Trans-Tasman bubble introduced by New Zealand, however questions stay for vacationers and enterprise travellers
Citizens on both sides of the Tasman are about to visit each other without quarantine.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the possibility of a travel bubble with Australia early next year, with both countries having brought the spread of the coronavirus under control.
When should people start planning trips when the potential for quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand approaches?
What if you book a flight but the bubble doesn’t go any further?
Here’s a look at what we know so far.
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When can I book flights?
The New Zealand government has not released any clear data for the travel bubble.
We were informed of the first quarter of 2021, but that too is subject to conditions.
Ms. Ardern said several requirements had to be met in order for the bladder to be approved, including 28 consecutive days with no community transmission across Australia.
At this point, Ms. Arden plans to announce the date for the start of the bladder early next year.
“Once the remaining details are locked down,” she said.
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to search, up and down arrows for volume.ClockDuration: 1 minute 23 seconds1m 23sThe New Zealand cabinet has agreed to build a trans-Tasman bubble with Australia
Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran said the announcement was a big step and crews were diligently preparing to resume more frequent flights.
“Safety is obviously a top priority for our airline and we have worked closely with governments, relevant agencies and airports to ensure that our customers and employees are safe after they travel,” said Foran.
While it is currently possible to book a seat on one of the limited flights from Australia to New Zealand, New Zealand’s strict quarantine laws mean that every arriving passenger must participate in the managed isolation program.
Travelers cannot fly into New Zealand without documents showing that they have secured one of the “extremely limited” places in an appropriate facility, the New Zealand government warns.
Qantas has flown a reduced flight schedule between Sydney and Auckland and is preparing to step up operations as more details are awaited from the authorities.
“We know there is tremendous demand for travel between Australia and New Zealand and we look forward to seeing the Tasman expand significantly once details are known about the bubble and when it will begin,” a spokesman said.
Are tickets getting more expensive than usual?
Neither airline had anything to say about possible ticket prices.
According to Dr. Char-lee Moyle, Senior Research Fellow at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), airlines could go two ways on airfare.
Airlines either offer deals to attract more travel, or they raise prices to make up for losses.
From today’s perspective, a return trip to Auckland in the second week of February would cost between $ 1,200 and $ 1,900, depending on where you’re flying from.
Currently, Brisbane is the cheapest place to leave and return, with Adelaide being more expensive.
And with limited flights being announced, prices will almost certainly be higher than before.
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What if i book a flight and the travel bubble hasn’t started yet?
For Australians looking to book flights to New Zealand early next year, it is important to familiarize themselves with the refund policies of the companies you are booking with.
According to the ACCC, cancellations may not result in an automatic refund due to government-enforced restrictions.
State and territorial consumer protection agencies may also be able to assist, while more specific information from the ACCC can be found on its website.
When the coronavirus pandemic shut down the tourism industry earlier this year, several Australians were left out of their pockets.
The difficulty of getting refunds has been a major concern for thousands of travelers.
Complaints to the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC) on travel-related issues rose nearly 500 percent between January and October this year.
In November, ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court told ABC that there were examples of tourism companies that had changed their policies after the pandemic began.
“We saw a few examples of companies who made amendments to terms and conditions after the fact and said, ‘Oh, due to COVID, terms and conditions don’t apply, you can’t get a refund if they didn’t. “she told AM.
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to search, up and down arrows for volume.ClockDuration: 3 minutes 43 seconds3m 43sACCC Commissioner Sarah Court says complaints have increased dramatically.
How many flights are available?
Both Qantas and Air New Zealand declined to be briefed on their scheduled flight schedules, saying they were waiting for more information from governments before making any announcements.
“We appreciate that people are passionate about travel and we can assure our customers that Air New Zealand will be ready when it can,” said Foran.
Dr. Moyle said many people may not choose to travel internationally in the short term.
“Some people put it off. People make shorter trips closer to home, like driving, because it’s safer,” said Dr. Moyle the ABC.
“Even if we open up, it will take time to restore people’s trust.”
For this reason, tourism marketing should be a major focus for the Australian business and tourism sector.
“It depends how well it is marketed. Are we giving them good deals?” Said Dr. Moyle.
“We need to think about how we can market to New Zealand and be safety conscious.
“We’re going to see behavior change.
“We may see people who want to do more nature – people will want to disperse more than in large crowds.”
What will a trip to New Zealand look like?
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Well, it may not be an Australian vacation exodus.
Instead, seats are expected to be occupied by business travelers and those who have waited for lockdowns and travel restrictions to reconnect with family and friends.
Dr. Moyle said New Zealanders have similar travel habits to Australians, and both tend to scatter into regional areas, not to spend as much money but rather to hang out with loved ones.
“(Tourism) will come back, but it will be slower to recover,” she said.
“It’s not that they don’t have the money, it’s going to make them want to spend.”
What do flights look like if I stay closer to home?
Jetstar will dramatically expand its flight schedule early next year, offering 850 round-trip weekly flights to 55 destinations across Australia. (AAP Image: James Gourley)
If the unknowns of the bubble make you think more about a trip to Australia, finding a ticket could be a lot easier from February onwards.
Jetstar has announced that it will operate more domestic flights than ever before through February and March.
Aircraft are being used that would otherwise fly to overseas destinations to handle the expected increase in tourist traffic – to more than 110 percent of pre-COVID levels.
“As international borders remain closed, more Australians will explore places across the country that they have never been to. This is great news for local hotel and tourism companies,” said Gareth Evans, CEO of Jetstar, in a statement.