Two-way Trans-Tasman Bubble starting 19 April 2021

Mattg

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I thought I'd start a dedicated thread about the start of a two-way trans-Tasman bubble, which will launch at 11.59pm on 18 April 2021. Qantas, Jetstar and Air New Zealand are all subsequently ramping up flights between Australia and New Zealand from 19 April.

Great news, although New Zealand's Prime Minister has warned that the quarantine-free travel arrangement could still be disrupted again if there are future outbreaks in Australia or New Zealand, so it would be a case of "flyer beware", and you would need to plan for the possibility of getting stuck on the other side of the ditch.


So, who's booked to go to New Zealand?
 

jase05

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Keen to head to NZ around October for 3-4 weeks but dependant on what airlines are operating.
NZ border worker tested positive today so wonder how twitchy the fingers are on the bubble button
 

henrus

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Looking at flights at the moment. Is anyone offering travel insurance right now or is it just not available?

Quoting myself from another forum:

Most policies now cover COVID however the big exception is that if your trip is impacted by a snap border closure then you're on your own. In the case of a lockdown or border closure, they won't cover anything. Most are only providing cover if you or someone who's a close contact gets COVID (including before/during travel), or if the hotel/event/activity that you're attending is shut because of COVID.
I'd argue that it's almost not worth going and seeking specific cover with COVID policies as if you were to get COVID before the trip you could most likely cancel or hold in credit and if you got COVID whilst traveling then medical cover between AU/NZ would likely kick in (it would cover some expenses in this situation). Likewise, if something you're attending gets shut down because of COVID you're likely to get a refund anyway.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that it's worth getting insurance (if you normally would for a trip to NZ) and it's readily available however anything that offers "COVID insurance" or something similar is a bit of a con right now.
 

Mattg

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I'm looking forward to returning to New Zealand, although probably in May as I already have plans for April.

I am unlikely to book travel with Air New Zealand too far in advance due to their policy of not refunding flights that they cancel due to border closures. Qantas is much better in this regard (even if you do have to wait 3 months to actually get your money back - at least you do eventually get it back).

Looking at flights at the moment. Is anyone offering travel insurance right now or is it just not available?

Personally, I'm happy enough to rely on the reciprocal health care agreement between Australia and New Zealand and not worry about travel insurance that probably won't cover many of the things which are most likely to happen (i.e. border closures).

FWIW, I normally purchase travel insurance for travel to everywhere except domestic/New Zealand anyway.
 

Hillbilly64

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Have family booking to fly over to Aussie about 21st!! Grandview can't wait to see their grandkids
 
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I'm looking to book and go in May. Part of the hesitation was with regards to health insurance coverage but I see upthread someone has cleared that up. I'd be indifferent if I ended up getting stranded in NZ for a month, worse things could happen as we have no work commitments in Oz. I think a month in the PH Auckland sounds rather enticing.
 
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Whoohoo!!!
Great news.
I booked the same day the announcement was made! Shame about the case in Auckland, however I am still confident given I have booked to go south to Christchurch. I haven't seen my elderly mother for over a year. My daughter and young grandson lives there too!
I was very pleased to easily find a flight using my points - (36000 plus $265) pretty good! Thanks qantas.
 

blackcat20

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We're looking at July or September due to other commitments, and waiting for some lower prices.
 

henrus

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Qantas have had to add another 20 return flights already - huge demand!
I assume you're talking about what the Australian article had to say.

20 extra return weekly flights aren't that much in the big picture and total seats will still be much less than pre-pandemic. Whilst some domestic Australian routes are back to almost full or full capacity it'll be a few months at least before the TT routes are the same. From the looks of it, they're just filling the timetable by taking routes that had 4-5x weekly up to daily or 6x weekly.

In about 2 weeks time I'll take my first Qantas Trans Tasman flight in about 5 years, prior to the pandemic I'd take a mixture of mainly VA but also JQ/NZ a few times each month and I guess this is the demand QF is prominently picking up.
 

burmans

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I assume you're talking about what the Australian article had to say.

20 extra return weekly flights aren't that much in the big picture and total seats will still be much less than pre-pandemic. Whilst some domestic Australian routes are back to almost full or full capacity it'll be a few months at least before the TT routes are the same. From the looks of it, they're just filling the timetable by taking routes that had 4-5x weekly up to daily or 6x weekly.

In about 2 weeks time I'll take my first Qantas Trans Tasman flight in about 5 years, prior to the pandemic I'd take a mixture of mainly VA but also JQ/NZ a few times each month and I guess this is the demand QF is prominently picking up.
Will be interesting to see how this pans out over time but when I looked in the Tuesday evening after booking in the morning to check out some flights for my daughter reward flights that were available in the morning there were plenty of flights no longer available for reward bookings that night!
 

Beano

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Already planning my travel to Australia. Perhaps mid May but definitely late June. I have work in all States so just need to fit it in. SYD, MEL and BNE first. It will be every other week until I catch up with the back-log. Good to see that QF is flying early evening flight to WLG. BUT, does anyone have any info on international lounges opening? One article I read suggested that the Qantas F lounge would be used for all travellers. Perhaps it is too early to say.
 
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I had booked flights to ZQN in early August a few weeks ago when the bubble looked imminent, to use up my VA flight credit from last year's cancelled snowboarding trip. Only for them to announce they would not be resuming NZ flights until October...

So now looking at AirNZ or Qantas. Nice to see prices aren't much higher than previous years (at this point). Although given what Mattg said about the AirNZ cancellation policy QF might be worth the price premium.

I'll only be getting travel insurance to cover potential injury - and take my laptop and organise work files so I can work remotely if I get stuck there or in quarantine coming back.
 

Rugby

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I‘ve booked an AKL long weekend for us in May. Fingers crossed for Flounge, but we’ll proudly make the ‘walk of shame‘ past SYD Flounge doors to J lounge if that’s all that’s going :)
 
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Berlin

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First Friday under the new bubble and we're heading home to Sydney to see friends and family. Took a week of annual leave (cuts down from my 7 in total that I have amassed) so that we can also squeeze in a little domestic trip up to Brissy hoping to still get some Aussie sunshine before the Winter hits.

Now I am just wondering if we get proper Champagne on our flights (fells good to be back to 1st World Problems!) and whether Qantas will open their International lounges in time, as Air NZ seems to be doing.
 

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