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Flights to Australia - reliability?

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On 01/05/2021 at 07:00, Canbush said:

Hi.

we only took up the DFAT offer when our commercials got cancelled and we were faced with becoming homeless in the UK.  The flights cost us £1200 each, and then there is A$2500 each quarantine cost at Howard Springs, but you can spread the repayments over 12 months.  Flights are only from London as far as I am aware.

We were bound for Perth so very fortunate with the DFAT flights.  With the WA cap just reduced to 500 per week I have no doubt we would have been bounced again from commercial flights.

Pete

 

Hi Pete

i was just wondering if you have finally made it to Perth now? 
how did you get from Howard Springs to Perth? I’m assuming that is an extra cost to factor in your budget! 
We are making the same trip London-Perth but we won’t be ready to leave until earliest October! we have booked flights with Quantas for November but we are expecting to be cancelled any moment! So, I am between buying new tickets with either Singapore or Qatar or join the queue for a DFAT flight. 
What would be your view? 

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On 17/05/2021 at 16:58, Ausimi said:

Hi Pete

i was just wondering if you have finally made it to Perth now? 
how did you get from Howard Springs to Perth? I’m assuming that is an extra cost to factor in your budget! 
We are making the same trip London-Perth but we won’t be ready to leave until earliest October! we have booked flights with Quantas for November but we are expecting to be cancelled any moment! So, I am between buying new tickets with either Singapore or Qatar or join the queue for a DFAT flight. 
What would be your view? 

Hi

Yes - finally made it!  We were repatriated to Howard Springs on 13th April, then had a couple of days in Darwin to enjoy the first of the season's Mindl Beach markets, then got into Perth 2 weeks ago.  Just to be absolutely safe before seeing elderly family here we then spent 10 more days self-isolating at a friends property in the Perth Hills.  Very, very happy to be back at last. Now just beginning the long haul of job hunting so we can rebuild our finances after the last year of struggles.

Completely recommend Howard Springs and DFAT flight.  Brilliantly managed, and much happier going that route than ending up in a quarantine hotel as we originally were going to do.  The flights from Darwin to Perth were discounted by Qantas as part of the repatriation deal - half price.  We also got our International baggage allowance for the internal flight, so were able to carry 60KG between us as hold luggage which saved a fair bit. Similarly, PCR tests are included in the flight cost.  The quarantine cost was A$5000 for the two of us, but they provide arrangements to pay it off at your own rate over 12 months which helps a lot.  Howard Springs is about to transfer to the NT Governments management, but hopefully everything will stay the same - couldn't fault it, and loved the food!

The problem with both Singapore and Qatar is the uncertainty.  We got cancelled at 5 days notice by Singapore and having given back our tenancy faced having nowhere to live.  There was no offer of alternative flights, even at a higher price.  We subsequently found out they'd simply moved the flight day from a Tuesday to a Saturday, so I feel they should have given us first option on the new flight day.  So I doubt I'll be using Singapore Airlines again unless I absolutely have to.  We were so lucky to get a DFAT flight that left a week later than our bounced Singapore flight or we'd have been in real trouble finding somewhere to stay with the lockdown still in place.

Best of luck getting home.  Try and get your vaccine jabs all done beforehand - its a bit chaotic here at the moment and we still have our second jab to arrange.

Pete

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Canbush said:

Hi

Yes - finally made it!  We were repatriated to Howard Springs on 13th April, then had a couple of days in Darwin to enjoy the first of the season's Mindl Beach markets, then got into Perth 2 weeks ago.  Just to be absolutely safe before seeing elderly family here we then spent 10 more days self-isolating at a friends property in the Perth Hills.  Very, very happy to be back at last. Now just beginning the long haul of job hunting so we can rebuild our finances after the last year of struggles.

Completely recommend Howard Springs and DFAT flight.  Brilliantly managed, and much happier going that route than ending up in a quarantine hotel as we originally were going to do.  The flights from Darwin to Perth were discounted by Qantas as part of the repatriation deal - half price.  We also got our International baggage allowance for the internal flight, so were able to carry 60KG between us as hold luggage which saved a fair bit. Similarly, PCR tests are included in the flight cost.  The quarantine cost was A$5000 for the two of us, but they provide arrangements to pay it off at your own rate over 12 months which helps a lot.  Howard Springs is about to transfer to the NT Governments management, but hopefully everything will stay the same - couldn't fault it, and loved the food!

