Travel Life Europe 21/22 - Planning, General short TRs, Travel and covid

LDJ

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Japan too hard at the moment, but I'd look at Canada or the US instead with only a week. Europe too far.
Don’t really have a choice meeting my bro, dad and mum who live in UK. Me and my wife always get screwed on location. I agree Canada or Japan would be my preference
 
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sli1

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Is the following crazy with regards to timeframe and COVID requirements? Or doable? Fly brisbane Friday night 2nd March to dubai to Munich (arrive Sat). Transfer straight to Saalbach for Saturday night stay there 7 nights leave Sat morning 12th early direct transfer munich with mid/late afternoon back to Brisbane Sunday night. I know storms/accident could bugger this up but outside of that if we’re triple vaxxed any issues anyone sees. Managing tight work deadlines and dog looking after issues.
How badly does it need to be Europe or Saalbach? It's up to you if you want it bad enough but I would go top the US instead with the timeframe. Just before the whole Covid thing started we went to Taos for 1 week. Absolutely worth it.

Edit: Just saw the post on why it has to be Europe. If you want it, do it. I haven't skied for 2 years so I would.
 
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LDJ

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How badly does it need to be Europe or Saalbach? It's up to you if you want it bad enough but I would go top the US instead with the timeframe. Just before the whole Covid thing started we went to Taos for 1 week. Absolutely worth it.
No real choice fam are Uk based so it basically something close to Munich or Geneva to make life easy for me & wife to do quick trip in and out. Looking at chatel/Flaine in France as well as Saalbach. They love massive resorts as they piste ski big miles. All depends on what accom we can get. They loved Saalbach last time and I’m happy to go back as the off-piste there is great as well.
 
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sli1

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No real choice fam are Uk based so it basically something close to Munich or Geneva to make life easy for me & wife to do quick trip in and out. Looking at chatel/Flaine in France as well as Saalbach. They love massive resorts as they piste ski big miles. All depends on what accom we can get. They loved Saalbach last time and I’m happy to go back as the off-piste there is great as well.
Just edited my post above seeing why it needs to be Europe. Go for it. I'm flying out about the same time as you, I'm not booking anything (other than flights) until our PCR's are passed. Flying through Doha, where it is clear you need a PCR.
 

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Heinz

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"Transiting passengers are not required to present a COVID 19‑PCR test certificate unless it is mandated by their final destination".


Good that they have finally made that point clear. :thumbs:
It had always been a bit vague until now, so had been relying on others real time experiences.
 
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Heinz

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Avi level raised to L4 in Tirol today.

around 100 avalanches in the last 3 days, 40cm new snow, a strong westerly wind and far too many stupid people out.

cture_438109_rudi_mair_mit_schneebrettanriss_gross.jpg
 

Boodwah

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around 100 avalanches in the last 3 days, 40cm new snow, a strong westerly wind and far too many stupid people out.

cture_438109_rudi_mair_mit_schneebrettanriss_gross.jpg
i wouldn't stand there
 
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sli1

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Good that they have finally made that point clear. :thumbs:
It had always been a bit vague until now, so had been relying on others real time experiences.
@Heinz,
I'm currently booked to go through Doha who require a PCR test which I consider to be like playing boarding lotto when you want to go on a trip. If one was to fly to Vienna via Dubai on Emirates, my reading is that if you are triple vaxxed, you don't need a test to get to fly with Emirates or get into to Austria. Is that how you see it?
 

Heinz

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@Heinz,
I'm currently booked to go through Doha who require a PCR test which I consider to be like playing boarding lotto when you want to go on a trip. If one was to fly to Vienna via Dubai on Emirates, my reading is that if you are triple vaxxed, you don't need a test to get to fly with Emirates or get into to Austria. Is that how you see it?
Yep that is how I am reading it at the moment which is great as that is what I have booked. Hope it stays that way. Chances are it will as restrictions generally are being eased.
 
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sli1

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Yep that is how I am reading it at the moment which is great as that is what I have booked. Hope it stays that way. Chances are it will as restrictions generally are being eased.
Beauty, that's how I see it too. No reason to go through the "will I be able to go or not" stress of a PCR, especially looking at the number of people on the GC in that random sample who had it without knowing or were mild. Changing my flights tomorrow.
 
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LDJ

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It’s on like donkey kong. Flying Brisbane to Munich via Dubai on 5th March then to Saalbach for 6 days then home via same route. All the other options via Vienna or Salzberg had 8hrs+ waits in Dubai and dad had already locked in the saalbach accom. Can’t wait might be carnage but still will be first skiing and seeing UK family in 2 years so pumped. Plenty of photos will be incoming.
 

Heinz

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It’s on like donkey kong. Flying Brisbane to Munich via Dubai on 5th March then to Saalbach for 6 days then home via same route. All the other options via Vienna or Salzberg had 8hrs+ waits in Dubai and dad had already locked in the saalbach accom. Can’t wait might be carnage but still will be first skiing and seeing UK family in 2 years so pumped. Plenty of photos will be incoming.

