When are we travelling again?

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Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 63 total)

  • AllOverTheGaff
    Participant

    When the “corridors” opened with Spain I went in July for 12 days of driving via the ferry in Portsmouth with 22 other like-minded driving enthusiasts followed by a long weekend in Madrid and an evening in Bilbao before returning back up to Scotland.

    I then booked another driving trip to Ireland only to discover once I’d spent an age booking the whole shebang that I had to quarantine for 14 days in Eire. So, cancelled this and booked Croatia, which was on the safe fly list. Day we left they moved the goal posts but flew EDI – AMS – SPU with KLM on my points and then took the ferry to Dubrovnik. What a marvelous mistake that was, had no intention of going to Croatia but because it was “safe” I went and have to say, massively surprised at the scenery, the hotel quality and service and superb food & wines. Will absolutely go back.

    Am booked to go to Rio at the beginning of next month and won’t return until this martial law is abated, I cannot live my life with the daily restrictions, was bad enough in the spring months, winter in Scotland is a very bleak affair, winter in Scotland with nonsensical restrictions are 100% not for me.

    Flew EZY back from Croatia, and as we deplaned the stewardess with the tannoy was going bananas about those at the middle and rear all standing up as it was “for yours and our safety”, I quietly told her that we all were brought to the aircraft on a bus in Dubrovnik and she replied with the “company policy” thing, over-reactions are the new norm.

    Some photos attached of EDI airport and the lounge at AMS…was eerie.

    Attachments:

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I cannot live my life with the daily restrictions,

    I am the opposite, I can live with the daily restrictions, but get totally fed up with people who believe the restrictions do not apply to them – Liverpool last night night being the prime example of stupidity beyond belief.

    Your pictures AOG of empty airports, it should really make travel protocols so much more easier (and pleasant) without the continual over reactions by those you highlight.

    It’s actually quite simple, just follow the effing rules, by all means complain, moan and despair, write to your MP tell everyone how stupid this all is,…. but when doing so, remember to still follow the rules.


    AllOverTheGaff
    Participant

    I cannot live my life with the daily restrictions,

    I am the opposite, I can live with the daily restrictions, but get totally fed up with people who believe the restrictions do not apply to them – Liverpool last night night being the prime example of stupidity beyond belief.

    Your pictures AOG of empty airports, it should really make travel protocols so much more easier (and pleasant) without the continual over reactions by those you highlight.

    It’s actually quite simple, just follow the effing rules, by all means complain, moan and despair, write to your MP tell everyone how stupid this all is,…. but when doing so, remember to still follow the rules.

    I’m super weary of the persistent sanctimony and people believing they have a divine right to implore me to follow their opinions.

    So, instead of complaining about it I am going to Rio.

    By all means follow the rules and hope for the best, I’ll do my own thing though if it is all the same to you.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    So, instead of complaining about it I am going to Rio.

    I would go to BKK/Asia if given the chance – but Thailand/Asia makes it far too complex and indeed their rules make life in the UK look very simple and easy ūüôā


    Alan
    Participant

    Hi to all travel-starved forum members.

    I am normally based in CPT and with the exception of one recent and brief Euro trip – I have been stuck in UK for too long now.

    Given the recent re-opening of the South African borders, I am booked back to CPT with BA next month and I am very keen to hear from any one who has travelled on BA from UK to SA since 01st Oct?

    How was the BA long haul experience?

    What are the load factors like?

    How intense is the new arrival process into CPT etc?

    Any info appreciated – thanks!


    TayFlies
    Participant

    Hopefully soon! I am waiting for travel bubble announcements!


    fatbear
    Participant

    We flew this week from London Gatwick to Antigua and then onwards to St Barths.

    We originally cashed in a BA Amex 2:1 voucher to fly Business class to Antigua and then arranged the onward connections. Unfortunately, BA cancelled our original departing flight, and although it was very quick and easy to rebook online onto the flight the following day, changing the dates for our car park reservation and our hotel was also not a problem, our connecting flight from Antigua to St Barths could not be rescheduled so we had to accept a future credit on Tradewind Aviation and then organise a private charter on St Barths Commuter in order to get to the island on the same day.