The problem with both Singapore and Qatar is the uncertainty.  We got cancelled at 5 days notice by Singapore and having given back our tenancy faced having nowhere to live.  There was no offer of alternative flights, even at a higher price.  We subsequently found out they'd simply moved the flight day from a Tuesday to a Saturday, so I feel they should have given us first option on the new flight day.  So I doubt I'll be using Singapore Airlines again unless I absolutely have to.  We were so lucky to get a DFAT flight that left a week later than our bounced Singapore flight or we'd have been in real trouble finding somewhere to stay with the lockdown still in place.

Best of luck getting home.  Try and get your vaccine jabs all done beforehand - its a bit chaotic here at the moment and we still have our second jab to arrange.

Pete

 

 

 

 

Thanks Pete! That’s very encouraging! 
Luckily we are fully vaccinated! 


just need to start making things happen, figure out the order, (pack, rent out the house, send stuff to Australia, sort out bank accounts here, pensions, sell 2 cars,) and by the sound of it, just get ready to go, whenever it’s possible! I just wouldn’t want to leave loose ends! 

Our flights with Quantas haven’t been cancelled yet! So still a bit of hope things might be ok for November! But really thanks, I can see there are other options and it is possible! 

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Flights are really starting to stress me now.  We have the below booked all tied to our travel date.  So much stress!

Removals

End of tenancy inc cleaner

AirBnB in the UK

PCR Tests

Airport hotel

Flights

AirBnB in Perth

On top of that, Travel Declarations, G2G Passes all of which rely on the travel details.


PR (100) Planning to move to Perth September 2021

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On 19/05/2021 at 16:59, Ausimi said:

Thanks Pete! That’s very encouraging! 
Luckily we are fully vaccinated! 


just need to start making things happen, figure out the order, (pack, rent out the house, send stuff to Australia, sort out bank accounts here, pensions, sell 2 cars,) and by the sound of it, just get ready to go, whenever it’s possible! I just wouldn’t want to leave loose ends! 

Our flights with Quantas haven’t been cancelled yet! So still a bit of hope things might be ok for November! But really thanks, I can see there are other options and it is possible! 

Just a couple of things - you do realise that being vaccinated doesn't make any difference, don't you? You still need to jump through the same hoops and be locked into quarantine for 14 days. (sorry if you do know this. its just the way your post reads)

When you mention sorting out UK bank accounts - keep one open. You never know when it could be useful and you can't open one from oz.

And a bit of ozzie history for you that might be useful - the airline's name is actually an acronym - Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services - so there's no U in it 🙂

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35 minutes ago, Nemesis said:

Just a couple of things - you do realise that being vaccinated doesn't make any difference, don't you? You still need to jump through the same hoops and be locked into quarantine for 14 days. (sorry if you do know this. its just the way your post reads)

When you mention sorting out UK bank accounts - keep one open. You never know when it could be useful and you can't open one from oz.

And a bit of ozzie history for you that might be useful - the airline's name is actually an acronym - Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services - so there's no U in it 🙂

I think they were replying to Canbush who said to get the vaccine before coming because its a bit chaotic here with the them, that was the post quoted anyway.

 Cal x


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3 hours ago, Nemesis said:

Just a couple of things - you do realise that being vaccinated doesn't make any difference, don't you? You still need to jump through the same hoops and be locked into quarantine for 14 days. (sorry if you do know this. its just the way your post reads)

With the number of people who end up getting infected during hotel quarantine in Australia, I'd say that coming fully vaccinated is a really good idea.

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2 hours ago, rtritudr said:

With the number of people who end up getting infected during hotel quarantine in Australia, I'd say that coming fully vaccinated is a really good idea.

How many is it now, three/four? Hardly a regular occurrence like you're trying to imply 

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21 hours ago, welljock said:

How many is it now, three/four? Hardly a regular occurrence like you're trying to imply 

More than twenty.  NSW is investigating a case right now:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-15/nsw-hotel-quarantine-covid19-case-possible-spread-breach/100218310

NSW health authorities investigate possible COVID-19 transmission in hotel quarantine

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On 16/06/2021 at 14:00, Jon the Hat said:

Flights are really starting to stress me now.  We have the below booked all tied to our travel date.  So much stress!

Removals

End of tenancy inc cleaner

AirBnB in the UK

PCR Tests

Airport hotel

Flights

AirBnB in Perth

On top of that, Travel Declarations, G2G Passes all of which rely on the travel details.

Were in the same position. Although admittedly not as organised as you!! Our flights are pinned on our house sale going through in the coming months. Which I'm increasingly anxious about. 

