Travelling to Australia During COVID-19 (Discussion)

Pushka

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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?
There is no optimal solution. It's pay for Business Class as I've found they are the only seats offered for sale. Contact @madrooster and he will ensure you get out, and back, as efficiently as it is possible to do in Covid times.
 

MEL_Traveller

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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?

Possibly due to cost. There are friends in our group currently 'stranded' (cough) in London. Not because there weren't flights home, but because they didn't want to pay for them (economy, Singapore Airlines). They were waiting for the government to send a flight 'for free'.
 

jakeseven7

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There is no optimal solution. It's pay for Business Class as I've found they are the only seats offered for sale. Contact @madrooster and he will ensure you get out, and back, as efficiently as it is possible to do in Covid times.

That’s not accurate, there is absolutely economy flights back into AU from the US, in fact you can even chance a FF points booking on some carriers if you want to play roulette and book in the last couple of weeks ;)
 

dajop

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That’s not accurate, there is absolutely economy flights back into AU from the US, in fact you can even chance a FF points booking on some carriers if you want to play roulette and book in the last couple of weeks ;)

Actually have seen AA awards (not the lowest level though, things like 70000 points in economy a couple of months out. But priced such that cheaper buying points than paying fare.
 

Pushka

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That’s not accurate, there is absolutely economy flights back into AU from the US, in fact you can even chance a FF points booking on some carriers if you want to play roulette and book in the last couple of weeks ;)
I was referring to UK which was where I thought the poster was trying to get from. But I was wrong. Sorry. I’d still use madrooster anyway.
 

dajop

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. What's an optimal solution?

Short answer: no optimal solution 🤣

One thing to remember this is US and you might need to try different cities. And remember the axiom, why fly direct when you can connect? For example I’ve seen LGB-PHX-LAX-SYD for $2100 vs LAX-SYD for $2700, even though LGB is only 40 min drive from LAX. But of course takes a lot longer
 

madrooster

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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?

For US travel I'd book a return to be honest. There's little value in trying to use points outbound but a commercial fare on the return.
 

gourevib

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There is no optimal solution. It's pay for Business Class as I've found they are the only seats offered for sale. Contact @madrooster and he will ensure you get out, and back, as efficiently as it is possible to do in Covid times.
Thanks, I do plan to do that. My case is not super complicated, but apparently, there are still too many moving parts, so to speak... Probably after his next podcast about exemptions.
 
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gourevib

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For US travel I'd book a return to be honest. There's little value in trying to use points outbound but a commercial fare on the return.
Thank you, this makes all this a little easier. Actually I have gotten a return award ticket (returning via Fiji of all places) but I think the chances to get a seat on the return leg are close to zero, aren't they?
 

madrooster

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Thank you, this makes all this a little easier. Actually I have gotten a return award ticket (returning via Fiji of all places) but I think the chances to get a seat on the return leg are close to zero, aren't they?

You cannot transit via Fiji at all due to the restrictions there.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Yet Qantas (not some aggregator) is issuing these tickets. Shame.

Alaska airlines is selling award seats too via NAN. I guess one of two things... entry requirements are up to the passenger to confirm - there could be eligible pax who can enter/depart Fiji. Or else they are holding out hope that restrictions could be lifted at any time.
 

dajop

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Alaska airlines is selling award seats too via NAN. I guess one of two things... entry requirements are up to the passenger to confirm - there could be eligible pax who can enter/depart Fiji. Or else they are holding out hope that restrictions could be lifted at any time.

Dancing around the primary culprit here, it seems FJ themselves are selling seats connecting through NAN from US from 1 September onwards.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Dancing around the primary culprit here, it seems FJ themselves are selling seats connecting through NAN from US from 1 September onwards.

Thanks! I tried a couple of sample bookings on FJ but couldn’t find any connecting flights... didn’t check far enough in advance!

A lot can change between now and September I guess. No better or worse than QF announcing a full resumption of services from some time in October, then having to backtrack.
 
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Possibly due to cost. There are friends in our group currently 'stranded' (cough) in London. Not because there weren't flights home, but because they didn't want to pay for them (economy, Singapore Airlines). They were waiting for the government to send a flight 'for free'.
But they are not “free”. Dr FM was offered a seat on a repatriation flight but stuck with her booking with Qatar. You could book business or economy and neither option was cheap, although perhaps a little cheaper than the commercial flights.
 
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I was referring to UK which was where I thought the poster was trying to get from. But I was wrong. Sorry. I’d still use madrooster anyway.
Just suggested to Master FM that he should use Madrooster to book from the USA given it’s all getting very complicated with the Sydney situation. He wants to fly into Melbourne rather than risking Sydney.
 

Pushka

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Just suggested to Master FM that he should use Madrooster to book from the USA given it’s all getting very complicated with the Sydney situation. He wants to fly into Melbourne rather than risking Sydney.
I expect he will be on to anything that may become unstuck and will sort it out as much as possible.
 
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But they are not “free”. Dr FM was offered a seat on a repatriation flight but stuck with her booking with Qatar. You could book business or economy and neither option was cheap, although perhaps a little cheaper than the commercial flights.
But no TP, so just as well she said no! ;)
I hope he does contact him, but he is a bit arrogant about his own abilities…..
I have a friend who is a seasoned traveller trying to get back in (via any port) and not having much luck. That's paid J.
 
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