stuck home in lockdown
The pandemic has grounded many former frequent flyers. Photo: Yasmina H on Unsplash.

The Australian Frequent Flyer community loves to travel. Sadly, the events of the past 18 months have left many former frequent flyers grounded for the time being.

AFF has a long-running discussion thread called “You know you are a frequent flyer when…”. But with so few people flying these days, our members have started sharing some of the hilarious and all-too-real signs they’ve become Australian in-frequent flyers.

The new thread, aptly titled “You know you are a former frequent flyer when…”, is full of stories from travellers who are stuck at home and watching more state government press conferences than airline safety videos. Many have forgotten things that used to come second nature, like their favourite aircraft seats, frequent flyer numbers and passport numbers.

Here’s what one AFF member had to say:

I have forgotten both my passport number and my FF number.
I have decided that I have no chance of making the necessary status credits to maintain WP, and I almost don’t care.
Triple points offers are not enough to motivate me to book a flight.
Probably double status credits also would not be enough to motivate me to book either.
I’m sure there are others…
Seat0B, 4 August 2021

In fact, some AFF members have even let their passports expire…

You realise your passport will likely expire before it gets filled up for once.
k_sheep, 4 August 2021

My passport expired in February 2021 and I have yet to renew it…
AIRwin, 4 August 2021

One former frequent flyer says they’ve now started to properly unpack and store their luggage after each trip.

When you actually pack your suitcase and toiletry kit away in the cupboard, rather than leaving it on the lounge room floor because there’s no point putting it away, just to get it back out in a fortnight.
k_sheep, 4 August 2021

packing for trip
Some frequent flyers have forgotten how to pack after being grounded for so long. Photo: Vlada Karpovich from Pexels.

Another remarked that they’re now running out of the small toiletries they would often pick up from hotels and airline amenity kits.

When you have run out of the little bottles of shampoo and conditioner you got from hotels.
I love to travel, 4 August 2021

After being stuck at home for months, some have commented that they’d forgotten how to pack or how to efficiently clear airport security once they did return to the skies.

The time stuck at home has also lowered expectations when it comes to travel. Many Aussies are now just grateful for any opportunity to travel almost anywhere…

When allocated 28B on a trans-Tasman 737 is an agreeable outcome.
Guvner, 4 August 2021

After swearing off regional LCC’s for life “NEVER AGAIN!!!”, you find yourself actually missing Lion/AirAsia/Nok/JQ and their $50 international fares to hop around SE Asia
Archipelago, 4 August 2021

Or it feels good to be able to fly Jetstar to get home.
drron, 4 August 2021

You resigned yourself that your jet setting OS days are over….just going out for dinner would be nice! (Stuck in an extended Sydney lockdown)
kpc, 5 August 2021

Perhaps it’s time to temporarily rename this website to AIF (Australian Infrequent Flyers)?

But there have been positive aspects for some former frequent flyers, who are enjoying the opportunity to spend more time at home with their families after years of being constantly “on the road” for work.

Sunday nights and Monday mornings are no longer filled with a sense of dread.
Happy Trails, 4 August 2021

It may not seem like it at the moment, but this awful period of lockdowns and restricted travel will come to an end soon. The interstate and international borders will eventually reopen. In the meantime, we need to be patient and kind to each other (and get vaccinated).

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: You know you are a former frequent flyer when…


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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]