Still need to book pcr tests. Which airport are you flying from and which company did you use to book the pcr? Do they offer any flex to change dates? 

We've only booked Airbnbs in Australia with a cancellation policy that enables us to cancel last minute with no financial repercussions. It limited our search but has given us peace of mind in case our schedule changes! 

We're going to use the Move Cubes to pack and send everything. It's a little cheaper and can be staggered so a bit less last minute, and they'll store it at either end if needed. Which removals are you planning to use? 

I've had my first jab and eager to get my second before we travel. Should be on course for that which is a relief. Just had our baby last week so now we need to get her passport etc sorted. Still heaps to do!! 😅

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3 hours ago, bicek said:

Were in the same position. Although admittedly not as organised as you!! Our flights are pinned on our house sale going through in the coming months. Which I'm increasingly anxious about. 

Still need to book pcr tests. Which airport are you flying from and which company did you use to book the pcr? Do they offer any flex to change dates? 

We've only booked Airbnbs in Australia with a cancellation policy that enables us to cancel last minute with no financial repercussions. It limited our search but has given us peace of mind in case our schedule changes! 

We're going to use the Move Cubes to pack and send everything. It's a little cheaper and can be staggered so a bit less last minute, and they'll store it at either end if needed. Which removals are you planning to use? 

I've had my first jab and eager to get my second before we travel. Should be on course for that which is a relief. Just had our baby last week so now we need to get her passport etc sorted. Still heaps to do!! 😅

We sold in March and moved into rental.  No way I was booking anything with a house to sell - you are braver than me!

PCR tests I have booked at Gatwick drive through with Express tests.  £60 each.  We live down that way so just easier.  We are flying from LHR.

We are using PSS, we have a 40ft container, plus the car.  Same for AirBnB all cancellable in case.


PR (100) Planning to move to Perth September 2021

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On 18/06/2021 at 09:27, bicek said:

Were in the same position. Although admittedly not as organised as you!! Our flights are pinned on our house sale going through in the coming months. Which I'm increasingly anxious about. 

Still need to book pcr tests. Which airport are you flying from and which company did you use to book the pcr? Do they offer any flex to change dates? 

We've only booked Airbnbs in Australia with a cancellation policy that enables us to cancel last minute with no financial repercussions. It limited our search but has given us peace of mind in case our schedule changes! 

We're going to use the Move Cubes to pack and send everything. It's a little cheaper and can be staggered so a bit less last minute, and they'll store it at either end if needed. Which removals are you planning to use? 

I've had my first jab and eager to get my second before we travel. Should be on course for that which is a relief. Just had our baby last week so now we need to get her passport etc sorted. Still heaps to do!! 😅

Hi Biek!  Congratulations on your new arrival!
good luck! I’m trying to fly with my baby on the inside hahaha! Figured it’s be easier! 


has anyone any experience of booking (and actually stepping on) normal flights (not DFAT)??
We want to fly end of July as baby due in the autumn and we need to get thru quarantine and settled. 

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On 17/06/2021 at 08:37, calNgary said:

I think they were replying to Canbush who said to get the vaccine before coming because its a bit chaotic here with the them, that was the post quoted anyway.

 Cal x

Hi Cal

Thanks for the comment.  That was indeed my only reason for recommending getting vaccinated before leaving.  We’ve been back 10 weeks now and had our second vaccination pretty much to our original UK schedule a couple of weeks ago.  It certainly was more cumbersome to sort out than the efficiency of the NHS system in the UK, but not really too much of a problem once we’d located how to register at a healthcare campus without having our Medicare cards.  Medicare has proven the hardest thing to sort out.  We started registration as soon as we got into Howard Springs mid-April, but it was 6 weeks before they sent our forms back asking us to sign them and resend. Unfortunately, they don’t yet have electronic signing so they need physical signing - not possible in Howard Springs with no printer, and not mentioned in the instructions or we would have waited until we finished quarantine.  Everything else, from updating our Australian Tax Office registrations to converting my UK driving licence, has been straight forward.  The only real problem we’ve hit is finding the house to rent we’d had on promise for 6 months was put up for sale the day we arrived in Albany - Profit before Promise sadly, but it has left us still relying on staying with friends and having to pay for everything we shipped being put into store. Rental market is hard work in WA, so being let down by someone who is a family member has been pretty hard to take. The trials of moving countries!

If you do go through Howard Springs don’t worry if the bill doesn’t seem to come through quickly.  We are still waiting to receive it.

