Travelling to Australia During COVID-19 (Discussion)

PineappleSkip

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you exit quarantine from 12:01am Monday 2 weeks later.
You can exit as early as 12.01 in Qld, but in my case you could exit as late as 12.00 noon. So if you get quarantined in the AM, you can clock up a full 14x24h. However the exit form doesn't have a time on it, only a date.
 
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Part One of my recent interview with @madrooster is now available:


We split the interview into two parts because it ended up being quite long (there is a lot to talk about on this subject!). This episode contains a discussion on returning to Australia. The next podcast episode (to be released on 24 June) will include a discussion on leaving Australia.

@PineappleSkip we will talk in detail about your travel insurance question in the next episode.
 

louie-m

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It might be a bit late (and I haven't listened to the podcast), but I haven't seen anything to date about the responsibilities of airlines under EU261 (and the equivalent in the UK, post Brexit) when they bump people off flights and would be interested in your thoughts on this and how the airlines are dealing with it.
 

dajop

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Some interesting observations that SQ availability into Australia in anything other than business class has completely dried up. Up until about 2 weeks ago there was reasonable availability one month plus in advance at least into ADL and BNE, now they earliest I can find full Y fare is mid September. You would also get some seats opening up about 4-5 days out, now that is not happening.
 

louie-m

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One thing I think would be useful in the guide would be an indication of how to choose a class if you haven't bought one yet. For example, I'm looking at flights in January from Heathrow on SQ in economy. On the SQ website, it offers me Y class fares to Sydney but E class to Adelaide (as far as I can see, I can only identify which fare class once I've selected a particular combination of flights), but I've no idea if or how I can change that to a different class.
 
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madrooster

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One thing I think would be useful in the guide would be an indication of how to choose a class if you haven't bought one yet. For example, I'm looking at flights in January from Heathrow on SQ in economy. On the SQ website, it offers me Y class fares to Sydney but E class to Adelaide (as far as I can see, I can only identify which fare class once I've selected a particular combination of flights), but I've no idea if or how I can change that to a different class.

You have to call SQ or use an agent to be able to select particular classes. I have noted your suggestion.
 

MEL_Traveller

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It might be a bit late (and I haven't listened to the podcast), but I haven't seen anything to date about the responsibilities of airlines under EU261 (and the equivalent in the UK, post Brexit) when they bump people off flights and would be interested in your thoughts on this and how the airlines are dealing with it.

It'd as good question.

While elements of EU261 (and equivalent) have been suspended due to 'extraordinary circumstances', I'm not sure how it goes when an airline sells seats on a flight that it *is* operating, but with no intention of uplifting the passenger? (Which is what this thread seems to be suggesting?)

There probably aren't too many data points given the very limited number of pax in the ex EU/UK market.
 

louie-m

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Another suggestion for the guide - the AFF email from Matt Graham yesterday mentioned the additional difficulties on getting on codeshare flights, particularly Qatar/BA, which I don't think I saw in the guide.

Also one suggestion could be for people with existing bookings in the lower fare buckets to contact their airline/travel agent see if they could change their ticket to higher fare buckets (with extra payment of course). I presume this is possible?

My cousin is in the UK at the moment, due back at the end of the month, with a BA codeshare ticket on Qatar, no idea what class. Any suggestions for anything she could do to improve her chances? Assuming she's not booked in Y, is it even worth paying extra to change?
 

louie-m

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While elements of EU261 (and equivalent) have been suspended due to 'extraordinary circumstances', I'm not sure how it goes when an airline sells seats on a flight that it *is* operating, but with no intention of uplifting the passenger? (Which is what this thread seems to be suggesting?)
I was thinking in terms of their responsibilities to the passenger. My understanding is if they bump you, they are responsible for putting you up in a hotel, etc, until such time as they do finally get you on a flight. I don't think that element is suspended, just the fixed sum compensation for delay. I'm wondering if those people that know their rights and insist upon them are more likely to take precedence over those don't. Let's be honest, the airlines shouldn't be accepting bookings if that means that previously booked passengers get bumped, barring last minute reductions in arrivals caps, which is as you say what seems to be happening, so I don't have much sympathy for them from that perspective.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I was thinking in terms of their responsibilities to the passenger. My understanding is if they bump you, they are responsible for putting you up in a hotel, etc, until such time as they do finally get you on a flight. I don't think that element is suspended, just the fixed sum compensation for delay. I'm wondering if those people that know their rights and insist upon them are more likely to take precedence over those don't. Let's be honest, the airlines shouldn't be accepting bookings if that means that previously booked passengers get bumped, barring last minute reductions in arrivals caps, which is as you say what seems to be happening, so I don't have much sympathy for them from that perspective.