I found that the schedule for the Dubai - Vienna flight varies from day to day from either 9am or 3pm. Flights from Australia get in around 5-6am. So in my case I opted to go a day later to get the 9am flight rather than having to hang out at Dubai airport for 10 hrs.
 
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Apiraclubby

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I found that the schedule for the Dubai - Vienna flight varies from day to day from either 9am or 3pm. Flights from Australia get in around 5-6am. So in my case I opted to go a day later to get the 9am flight rather than having to hang out at Dubai airport for 10 hrs.
Flying Melbourne- Dubai- Zurich tonight, with a 3hr stopover in Dubai. Was originally trying to get to Innsbruck but the flight times did not work for us. And it’s puking down at St Antons. The stars are aligning
 

Sbooker

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It’s on like donkey kong. Flying Brisbane to Munich via Dubai on 5th March then to Saalbach for 6 days then home via same route. All the other options via Vienna or Salzberg had 8hrs+ waits in Dubai and dad had already locked in the saalbach accom. Can’t wait might be carnage but still will be first skiing and seeing UK family in 2 years so pumped. Plenty of photos will be incoming.
Good on you. A trailblazer.
I'm going on March 13 for 15 days. I thought that was pushing it. :)
 

LDJ

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I found that the schedule for the Dubai - Vienna flight varies from day to day from either 9am or 3pm. Flights from Australia get in around 5-6am. So in my case I opted to go a day later to get the 9am flight rather than having to hang out at Dubai airport for 10 hrs.
This would work and could change flight but it looks like 5hrs+ to get to Saalbach from Vienna so its the toss up between safe and long transfer or risky and quicker. The age old question…Munich will probably win and I’ll tell everyone In less than a month if it was a good choice
 

Heinz

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This would work and could change flight but it looks like 5hrs+ to get to Saalbach from Vienna so its the toss up between safe and long transfer or risky and quicker. The age old question…Munich will probably win and I’ll tell everyone In less than a month if it was a good choice

Not that much difference. About 4 hours from Munich, 5 hours from Vienna but no border crossing.
 
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sli1

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I found that the schedule for the Dubai - Vienna flight varies from day to day from either 9am or 3pm. Flights from Australia get in around 5-6am. So in my case I opted to go a day later to get the 9am flight rather than having to hang out at Dubai airport for 10 hrs.
I spent literally 4 hrs and 15 minutes with a Qantas consultant today (not the hold time waiting to get to the consultant) to change a classic rewards flight from Munich to Vienna. Huge bonus of no longer requiring the -PCR for going through Qatar.

@LDJ I agree with Heinz, driving time is really no difference. However, see my post above. Almost every part of that call to change flights was excruciating. I'm guessing the Aust border opening has happened without extra staff.
 
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Heinz

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I spent literally 4 hrs and 15 minutes with a Qantas consultant today (not the hold time waiting to get to the consultant) to change a classic rewards flight from Munich to Vienna. Huge bonus of no longer requiring the -PCR for going through Qatar.

@LDJ I agree with Heinz, driving time is really no difference. However, see my post above. Almost every part of that call to change flights was excruciating. I'm guessing the Aust border opening has happened without extra staff.
I simply detest having to call Qantas and try and avoid as much as possible. Unfortunately you are severely limited to what you can do online and they don't have an email option, so they force you to call and stick you on hold for hours without a call back option. Staggered though that it still took 4 hours to change flight, ridiculous. That is some patience. Hopefully though it will be worth it in the end.
 
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Fieberbrunn looks absolutely brilliant again today. The Streuboden Talstation livecam has me feeling a bit emotional.
 

sli1

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I simply detest having to call Qantas and try and avoid as much as possible. Unfortunately you are severely limited to what you can do online and they don't have an email option, so they force you to call and stick you on hold for hours without a call back option. Staggered though that it still took 4 hours to change flight, ridiculous. That is some patience. Hopefully though it will be worth it in the end.
For the reasons you stated, I felt completely powerless, knowing there was no other option (although I did contemplate driving to the airport and trying to speak directly to some one in ticketing or at the Qantas lounge to sort). It was like speaking to a bus company to try and book me a flight, knowing they were the only path to get there with the person having zero expertise in what they were doing. Meanwhile, I was acutely aware that from a work perspective I was MIA while people were trying to contact me.

I had already changeD this flight from Zürich to Munich once without penalty (as allowed in the conditions of the booking) and during that experience I was on hold for hours before being disconnected. There is just no choice but to deal with the torture if you wish to change your flight.

I started the call providing my existing booking reference and the exact dates and flight numbers of the flights I want to change to. Imagine how excruciating it is being told by the consultant - "what is the airport code for Vienna?" "There is an issue with these being classic would flights because they are operated by another airline" (Putting aside my existing classic rewards flight involves Qatar and Emirates - while what I was wanting was Emirates the whole way there and return). Trying to convince me that my 100% Emirates itinerary that I wanted was a mix of airlines due to a flight having a QF code but being operated by Emirates and finally "Maybe it is easier if you cancel the current flights and just book the flights you want online".......