Pete

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On 18/06/2021 at 09:27, bicek said:

Were in the same position. Although admittedly not as organised as you!! Our flights are pinned on our house sale going through in the coming months. Which I'm increasingly anxious about. 

Still need to book pcr tests. Which airport are you flying from and which company did you use to book the pcr? Do they offer any flex to change dates? 

We've only booked Airbnbs in Australia with a cancellation policy that enables us to cancel last minute with no financial repercussions. It limited our search but has given us peace of mind in case our schedule changes! 

We're going to use the Move Cubes to pack and send everything. It's a little cheaper and can be staggered so a bit less last minute, and they'll store it at either end if needed. Which removals are you planning to use? 

I've had my first jab and eager to get my second before we travel. Should be on course for that which is a relief. Just had our baby last week so now we need to get her passport etc sorted. Still heaps to do!! 😅

Looks like a lot of us are in the same situation. 

Our flights are booked for September, movecube collected on the 8th of July.

Booking pcr tests at Gatwick soon just waiting for our daughters passport to arrive.

Hotel booked at Heathrow the night before. Can't wait to get going now. The Mrs is vaccinated and I've got my second jab next week. 

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On 16/06/2021 at 16:00, Jon the Hat said:

Flights are really starting to stress me now.  We have the below booked all tied to our travel date.  So much stress!

Removals

End of tenancy inc cleaner

AirBnB in the UK

PCR Tests

Airport hotel

Flights

AirBnB in Perth

On top of that, Travel Declarations, G2G Passes all of which rely on the travel details.

What are the G2G passes? I just thought you need to do your travel declarations...

We got a free cancellation for our Airport hotel so if our PCR tests go bad, we can just cancel. It's always a risk, but I guess the only you can do is just have a Backup plan if the PCR goes wrong. It's a risk you need to consider.


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On 19/06/2021 at 23:16, LandM said:

Hi Biek!  Congratulations on your new arrival!
good luck! I’m trying to fly with my baby on the inside hahaha! Figured it’s be easier! 


has anyone any experience of booking (and actually stepping on) normal flights (not DFAT)??
We want to fly end of July as baby due in the autumn and we need to get thru quarantine and settled. 

ha we are in the exact same situation! Wife is not getting vaccinated, she already had Antibodies before getting pregnant.

We booked business class just for that reason. We are flying July 12th to Melbourne on Etihad. A total of 24 hours flying, so we need to have comfy/sleepable space.

Booked through Wotif when prices were pretty low for Etihad business flights a while ago. We got very lucky with out Ticket Class as tickets were on/off with availability. If we have to rebook now (given PCR results) we'll need to pay another $4k for an upgrade on the Ticket Class. Cost $11k total so far.

Etihad have been really helpful, though a little frustrated with the way they class their ticket fare codes.

So now it just comes down to getting the travel declaration done, packing everything, including all the medicines. Getting documents translated where necessary. We already booked a private OB/GYN for the week after we get out of Quarantine.

I'll keep this post updated on our experience as we get closer to the fly date. We had to sort out some legal things first, which has been done. I have got my vaccine second shot was done on Sunday.

Also need to make sure we get the Medicare stuff sorted. We sent my wife application last month and need to do a follow up call this week.

 

Lots to do! But it's all part of the fun.

 


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On 22/06/2021 at 17:15, psuwara said:

ha we are in the exact same situation! Wife is not getting vaccinated, she already had Antibodies before getting pregnant.

We booked business class just for that reason. We are flying July 12th to Melbourne on Etihad. A total of 24 hours flying, so we need to have comfy/sleepable space.

Booked through Wotif when prices were pretty low for Etihad business flights a while ago. We got very lucky with out Ticket Class as tickets were on/off with availability. If we have to rebook now (given PCR results) we'll need to pay another $4k for an upgrade on the Ticket Class. Cost $11k total so far.

Etihad have been really helpful, though a little frustrated with the way they class their ticket fare codes.

So now it just comes down to getting the travel declaration done, packing everything, including all the medicines. Getting documents translated where necessary. We already booked a private OB/GYN for the week after we get out of Quarantine.

I'll keep this post updated on our experience as we get closer to the fly date. We had to sort out some legal things first, which has been done. I have got my vaccine second shot was done on Sunday.

Also need to make sure we get the Medicare stuff sorted. We sent my wife application last month and need to do a follow up call this week.

 

Lots to do! But it's all part of the fun.

