Aussies trying to get home from abroad will be banned from flights or ordered to pay over $ 35,000 to upgrade to business class after Scott Morrison introduced a limit on international arrivals
- Australians trying to return home must fight to secure affordable flights
- The government announced a limit of 4,000 overseas passengers per week last Friday
- Flights to Sydney Airport also had to reduce their capacity to 50 passengers
- Australians who have booked in the Economy booking will be released for business travelers
- A passenger seeking corporate fares from the US reported a $ 35,000 quote
Australians attempting to return home from abroad are said to be kicked out of flights if they don’t upgrade to business class.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the limit of up to 4,000 passengers per week, reducing arrivals by about a third.
Arrivals at Sydney Airport were already limited to 50 passengers per flight.
The measure was introduced to ease the pressure on the Australian-besieged hotel quarantine system – with a New South Wales budget to accommodate returning travelers during the coronavirus pandemic that already exceeds $ 50 million.
However, Australians have said the limit wreaks havoc in their attempts to secure flights, as airlines prioritize business class passengers.
Cathy Collins and husband Jim attempted to return to Australia with their young family but were released from their economy seats to make room for business class passengers on reduced capacity flights
Jim Collins said that he and his wife Cathy, from Tasmania, had been trying to get home from the UK since March and thought he had finally found a way when he was rebooked for a flight to Sydney last week.
But the airline he booked with took his family off the flight before finding out that they preferred business class passengers to limit capacity to the 50-passenger limit.
“As far as I know, all economy passengers have been taken off the flight to make way, with a 50-passenger limit for premium passengers – premium and business class,” said Collins 7.30.
Another passenger, Rebecca Halligan, who tried to return to Adelaide from the UK, said she was booked to return to Sydney when the 50-passenger limit was introduced.
“I got a call from the airline and they told me they prioritized business class passengers,” she said
“I couldn’t afford to upgrade to business class, so I was kicked off that flight.”
Traveler Katy-May Hudson said she looked at $ 34,500 for a business class ticket when put in a position where she had no choice but to upgrade
Two passengers are pictured from Melbourne’s last flights last week
She said she eventually decided to book a business class flight home with her credit card, but admitted that not everyone was in a financial position to do so.
An Australian traveler, Katy-May Hudson, said she would have cost $ 34,500 for a business class ticket from the US if her economy fare route was canceled later this week.
There were only 3,440 overseas visitors to Australia in May, according to the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics – up from the previous month but down 99.5 percent from a year ago.
Jim and Cathy Collins thought they had finally found their way home from the UK when they were rebooked for a flight to Sydney last week
Pictured: A masked passenger on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney arrives at Sydney Domestic Airport last Wednesday
Another 13,380 Australian residents also returned this month, down 98.5 percent from a year ago.
Nearly a fifth consisted of residents returning from India.
Of the overseas arrivals, nearly a third of visitors came from New Zealand – Australia’s largest source country – followed by the United Kingdom and the United States.