Last updated: 2 September 2021
Due to the current COVID-19 travel restrictions, we regret to inform you that we have temporarily suspended our Award Flight Assist service.
We will be back once the Australian government announces a date for the resumption of international flights. Our team very much looks forward to assisting you again soon!
Australia’s international borders are currently closed, with limited exceptions for essential travel and repatriation. Some internal Australian state & territory borders are also closed.
We are hopeful that international travel will be able to resume by early 2022, but there is currently no fixed end date for these restrictions.
Some airlines are still operating limited flights for repatriating travellers or those with a travel restriction exemption. Many more airlines are currently selling tickets for international flights scheduled for next year. However;
- Many of the flights currently scheduled are likely to be changed or cancelled between now and the departure date
- Australia has not yet announced a fixed date for the resumption of quarantine-free travel to Australia for vaccinated travellers, and continues to extend the travel ban 3 months at a time (this is currently due to expire on 17 December 2021 but may be extended again)
- Many airlines are actively bumping ticketed passengers off international flights bound for Australia due to the Australian government’s restrictive international arrival caps
- Many travel insurers will not cover claims relating to COVID-19, nor any claims for overseas travel in general while the Australian government’s “do not travel” warning for all other countries remains in force. (We do expect travel insurance to become available again, but only when the government reduces its travel warnings for other countries.)
Therefore, we cannot in good faith recommend booking international flights right now.
If you’re thinking about booking flights for later this year or 2022, our recommendation is to wait until there is more certainty surrounding the resumption of normal international travel. You could book your flights now, but you’ll likely end up having to deal with cancellations & flight changes down the track if the airline cancels your flight and/or travel restrictions are not lifted in time. And as we’ve already seen, some airlines are taking months to refund money for cancelled flights (or not refunding tickets at all).
Don’t worry about award availability – although we normally recommend booking around 11 months in advance, COVID-19 has thrown the usual rules out the window. We expect there will be ample award availability once travel restrictions are eased, as airlines may initially struggle to fill their planes.
If you do choose to book award travel now, make sure you can easily change and/or cancel your ticket. Qantas Frequent Flyer, for example, is at least allowing free changes/cancellations on Classic Flight Reward bookings made until 28 February 2022. This deadline may continue to be extended until the pandemic is over.
We continue to monitor this situation closely, and we very much look forward to resuming our Award Flight Assist service once international travel restrictions are eased. Just like you, our team can’t wait to travel overseas again! In the meantime, you can keep up with the latest travel news & updates at Australian Frequent Flyer.
Thank you for your understanding. If you need any assistance, please contact us.