 

Oh well done Psuwara! I recall business flights about three four weeks ago for £8k total! Now it’s at least 18k!

so we’ll be in economy, with two stops for our 8k! :-((

 

it’s a good idea to book an OB visit for as soon as you are free. Thanks for the tip. 
yes - would love to hear more about your experience!

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Posted (edited)
On 30/06/2021 at 05:22, LandM said:

Oh well done Psuwara! I recall business flights about three four weeks ago for £8k total! Now it’s at least 18k!

so we’ll be in economy, with two stops for our 8k! :-((

 

it’s a good idea to book an OB visit for as soon as you are free. Thanks for the tip. 
yes - would love to hear more about your experience!

Have you booked your flight yet?

Looks like the dice is going to be rolled tomorrow on more international flight restrictions. Since The Australian government has failed to vaccinate adequately, more people will be stuck overseas.

I cannot imagine a more disastrous management of state than Australia's failure to secure and manage a vaccine rollout. The USA and China would have vaccinated the entire Australia population 10 times over by now. 

What a sad day to be an Australian. 😞

Edited by psuwara
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19 minutes ago, psuwara said:

 

Looks like the dice is going to be rolled tomorrow on more international flight restrictions. Since The Australian government has failed to vaccinate adequately, more people will be stuck overseas 

Where did you hear this? Have you got a link? 

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So we booked flights to Perth via HK in August just a few days ago, and am now in a bind - HK is not accepting passenger flights from the UK for the whole of July, but the airline (Cathay) are only cancelling July flights... I can't see HK opening up again in time for August.. So we have to decide, do we swallow a £300 per person cancellation fee and then buy more expensive tickets via somewhere else (currently LHR->FCO->DOH->PER) or gamble that the government of Hong Kong are going to decide in the next couple of weeks that the UK is OK again? And if we lose that bet, not be able to get anything?

This is all a right pain in the wotsit!

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

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3 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Thank you. I've just seen the announcements now about halving International caps until at least the end of this year. They claim to be Increasing repatriation flights but I doubt this will take the edge off given the low number of those that have been organised in recent months. I have no idea what the impact of this will be on our commercial flights in October, I'm guessing not good at all. I was feeling OK about the flights until this. Now I feel sick. 

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3 minutes ago, bicek said:

Thank you. I've just seen the announcements now about halving International caps until at least the end of this year. They claim to be Increasing repatriation flights but I doubt this will take the edge off given the low number of those that have been organised in recent months. I have no idea what the impact of this will be on our commercial flights in October, I'm guessing not good at all. I was feeling OK about the flights until this. Now I feel sick. 

As the Prime Minister said this morning there has been little demand for those flights which is why there hasn't been a lot of them. The ones that have been flying into Australia have certainly not been full.

The reduction in the cap won't happen until July 14th so if you can get here quickly you might dodge it.

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2 minutes ago, Parley said:

As the Prime Minister said this morning there has been little demand for those flights which is why there hasn't been a lot of them. The ones that have been flying into Australia have certainly not been full.

The reduction in the cap won't happen until July 14th so if you can get here quickly you might dodge it.

Sadly we can't. House sale still going through and I have a 3 week old baby with no passport as yet. 

We would jump on a repatriation flight given the chance. But we can't book one until we are a position to relocate and that won't be for a couple more months. But even if we could get on one of those, they are fairly last minute and that's hard to rely on when you have a family of 5 and a pet to relocate, plus all our stuff, a house sale we are trying to time with the move, work commitments, as well as finding and securing temporary accommodation in Australia for when we arrive. This stuff is stressful when flights are reliable. When you don't even know if you'll be able to travel, it's the stuff of nightmares. 

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5 hours ago, Gothnet said:

So we booked flights to Perth via HK in August just a few days ago, and am now in a bind - HK is not accepting passenger flights from the UK for the whole of July, but the airline (Cathay) are only cancelling July flights... I can't see HK opening up again in time for August.. So we have to decide, do we swallow a £300 per person cancellation fee and then buy more expensive tickets via somewhere else (currently LHR->FCO->DOH->PER) or gamble that the government of Hong Kong are going to decide in the next couple of weeks that the UK is OK again? And if we lose that bet, not be able to get anything?

This is all a right pain in the wotsit!

I would recommend rebooking.  HK has almost achieved elimination and is about to join up with a travel bubble with China, given the way the numbers are going in the UK, HK is probably not going to take that risk.  China itself has halted direct flights with the UK since Xmas 2020.

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