OneWorld: Launches COVID-19 Travel Updates search portal
The COVID-19 Travel Updates portal OneWorld has developed allows you to input origin and destination (route search), or a flight number and a date to search for any COVID-19 related travel protocols you need to observe.
I inputed some domestic Australian routeings, and some international ones, and the tool seems pretty accurate, if not totally user friendly in the way it presents information.
Content of this Post:
Primarily a tool too encourage sales
When you get your results, you see that this is very much a sales tool, providing you with available services, flights and lounge access from its members. Here are a couple of examples.
Domestic – Sydney to Adelaide
It’s all the headings that contain the phrase ‘COVID-19’ that are important. If you expand them using the ‘+’ sign on the right, you get your travel information. Much of it is pretty pro forma:
But some is quite specific, and appears to be updated fairly regularly through a deal with Sherpa a business-to-business service which focuses on:
We’re Sherpa—your guide to providing travel identification requirements so your customers can move freely, wherever life takes them.
The advice provided is not as specific as I would like, but it does provide links to the appropriate government and health websites.
On the other hand, advice on border requirements within Australia change on a weekly if not daily basis, so maybe general advice with a link to government information is the way to go.
International – Sydney to London via Doha
The search tool locates the available routes from its members. In this case it gave me the following:
And when I ‘view’ the first leg SYD to DOH the first thing I get is information about arriving in Australia – actually its conduct at Sydney Airport generally.
Here is what you get for Doha:
This is a lot, but perfectly accurate as far as I can see. It’s worth noting that the source of this information is Qatar Airways. I’d be more comfortable with a government website, but maybe this is the best information available.
Remembering that you can cancel and rebook any fares through to the end of February 2022, this offer is worth booking some speculative travel.
I usually value status credits over points, but triple points is a good deal. Anyway if a good bonus status credits deal comes up – I can always cancel my triple points booking and rebook using the credit to gain the the status deal. Sorry guys, you can’t combine deals.
Qantas didn’t come down in the last shower, so don’t expect this triple points deal to be giving you the best fare prices (I haven’t checked this), and the same applies to those double status points offers if they return. I have no inside knowledge, but a triple points offer, often comes just before a double status credits offer. Just sayin’.
The OneWorld COVID-19 Portal is not perfect but is a welcome addition to the tools available for travellers in these COVID-19 times when the rules for travel are more complex, and worse still, chop and change on a daily basis. It’s also a lot more than other alliances are providing about COVID-19 provisions across their members:
OneWorld should be congratulated for supplying more bespoke information on the basis of the flight, or route you’re flying. Sometimes the functionality is a bit clunky, and while I was using it, the tool kind of froze, not taking selections or producing results. The ‘New Search’ link did fix that.
Lets hope they iron some of the bugs out, but well done OneWorld.