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Merry Christmas! & welcome to flight chaos

Merry Christmas! & welcome to flight chaos

I write to you from Adelaide, having successfully negotiated boosters, PCR testing queues, mask wearing, the HealthCheck SA app and a false isolate and test instruction for my husband.

Cancelled Flights

On Christmas Eve, around 80 flights out of Sydney were cancelled for passengers trying to meet up with family and friends for Christmas. Flight cancellations were apparently caused by unavailability of crew due to COVID infections and isolations requirements. Given cancellations from hesitant flyers, all airlines were confident of re-assigning passengers to other flights, and getting them to where they want to be for Christmas.

World wide phenomenon

The Australian situation is not unique, with a reputed 3,000 flights cancelled across the world in the 2 days leading up to, and including Christmas day, according to website FlightAware.

Let me get preachy for a minute

To all those who want to let-it-rip (I’m looking at you Domanic Perottet), could you please note the fights that got cancelled out of Sydney and Melbourne due to crew shortages. Those crew members were absent because they have, or potentially have, via close contacts, COVID-19. So letting-it-rip is a policy that would have economy threatening consequences, just as lockdowns and other precautionary measures (mask wearing, capacity limits on public gatherings, and QR code checking) do. The upside is that precautionary measures stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect people.

My point is, that even though airlines want to fly and passengers want to travel, its the virus that is causing hesitancy for those who want to travel, and staffing challenges for those airlines that want to fly.

2PAXfly Takeout

Having said all of that, despite the airport being busier than I have seen it over the last year, everything went smoothly. I managed to get us in row 4 with an empty middle seat, and the plane was a tad over half full.

Our arrival into Adelaide was about as non-bureaucratic as you can get these days with just a policeman checking that you had registered with the South Australian check-in app.

OK, heading off to Christmas lunch now. Merry Christmas to everyone.

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