We live in really strange times and the travel industry has to keep adapting. Very few people are using long-haul flights at the moment, and really very few are flying to Australia due to strict entry restrictions. Our colleague Lisa has dared the trip more or less voluntarily and now tells you how it went.
If you missed Lisa's first blog about entering Australia, be sure to read it:
Traveling to Australia during the Corona Pandemic
If you need more tips, tricks and info about Australia and the local situation, you should follow JoinMyTrip on TikTok. Lisa will take you there and also answer some questions!
Pack your hand luggage:
You should of course pack everything you would normally pack for long haul flights to Australia, but you should not forget these items:
Here you should be careful not to take one that has the "highly flammable" symbol. I'll explain why later..
Most airlines will provide you with it on board, but for a bathroom stop or generally at the airport. But please wash your hands anyway!
Masks with filters or valves are not allowed.
It is best to use KN95 or. FFP2 masks, they work best and protect you and others. If you have asthma and are going on a long trip, use a mask that allows you to breathe well. I personally wore an FFP2 mask at the airport and all the way onto the plane. But then exchange them for a simple medical mask after the meal on board.
If you can, fasten the mask to the back of your head so it doesn't chafe your ears for 22 hours.
And of course you should follow the rules for masks and the protection of other travelers.
The Check – In
On the trip to Australia you need a negative PCR test which must not be older than 72 hours before the first flight. Check the information of the country you're traveling to, preferably twice, to make sure you're doing everything right. Allow enough time to print out your test results, airports love printed evidence!
You can check in online, but you'll have to go to one of the check-in counters again at the airport. There your test will be checked and you will get a ticket stamped with "Transit". During boarding, only the printed ticket is checked.
Little changed in security, I was just a little concerned about my hand sanitizer. Most of the effective disinfectants are marked as "highly flammable", so this means that you are not allowed to fly with them. Fortunately, I was able to get hold of an effective disinfectant without a label. However, the security team seemed relatively unimpressed by all the little disinfection bottles. You should be aware, however, that "flammable" sanitizers may be taken from you in spite of everything.
You should definitely do some walking around before such a long flight, as it may be prohibited on board the plane so as not to unnecessarily endanger other travelers.
At boarding, travelers were let onto the plane in small groups and the usual long queue for boarding did not occur. You show your ticket so that they can check if everything is properly stamped. After that, your temperature is quickly taken and you are allowed to board.
Economy travelers get a "care package" on the way onto the plane, sometimes these are on the seats as well. This varies from airline to airline. The care package on Singapore Airlines includes a medical mask, disinfectant wipes and a small packet of hand sanitizer. You should wipe everything you might touch during the flight with the cloth, just to be on the safe side.
Safety during the flight
Masks must be worn throughout the flight and may only be removed for eating and drinking. Therefore, you should choose the most comfortable way to wear your mask.
Nothing was said on board if passengers were allowed to stand up in between, but you should keep your movement on the plane to a minimum. Other travelers may be stressed enough already. Nevertheless, very few people fly to Australia at the moment. Accordingly the planes are empty.
Airlines place passengers far away from each other so you don't have direct contact with other travelers. Personally, I got up a few times to stretch, otherwise I stayed seated.
Most airlines now also have disinfectant dispensers next to the lavatory stalls that you can use whenever you feel it's necessary.
How to get to the connecting flight
My change of planes took place in Singapore. Once there, all travelers who ended their trip here were asked to leave the plane first. After that everyone was allowed to leave the plane with stamped "transit" tickets.
We lined up, received a green wristband, and walked through the airport in single file. The journey through the airport included a ride on an airport train before we were taken to a waiting area. Here our passports were checked and our names crossed off a paper list. After that we were free.
At first it was a bit strange, because we didn't get any further instructions. But since other passengers went off to explore the airport, I joined them. There were small stands with food, but also a counter where you could order more food and buy other things.
When it was time for the next flight, passengers were called and directed to a waiting area. Here our passports were checked again and we were brought back to the airport train in a row, back to the gate. After another security check we sat in front of the gate for a few minutes before boarding the next plane.
Coming Soon: Arrival in Australia
Keep your eyes open for the next blog in this series!
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