    Three days later, I then received an email from BA notifying that our flight had been moved from the South Terminal to the North Terminal, and whilst I was able to amend our parking reservation, it was at an additional cost of £40.

    Therefore, as a result of BA’s continued rescheduling of their flights I was considerably out of pocket. Whilst they appear to be keen and desperate for passengers to continue to fly with them, their frequent changes of schedule are hardly providing reliability or certainty…….

    Prior to our departure we had paid through the nose ( literally and physically ! ) for our PCR Tests, which came back negative in just over 36 hours from the Mayfield Clinic in Oxford.

    On arrival at Gatwick it was pretty easy to find a parking space in the Short-Stay car park and we made our way to the North Terminal. Inside, both of the landside cafes were closed and there were precious few people milling around. The Fast Track/Premium facility is now only for airport staff so we had to go through the normal security area, but as there were so few passengers there was no queue and we were through in a couple of minutes.

    As typical with many UK airports we then faced the long and winding road through the shopping arcade where very few shoppers were indulging. Once in the departure lounge, there was still very little retail therapy going on, and I noticed there was no-one in the WHS bookshop.

    The terminal was not quite a ghost town, but with such a small number of travellers it was actually quite pleasant. The wearing of masks was followed 100% although I noticed one or two people did not have them covering their noses.

    As BA no longer has a dedicated lounge in the North terminal its Business Class/elite passengers are able to access the Club Aspire Lounge. The NHS Track and Trace App was in operation, and we were escorted to a table for waitress table service. Personally, I thought the tables were a bit too close together, but we found a table that seemed to have sufficient distance and settled down. There appeared to be a decent selection of food and drinks available on the menu ( although Cocktails and Champagne were not free ) but we settled for just tea with milk and a croissant for Mrs Fatbear. These were served pretty quickly, although the tea came with the teabags in the cups so we had to request something to be able to dispose of them in without making a mess of the table !

    At our table we were able to remove our masks and could engage in normal conversation. Compared to the departure lounge, the Aspire Lounge was pretty busy, perhaps an indication of those that can afford to get PCR tests are those who can afford to fly Business class ?!

    Boarding of the flight was by row number, but rows 1-4 of Business Class boarded first, and then economy from the rear. As we had not checked in any bags, our negative Covid certificates were requested at the gate. Looking around at the gate I estimated there were between 120-150 people waiting to board, and there were only 3 spare seats in Business class out of 32.

    Once on board the flight we settled in as normal although instead of the normal pre-flight drinks we were handed a hand sanitizer kit of one anti-bacterial towel and a sachet of hand sanitizer gel. The CSM did come and say hello ( we are both Gold card members ) and there was an announcement that due to severe allergies of a couple of passengers, no nuts were to be served/eaten on the flight.

    After take-off the standard amenity kits were handed out ( socks, eyeshade, toothpaste and brush, a cheap pen and moisturisers ).
    Due to wearing the face masks it was very difficult to both hear the conversation with my wife or with the cabin crew.

    The in-flight service started with drinks, with a small bottle of white wine for me, the type previously served in Club Europe and with a plastic glass, rather than from the bottle. Mrs Fatbear had the Champagne. I forgot I was still wearing a mask when I came to eat my first pretzel !

    No menus were handed out, and the CSM advised the meal was an option of either a Salmon dish or Asparagus salad. As I eat neither fish or asparagus, our CSM quickly found a solution of providing a Turkey and Cheese and Egg Mayo rolls from economy to be inserted into my cardboard box ! The box also contained some cheese and biscuits, a chocolate pudding, and a bottle of water. Mrs Fatbear doesn’t eat much on flights, as long as the Champagne and puddings are served she is happy.

    Shortly after passing over the Sicily Isles we noticed an Air France aircraft flying in the other direction just a little higher than our flight. I can safely say I have never seen an aircraft as close as this in all my times flying.

    WiFi was available on the flight. It would have been free had we been in First, but as there was no First on the flight it was £4.99 for an hour, £11.99 for 4 hours or £17.99 for the whole flight.

    About an hour out from Antigua we were served some more food in a box, this time a choice of a Cheese and Onion or Chicken and Pesto Panini.