It's confusing. The suggestion seems to be that if the airline sells a lower fare bucket, and there are no changes to caps (or other restrictions), that you are still getting bumped.
 

PineappleSkip

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My understanding is if they bump you, they are responsible for putting you up in a hotel, etc, until such time as they do finally get you on a flight.
That would make sense if you're left stuck in transit or at your destination, through some failing of the airline (e.g. aircraft went US). If you get bumped at your point of origin of the ticket it's normally a case of go home and await further instructions. Would depend on the curcumstances and the legal requirements in the place you're flying from. If you get bumped because say Qld or Vic cut the cap that day it would be out of their control so much less likely to get compo even if in transit.
 
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madrooster

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Another suggestion for the guide - the AFF email from Matt Graham yesterday mentioned the additional difficulties on getting on codeshare flights, particularly Qatar/BA, which I don't think I saw in the guide.

Also one suggestion could be for people with existing bookings in the lower fare buckets to contact their airline/travel agent see if they could change their ticket to higher fare buckets (with extra payment of course). I presume this is possible?

My cousin is in the UK at the moment, due back at the end of the month, with a BA codeshare ticket on Qatar, no idea what class. Any suggestions for anything she could do to improve her chances? Assuming she's not booked in Y, is it even worth paying extra to change?

I did actually have a codeshare flights section but it got cut off in the process of loading the content. I have now fixed that.

Yes, you can upfare at any time. It's only worth doing if you're booked on the operating carrier though rather than on a codeshare.
 

louie-m

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That would make sense if you're left stuck in transit or at your destination, through some failing of the airline (e.g. aircraft went US). If you get bumped at your point of origin of the ticket it's normally a case of go home and await further instructions. Would depend on the curcumstances and the legal requirements in the place you're flying from. If you get bumped because say Qld or Vic cut the cap that day it would be out of their control so much less likely to get compo even if in transit.
Well I was making the comment specifically about flights originating in the EU/UK and EC261/2004 regulation protection for consumers - which is designed to dissuade airlines from not taking their responsibilities to passengers seriously. Which is why the regulations provide for the airlines to pay for hotels for people stranded in Europe/the UK as a result of being bumped (as I understand it). Whilst I am certainly no expert on it, it surprises me that there doesn't seem to have been any discussion of it on AFF that I have seen from people who are, given the bumping going on this last year and more. I'd be interested to learn more about how it is being dealt with by the different airlines for starters.
 

louie-m

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Yes, you can upfare at any time. It's only worth doing if you're booked on the operating carrier though rather than on a codeshare.
Not looking good for my cousin then.

What, in reality, happens when you are bumped in these circumstances? The airline says we can't carry you on X date. Then what? Do they simply say go away? We'll automatically refund your ticket? Call us to rebook?

What if you are on the return leg of a flight from Oz? Is that treated any differently?
 

MEL_Traveller

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Not looking good for my cousin then.

What, in reality, happens when you are bumped in these circumstances? The airline says we can't carry you on X date. Then what? Do they simply say go away? We'll automatically refund your ticket? Call us to rebook?

What if you are on the return leg of a flight from Oz? Is that treated any differently?

The return leg out of Australia shouldn’t be an issue, in theory. Plenty of capacity so if an inbound flight is cancelled, there will be flights in the days before or after that could uplift passengers.

What happens in the event of a cancellation will come down to a couple of things... the reason for the cancellation, the contract of carriage, and potentially local consumer laws. If a cancellation or bump is directly related to covid, particularly an action by government in relation to covid, the contract of carriage and consumer laws may provide an exception to rerouting or compensation. If the airline cancels or bumps for commercial reasons, the contract and consumer laws should apply, with their associated protections for the passenger.
 

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I have been researching a trip out in early Aug and both EK and QR have heaps of cheap seats available out of BNE. Makes sense with no capacity restrictions and very little denand.

All the dramas getting seats appear to be inbound. If you want Y on EK into BNE, SYD or ADL, the first availability I found was early November. And that was flexible Y. No seats in J until Oct either.

cheers skip
 

gourevib

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I have a naive question: if it is so easy to return to Australia from the US, why the government is sending repatriation flights to LAX?
 

gourevib

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And another question: most of the discussion on this thread is about one-way tickets to Australia, including fares. I plan to travel to the USA and back to Aus (provided I get a 3-month exemption). Most of the discussion suggests that there are plenty of inexpensive options for flights from Australia but not for flights back to Australia. I have lots of Qantas points, so it is appealing to use these points on outbound flight, and then buy a premium fare to fly back. However, I see that on most airlines, one-way fares are more expensive than return fares. Is there any way out of this? I also see that currently available options on AA and UA are horrendously expensive (especially full economy, and premium economy, not so much business class). What's an optimal solution?
 
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