A recent outbreak of COVID-19 in South Australia saw that state halt international flights into Adelaide. As all cities in Australia have caps on arrivals, there is no possibility to re-route to another city. This resulted in a fun flight change experience.
I use the word “fun” in an ironic manner here. It is actually a headache because what it means is new dates are offered, which in itself is fine. Throw in connecting flights, hotels and work to organise, it is a palaver.
The Flight Change Experience
Adelaide closed for all international flights through to 30 November. In my case, I was due to travel and my flights were moved back exactly one week, which was no surprise as I had kept abreast of the news.
While all well and good, I had a connecting flight from Dublin to Stockholm to sort out. Turns out switching dates would have meant an additional €400 in airfare. Joy! Instead, I saved €300 of that by overnighting in London on the way.
Which of course meant booking a hotel for that night, which was cheap enough. After that, another connecting flight needed to be changed. This time I had booked with frequent flyer points and as luck would have it, there was one solitary seat available one week later.
To snag that I had to call the airline. Actually, I think I made three calls to British Airways (it would have been two, but I was cut off on one of them), two to Qatar Airways and one to Aer Lingus to get all my ducks in a row. Luckily the other two hotels I had booked could be changed with no issue online, which took seconds.
I am sure my overriding memory of the pandemic when I am asked in the retirement home will be of the flight change experience. That and flight cancellations, flight refunds and the inability to get anywhere with ease.
No doubt the forthcoming vaccine will open things up again, however I still believe 2021 is going to be a write off of a year as well. It will take some time get people vaccinated, there are millions of them, after all.
Have your travel plans been interrupted repeatedly this year? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.