Today, Qantas sent out an email blast to its frequent flyer program members about reopening its international network.
The question then is if you should rush and buy tickets when they become available or wait until you know what the travel requirements are?
You can access Qantas here.
Email that Qantas sent out:
With vaccinations continuing to roll out across Australia, we are getting ready to reunite our customers with their family, friends, colleagues and favourite destinations around the globe.
Based on the current vaccination projection rates and the Australian Government’s plan for reopening borders, we are preparing for Qantas and Jetstar international flights to resume as follows:
- From mid-December 2021, between Australia and Fiji, Singapore, the United States, Japan, United Kingdom and Canada.*
- From mid-December 2021, between Australia and New Zealand in line with the anticipated restart of the trans-Tasman travel bubble.*
- From mid-February 2022 between Australia and Hong Kong.*
- From April 2022 onwards flights between Australia and cities including Bali, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City and Johannesburg.*
This remains dependent on Government decisions in coming months, so we’ll keep you updated if the plans change.
You always need to read the fine print:
* Subject to Government and Regulatory approval.
Not sure what government and regulatory approval Qantas here is referring to?
The airline is free to fly to most of these destinations, as there are scheduled services from the majority of them but not operated by the flag carrier. So I guess that it has been a commercial decision by Qantas not to provide scheduled connectivity.
+ Eligible Flights include: Australian Domestic Qantas operated flights booked between 21 May 2020 and 28 February 2022, for travel between 12 June 2020 and 28 February 2022. Trans-Tasman Qantas operated flights booked between 15 October 2020 and 28 February 2022, for travel between 16 October 2020 and 28 February 2022. International Qantas operated flights booked between 25 February 2021 and 28 February 2022, for travel between 1 November 2021 and 31 December 2022 (international flights are available up to 12 months in advance). To change your travel date, simply visit Manage booking to change your flight before your scheduled date of departure and select a new date within 12 months of your original booking date and the change fee will be waived. A fare difference may apply. For all changes your applicable Fare Rules and the Qantas Conditions of Carriage apply.
Qantas only waives the change fee if you need to reschedule the flight they operate, but you no longer wish to take. You need to pay the potential fare difference. The new flight must be within 12 months of the original ticket issuance date.
# To request a Flight Credit for use towards a future flight of equal or higher value than your original booking, visit Manage booking. Flight Credits are valid for booking and travel within 12 months from your original booking date. Our standard fare rules apply, a change or cancellation fee may apply. A fare difference may apply. For more information and full terms and conditions, visit booking changes and other options.
Why would you want a flight credit instead of a refund? These flight credits are only valid for 12 months from the original booking date and not from the date you were scheduled to fly or when the reservation was canceled.
It will be very challenging for Qantas to restart its international services after handing scheduled flights over to foreign airlines already for close to 18 months.
It is unclear what requirements there will be for Australians and residents to travel overseas and when they return. However, there likely will be several Covid-19 tests and potentially a 14-day quarantine when returning from select countries.
The Trans-Tasman travel bubble has been on and off several times, and you have not been able to travel freely within Australia either.
I would only buy when you are confident that the destination is welcoming visitors from your point of origin and other requirements there are in place, especially in the case of Australia, for returning citizens/residents.