing. Yes I think it will affect us. We just took our swab test for travelling to Australia in Sunday. I sort of wish I hadn't read about these developments. It seems Australia is letting residents out for business purposes and I am sure I can get a letter from my employer to achieve an exemption, so I think we'll take this risk. If we end up in October not being able to return to home, well might have to quit the job and deal with the mess that will cause later on.

If we had known it was all going to get harder and harder and that being vaccinated means absolutely nothing, we might have made a different decision last December about whether to move back to Australia permanently or not. But we didn't and have made our bed and need to lie in it now I guess

But what the .... is wrong with Australia? Why is it so impossible NZ (with a similar culture, similar ethnic make up etc) can manage it well?
 
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