I think it’s time for people to start placing bets on when and if I will get home to Sydney as I’m now playing the waiting game. After finally getting agreement from my employer, I switched my flight dates with Qatar Airways and everything was fine.
Until the final segment from Auckland to Sydney on LATAM was cancelled. This means the entire trip is all confirmed except the last piece. Perhaps I should canoe across the Tasman Sea?
What Is Happening?
Qatar Airways are not selling tickets to Australia between now and 17 December. You can happily purchase tickets for 18 December onwards, but nothing before that.
This is solely due to the Australian arrivals caps, which limit arrivals into the country to about 4,000 people per day. Sydney, for example, allows 350 arrivals per day across all airlines. This is “a lot” as other cities are limited to numbers such as 500 people per week. This means airlines can carry very few people per flight.
Flights are still operating though, with Qatar Airways operating two daily services to Sydney, plus services to other cities. As they are no longer on sale though, it is not possible for people with existing bookings to switch onto them.
Why The Waiting Game?
Many Australian citizens are now stranded overseas, with more than 25,000 people registering on a Government web site stating they are trying to get home. It’s a terrible set of circumstances all round, for some more than others.
There is gathering momentum to increase the arrivals caps so that more people can get home. The Government appears open to it and the media is reporting on it.
That means it is entirely possible and even probable that the existing services will go back on sale. Naturally if and when they do, I will need to switch my flights again. The waiting game is well and truly in session.
I’m happy to play the waiting game with Qatar Airways as my business class ticket is still there. I don’t want a voucher, and I don’t really want a refund (though I’d take that over a voucher!). I’d just like to fly to Sydney, please.
Many other people are in the same situation. Qatar Airways has been one of the few airlines to continue flying throughout the pandemic, so a lot of passengers made it back to Australia thanks to them and they should be commended.
Let’s hope that a) the arrivals caps are increased and b) that Qatar Airways finds they’ve been increased enough to put the flights back on sale. Time will tell what happens.
Are you also playing the waiting game with Qatar Airways or another airline when trying to get to Australia? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Australia has moved into an increasingly authoritarian situation with horrible examples of abuse of power now a common occurrence. Most of this is now centered in Melbourne, but I wouldn’t travel to Australia while this quasi-Martial Law environment remains. It doesn’t seem like a pleasant place to be at the moment, and not likely to be one through the near future.
I saw a headline in an Australian paper online where the Queensland Premier says she will not open borders to the other states even if it costs her the election. It blows my mind how Australians are just letting this happen to them. I also saw some of the Police over-reactions to various things. It doesn’t look good, that’s for sure!
Well she has an election in October. If the oppressed people of Queensland wish to remove her from office, they won’t have to wait long.
Hmmmm I head to the office, buy coffee from the local cafe, have brunch there most weekends, eat out for dinners regularly, go to the gym, head out for bushwalks, go out and watch live football, have a salary paid every fortnight and looks like my holiday next month to regional NSW is goer. Yet to be arrested or let alone stopped by the police. Life isn’t going that bad, thanks for your concern. I’m lucky and others are not doubt doing it tough, but some perspective is required before everyone starts thinking we are all actually living under martial… Read more »
Of course life proceeds normally there for the vast majority of people. I have plenty of family there and they’re not complaining. All I was stating was that I disagreed with the internal borders being closed and that I had seen some Police over reactions online. Thanks for the comment, nice to see how others are getting along over there!
Sorry, I think my comment was more directed at Mak.
However, on your point, I have no issues with border closures if they are evidence based. Indeed some of them make good sense. However, some of them are inconsistent, are political or just lazy problem solving. The Qld border closure comes to mind as being poorly managed.
Well said,,, all I hear from Aussies is Whinging,, where is their Resilience,,, not sure how they’d cope with a Pandemic of the proportion seen in Europe and the US!!!
Nothing to see here. Move along. Australia hasn’t become a police state at all.