Impact of Coronavirus on Air TravelBack to Forum
Just pausing the actual discusion for a brief moment, this Topic must be getting close to some kind of record for the number of Posts.
Alex – any idea what the actual record is?24 Mar 2020
It was state in Parliament today that in last 3 days there had been < 80 new border controls advised to FCO.
I’m astonished how many people are still abroad – 1000 Brits in Peru.
Most British embassies and consulates seem to have shut their doors and gone missing in action.24 Mar 2020
I was just thinking to myself yesterday how much we take travelling across the road for granted. Especially with most western passports, it (was) so easy. Few countries require formal entry restrictions, you choose your destination, choose your carrier, choose from the option of a multitude of flights and off you go. Arrive, have a moan about the 45/60min line at immigration.
Now people are scrambling to get from A to B and needing back up plans via C & D with options drying up at the minute. A thai friend was telling me today of crazy emotional scenes at LHR T5 last night. She was originally booked to return home to BKK on the BA daily direct flight which was cancelled. BA then booked her via SIN. Early yesterday she was contacted by BA to say SIN was now closed to transit so they had rebooked her and other BKK passengers via HKG departing at LHR at 21:00. Relieved she arrived to check in and made it to the gate for the 21:00 flight – for the entire group of 30 BKK bound passengers to be offloaded. Their connecting flight was departing HKG 00:10 this morning nine minutes after a new ban on transit traffic at HKG came into place.
Qantas are for the first time flying A380’s non stop to London from Australia. Probably the most unlikely A380 route ever – Darwin to London! After SIN closed it’s hub to transit passengers QF altered it’s SYD-SIN-LHR flight to SYD-DRW-LHR. Although this will only operate until QF ground all international flights at the end of the month. In fact, Australia has now banned all residents from leaving the country via air. So I would imagine this will impact on BA’s plans to continue operating the LHR-SIN-SYD route as at the moment only Australian citizens are allowed to enter Australia. And if they are no longer allowed to leave i’d think the small amount of traffic will dry up entirely.
I myself just operated to a US destination. I was fearing the worst after reading internet articles of waits of up to four hours in immigration halls to pass the health checks in the US. Fortunately they seem to have refined the process for the better. When we arrived and the door opened they now instruct customers to leave the aircraft in groups of ten. Their health checks take place on the jetty. It still takes 60-120 minutes to get everyone off the plane but it’s more comfortable than being in the immigration hall.
On a lighter note – I did giggle at a staff comms I was emailed yesterday. We’ve been advised of the need to ‘social distance’ at one of our (UK) crew hotels. They have a ‘crew room’ where we have been able to socialise but now only two crew at a time are allowed in. However, we can then leave the hotel and be packed into a metal tube for twelve hours with 400 strangers. You’ve gotta laugh!
1 user thanked author for this post.25 Mar 2020
rferguson – curious to hear who is actually flying. are you able to provide info about the type of passengers travelling LHR-USA-LHR? Is it purely nationals repatriating or is there any commercial traveller business? Brits are banned from entering the USA, but clearly not leaving….
Is it a case that people left it way too late or borders are closing too fast.
Still wondering when Boris will even intimate our borders will close…25 Mar 2020
Hey MartynSinclair. On the outbound flight from LHR it was mainly americans including many who were scheduled to fly direct from other european cities with other carriers back to the US and who already had those flights cancelled.
On the return from the US it was the flipside. Mainly Brits and as I was flying from one of the US ‘Gateway’ cities it also included many that had originally been booked on direct flights from other US cities who had their original flights cancelled.25 Mar 2020
After SIN closed it’s hub to transit passengers
One wonders whether or not the Singaporeans will relax this rule in the days ahead for through flights (like the BA SYD-SIN-LHR service) provided a) it’s a refuelling stop only and b) passengers do not disembark ?25 Mar 2020
Iam not a medic, but would imagine passenger disembarkation, even in transit, would be only one of the issues.
Would waste be taken off the aircraft, documents handed to ground staff etc etc?
Sooner all passenger flights are grounded, borders shut, most airports closed, the better.25 Mar 2020
I believe that the Singaporeans are now allowing BA’s flights to transit SIN provided it’s just a refuelling stop. Passengers would not be allowed to disembark.
As Tom wrote yesterday there are many travellers stranded in Australia / New Zealand.25 Mar 2020
I know this is a very sensitive and emotive subject and my heart goes out to families with close relatives stuck overseas.
However, a third of the world are in lock down, the further west the virus travels through Europe and now USA, its intensity appears to strengthen.
The airlines need to stop flying asap and governments need to assist stranded passengers. Allowing passengers to travel, only increases where the virus travels.
As I said I realise this is an emotive, sensitive and harrowing period. But serious and drastic actions are needed and not tomorrow…25 Mar 2020
Looks like BA has abandoned its plans to maintain some flights to Accra. No flights since Sunday evening and nothing for next couple of days either. Still quite a few Brits here looking to leave, if seats are available. We’re hunkering down here though, at least for now. See now things develop, both in the UK and Ghana.25 Mar 2020
I am not intending to be insensitive, but just wanting to add a little humour.
I imagine that with all of the lock-downs globally there will be a massive Baby Boom around the end of the year:-)
And maybe in 18 years they will be called thee “QuaranTeens”???25 Mar 2020