    We landed in Antigua around 30 minutes ahead of schedule and an announcement was made for everyone to remain seated until their row number was called out. Looking back through the cabin this seemed to be observed by everyone in all classes, except for 2 idiots in Business who obviously thought this didn’t apply to them. Perhaps they are Govt Ministers or advisors……..

    In the terminal at Antigua we first had our picture taken for a temperature check and then went to a desk to have our negative Covid certificates and the health questionnaires examined. I had difficulty hearing the officer and she had difficulty hearing me, so we both took down our masks to talk ! She seemed more interested in the health questionnaire, and the questions asked could all have been found in the Covid certificates…..

    Once cleared we moved on to passport control and then through customs. Overall, it took 25 minutes from touch down to get to the check-in desk for our connection, where we were pleasantly surprised to learn our aircraft was about to land, so rather than a 3 hour wait in Antigua we hurried through security and into the departure lounge. Less than an hour after landing we were on our way to St Barths, and 30 minutes later were on the island, where the Covid certificate inspection took about 10 seconds !

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    GivingupBA
    Participant

    Flight review: 2 days ago we flew Newcastle (UK) – Amsterdam – Seoul on KLM (economy comfort on the long leg). Newcastle airport was virtually empty. Amsterdam – Seoul was very quiet, with the 777 less than half full. The flight was very good, on a sparkling clean plane with good and attentive service from cabin crew. They served one large good hot meal at our seat, a bag of coke/ biscuits/ chocolate, then a hot sandwich just before landing. The extra legroom in Y-comfort was nice and worth it for me as I am tall. Getting through Seoul airport took a very long time although it was nearly empty, due to multiple checkpoints for Covid-19 – which the South Korean government clearly take very seriously. Now we have 14 days quarantine (in a flat, luckily for us, unlike the system for short-term visitors). Today we had our (free) compulsory CV-19 test in a city clinic. PS I highly recommend KLM… I am not, needless to say, associated with them in any way.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Out of interest, are there any countries in S.E Asia that DO NOT currently require Brits to endure 14 night ‘prisoner style quarantine’ prior to gaining entry or is the entire S E Asia area under these rules?

    I find it interesting that UK Airlines/Government are publishing lists of countries from which you can travel FROM which do not require self isolation on arrival into the UK.
    Personally, I would find it more encouraging to travel, long haul, to have a list of where we can travel ex UK that requires no ‘prisoner style quarantine on arrival.’

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    Martyn Sinclair wrote “Personally, I would find it more encouraging to travel, long haul, to have a list of where we can travel ex UK that requires no ‚Äėprisoner style quarantine on arrival.”

    Totally agree…. difficult to get proper information and arrival abroad is potentially much more difficult to negotiate as they usually enforce their regulations unlike the situation in the UK where avoiding quarantine on arrival is one big doddle….

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    Martyn Sinclair wrote “Personally, I would find it more encouraging to travel, long haul, to have a list of where we can travel ex UK that requires no ‚Äėprisoner style quarantine on arrival.”

    Totally agree…. difficult to get proper information and arrival abroad is potentially much more difficult to negotiate as they usually enforce their regulations unlike the situation in the UK where avoiding quarantine on arrival is one big doddle….

    Slightly disingenuous guys, in most countries here in Asia COVID is under control not eradicated but Governments have made tough decisions no more so than here in Thailand where you cannot visit at all. In Singapore’s case they are down to about 2-4 cases in the community and the majority of the cases are discovered on entry when people have to go into 14 days isolation, so effectively the management of people coming in is seen as key to prevent a spike!

    So there is now no need to quarantine if I fly from either Thailand or Singapore to the UK as prevention has helped secure that ability, but coming from countries and the UK in particular where the numbers seem to be on the rise you are going to have to endure the 14 days! What I am reading is that people coming from countries that have succeeded in their policies should be penalised coming into the UK???

