This week we chat with Travel Josh Engstrom from Liberty Travel about Australian flight caps, our upcoming event together, and Air Canada.

Information is changing regularly so be sure to check back each week for updates.

Join us for an update at Australians Abroad: What You Need To Know

Presented by the American Australian Association and America Josh, this webinar will answer questions for Australians living abroad including travel information and flight caps from Travel Josh.

If you have a question that you’d like to ask Josh, you can submit them when you register!

Australians Abroad What You Need To Know

Availability over the next period (18th Dec – 1st Jan)

Only Premium Economy and above is available. Contact me if you want help finding economy fares back to Oz in Jan and Feb.

Australian flight and travel caps

Current increases have taken place in Sydney already, who’s cap has increased by 500 per week. We have then seen Delta increase it’s flights LAX – SYD to 5 days a week. Great news.

Brisbane has just started their increase by 500 per week (Oct 4th) so will be on the lookout for LAX – AKL – BNE routes with Air New Zealand. Fingers crossed this route starts again.

Perth caps increase this Sunday by 500 a week! Really really hoping for Cathay and Singapore Airlines to get more access to this route for all my wonderful WA clients! Watch this space for an update next week.

Three-month and holiday travel

We’re already on the other side of September! This year above all others I encourage anybody wanting to go home for the month of December to please start looking now. Decreased options, limited availability on those options, and general overall worldwide disruptions will make it very difficult to get home if you leave it too late.

6 Month Outlook

Let’s hope in the new year, we are better at living with the virus, are better at keeping virus caseloads down, and that the govt. takes strong action to allow its citizens to come home.

If you have the means to stay put into the new year, I expect with caps increasing or being cut altogether, we will be able to once again head home for whatever reason we like without severe financial and mental stress.

Where can you travel right now?

I get this question a lot and here are some options tailored to the US resident done by my work Liberty Travel – handy quick link to get started:

https://www.libertytravel.com/travel-articles/where-americans-can-travel-now

Latest from individual airlines

Air Canada (AC)

Massive news this week with Air Canada cancelling all of their flights into Brisbane and Sydney. Air Canada is not offering refunds, they are only offering credits.

This greatly impacts those intending to fly in the coming 6 weeks, with little to no alternative available for these people. Please contact me for any emergency flights back to Oz, keeping in mind only premium or business may be available.

American Airlines (AA)

American Airlines Flights LAX – SYD to commence in November!

This is just the best news to find yesterday. More flights means it will be a tad easier to get home now!

Starting the 10th Nov – flights will depart Tues/Wed/Fri/Sun – BIZ/PREME/ECON available – email me to inquire/book.

United (UA)

Still the most reliable route to Australia for New York-based expats – Still only from SFO – SYD – Availability is very tight for the coming weeks departure. If you urgently need to get home, this is your safest bet. If you can’t find seats let me know as I can waitlist seats as above.

United is expanding to also offer LAX – SYD flights, flights will operate Tuesdays and some Thursdays in Sept. It’s almost too late to book any reasonably priced economy seats for September – but as we move into October, it looks like United is ramping up its LAX – SYD route, offering daily flights and decent priced economy flights after the 9th of October.

Air New Zealand (NZ)

Have put a hold on a majority of its new bookings for flights to and from Australia until the current 24th October reassessment date (Sydney looks like their only option), this means that for new bookings – Air NZ is increasingly difficult

Delta (DL)

Flying 6 days a week (LAX-SYD) starting 1st November – MON/TUE/WED/FRI/SAT/SUN

Singapore Airlines (SQ)

Changi Airport is going to open its airport soon to non-Singapore Nationals, There doesn’t appear to be any connections from the US that don’t include overnight stop-overs in Singapore, making this not a very attractive option for people.

Virgin Australia (VA)

Now that it looks clearer that this airline will remain in the longer term, a media release from the two new stakeholders state that Virgin Australia will honor the more the $100 million worth of tickets canceled due to COVID and the company going into bankruptcy, this is great news for Aussies in the US who had their original VA flights canceled. Unsure whether they will be able to get refunds still, but at least when they do start flying again, you will be able to use your existing credit.

QANTAS (QF)

QF were expected to start their LAX-SYD route in August, this has now been canceled, checking their schedule, I can’t see any flights until at least November – this is a very sad departure, with new updates to come as they are released.

Qantas has updated their refund policy – so that it is easier to understand and hopefully easier for those whose flights were canceled to get a refund.

Qantas (and Virgin Australia) this week, as expected, suspended all remaining international flights that were in operation in cooperation with the Australian Government (https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/qantas-and-virgin-australia-suspend-remaining-international-flights-20200608-p550jl.html):

Qantas and Virgin Australia have re-grounded their remaining international passenger operations after government funding for the handful of overseas routes they were flying came to an end.

Emirates (EK), Etihad (EY) and Qatar (QR)

Please note that all passengers transiting UAE will need to provide negative COVID tests – please check out info on the specific airline for more info.

With no official statement – these airlines anecdotally are bumping economy class passengers from their flights – this is a worrying development, as this really does put people in jeopardy if they can’t afford a biz class ticket. Please contact me before you book any of these airlines and we can look at these options together.

With Emirates, you can now fly direct into PER/SYD/BNE via Dubai.

NYC – BNE – Thursdays only

NYC – PER – Wednesday’s only; DXB – MEL – Tuesday’s, Thursday’s & Friday’s; DXB – SYD – Monday’s, Wednesday’s & Saturday’s

ETIHAD – daily connections from NYC – SYD

QATAR –  NYC – BNE – MON/WED/FRI; NYC – PER TUE/THU/SAT/SUN

Questions & Bookings

Do you have any questions? Do you need travel advice? Contact Josh by his email, [email protected]

Josh Engstrom Liberty Travel