    Its not just countries in Europe, as I have mentioned in many threads we are leaving Thailand in 2 weeks and there has been 1 case in Thailand in 120 days and we have to isolate …. Yes its a pain yes its draconian but its working

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    ASK1945
    Participant

    Its not just countries in Europe, as I have mentioned in many threads we are leaving Thailand in 2 weeks and there has been 1 case in Thailand in 120 days and we have to isolate …. Yes its a pain yes its draconian but its working

    Today’s news (here in the UK) is that post-Covid immunity is only transient, as many of us have suspected all along. In other words, this Coronavirusis like the others such as colds, flu etc. Why did anybody suspect otherwise? I have just had my annual flu innoculation – the talk is whether an annual Covid-19 jab (if/when it comes) will be enough.

    So, yes it’s a pain, yes it’s draconian but it is NOT working – if a country’s economic base is destroyed in the meantime. I understand that Thailand (and many other countries) rely on tourism for the livelihood of much of their population. At some point soon the economic reality must bite and the borders opened.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    Its not just countries in Europe, as I have mentioned in many threads we are leaving Thailand in 2 weeks and there has been 1 case in Thailand in 120 days and we have to isolate …. Yes its a pain yes its draconian but its working

    Today’s news (here in the UK) is that post-Covid immunity is only transient, as many of us have suspected all along. In other words, this Coronavirusis like the others such as colds, flu etc. Why did anybody suspect otherwise? I have just had my annual flu innoculation – the talk is whether an annual Covid-19 jab (if/when it comes) will be enough.

    So, yes it’s a pain, yes it’s draconian but it is NOT working – if a country’s economic base is destroyed in the meantime. I understand that Thailand (and many other countries) rely on tourism for the livelihood of much of their population. At some point soon the economic reality must bite and the borders opened.

    I think the Junta have made the decision from Bangkok where tourism is not as high on the list as say here in Phuket or other islands! The fact is and I don’t necessarily disagree with you but if there were a larger outbreak here in the country the healthcare system would collapse so they have made their decisions based on that….. People out of work and “starving” or dying in the streets … its a tough decision.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    K1ngston – the purpose of my post was not to criticize Asian countries for their PSQ (prisoner style quarantine) – but to highlight the fact, Brits ex London, basically have few long-haul destinations, if indeed any, to access, without the PSQ (yes Dubai and some African countries are accessible without PSQ).

    So when I hear the airlines / Government and John Holland-Kaye trying to encourage us all to travel – I am interested to know, which long haul destinations are being referred to…. All very well having Covid tests available for departing passengers to Hong Kong, but PSQ is still required.

    The world needs to reopen……

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    Its not just countries in Europe, as I have mentioned in many threads we are leaving Thailand in 2 weeks and there has been 1 case in Thailand in 120 days and we have to isolate …. Yes its a pain yes its draconian but its working

    Today’s news (here in the UK) is that post-Covid immunity is only transient, as many of us have suspected all along. In other words, this Coronavirusis like the others such as colds, flu etc. Why did anybody suspect otherwise? I have just had my annual flu innoculation – the talk is whether an annual Covid-19 jab (if/when it comes) will be enough.

    So, yes it’s a pain, yes it’s draconian but it is NOT working – if a country’s economic base is destroyed in the meantime. I understand that Thailand (and many other countries) rely on tourism for the livelihood of much of their population. At some point soon the economic reality must bite and the borders opened.

    I think the Junta have made the decision from Bangkok where tourism is not as high on the list as say here in Phuket or other islands! The fact is and I don’t necessarily disagree with you but if there were a larger outbreak here in the country the healthcare system would collapse so they have made their decisions based on that….. People out of work and “starving” or dying in the streets … its a tough decision.

    Martyn, I believe that Hong kong is on the verge of a ‘soft’ reopening not that it going to be of any benefit to you at least in the short term.
    Definitely the bubble with Singapore is ‘go’ from early November with a Thailand bubble strongly rumoured to be happening soon with 2 or 3 others including possibly Switzerland happening prior to Christmas.
    The first China package tour test case into Thailand is underway with a group of 39 mainland China tourists being allowed to land on Monday 26th. Tourism from China is the largest contributor to the industry and is worth over Bt15 billion p.a (10% larger than that from European countries) and it is seen as vital that it restarts
    The HKG border with China is already partially open and yesterday it was announced that a very broad spectrum of business people will be allowed to visit without quarantine – this almost immediately.

    5 users thanked author for this post.
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