To the last point, of course it fucking would be, but given you won't credit the points back to me for eight weeks and the flight I am asking you to book me on leaves in four weeks, that hardly solves my fucking problem now does it?
 
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Heinz

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For the reasons you stated, I felt completely powerless, knowing there was no other option (although I did contemplate driving to the airport and trying to speak directly to some one in ticketing or at the Qantas lounge to sort). It was like speaking to a bus company to try and book me a flight, knowing they were the only path to get there with the person having zero expertise in what they were doing. Meanwhile, I was acutely aware that from a work perspective I was MIA while people were trying to contact me. It shift

I had already change this flight from Zürich to Munich once without penalty (as allowed in the conditions of the booking) and during that experience I was on hold for hours before being disconnected. There is just no choice but to deal with the torture if you wish to change your flight.

I started the call providing my existing booking reference and the exact dates and flight numbers of the flights I want to change to. Imagine how excruciating it is being told by the consultant - "what is the airport code for Vienna?" "There is an issue with these being classic would flights because they are operated by another airline" (Putting aside my existing classic rewards flight involves Qatar and Emirates - while what I was wanting was Emirates the whole way there and return). Trying to convince me that my 100% Emirates itinerary that I wanted was a mix of airlines due to a flight having a QF code but being operated by Emirates and finally "Maybe it is easier if you cancel the current flights and just book the flights you want online".......

To the last point, of course it effing would be, but given all my points are tied up in the existing flights, you will credit them to me within eight weeks of my cancellation and the flight I am asking you to book me on leaves in four weeks, that hardly solves my effing problem now does it?

Yep, Totally infuriating. The cancellation process is another thing. There should be a much better way, but they just don't allow it.
 
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LDJ

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I agree with Heinz, driving time is really no difference. However, see my post above. Almost every part of that call to change flights was excruciating. I'm guessing the Aust border opening has happened without extra staff.
I agree with you both have managed to change the flights to go via Dubai to Frankfurt then Salzberg so now only 1.5hrs transfer to Saalbach and can meet family at Salzberg airport. It is an extra connection but it’s a covid world so nothing is easy. Good to see more snow heading for alps soon as well.
 
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Zeroz

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If you want a diversion now is an ideal time for a Venice visit. It can be a smelly tourist hellhole but no denying the history and setting.

It's currently uncrowded, clean, calm, no cruise ships, no Americans, Chinese, etc. Mostly Italian speaking visitors.
Next week is Carnival but after that it will settle before the inevitable return of the frenzy.

1644316781331.jpeg
 

Sbooker

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France is dropping the requirement for a negative Covid test from next week apparently. Seems to be for Australians as we are an ‘orange list’ country.
Takes a level of complication away for me next month.
 

Heinz

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If you want a diversion now is an ideal time for a Venice visit. It can be a smelly tourist hellhole but no denying the history and setting.

It's currently uncrowded, clean, calm, no cruise ships, no Americans, Chinese, etc. Mostly Italian speaking visitors.
Next week is Carnival but after that it will settle before the inevitable return of the frenzy.

1644316781331.jpeg

My one time in Venice was back in 1989. I had a 2 month Eurail pass, got back into Graz, Austria with my rels. At lunch saw that I had 2 days left on my pass, so had a look at my Thomas Cook Euro rail timetable and figured I could get to Venice. Got on a late night train, had to transfer in Bruck, but there was long delay on the train coming from Vienna, so hung out in the waiting room. Had to convince local cops I wasn't a vagrant and was indeed waiting for the train. Train finally came, got in Venice early morning. Had a couple of nice days, wasn't too overloaded with tourists back in those days.
 

LDJ

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@LDJ changing your flights was obviously a lot easier than my process
Pretty much a cancel and redo. Wife has gold level.
@LDJ changing your flights was obviously a lot easier than my process
Wife sorted it all which was amazing although did take some time but not 4hrs. Could rant all day about the joys of calling Qantas. Have credits I can’t use currently but that’s another storey.
 
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Sbooker

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France is dropping the requirement for a negative Covid test from next week apparently. Seems to be for Australians as we are an ‘orange list’ country.
Takes a level of complication away for me next month.
Shoot. I read it wrong. Singapore Air still requires a RAT. Damn.
 

sli1

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Shoot. I read it wrong. Singapore Air still requires a RAT. Damn.
You still have a chance of that being dropped before mid March. Qatar's PCR requirement for transit is still a requirement for Green countries and Australia (laughably) is red so I saw stuff all chance of PCR being dropped before we depart in early March.
 
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sli1

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Pretty much a cancel and redo. Wife has gold level.

Wife sorted it all which was amazing although did take some time but not 4hrs. Could rant all day about the joys of calling Qantas. Have credits I can’t use currently but that’s another storey.
Depends on your operator. My Gold status still rewarded me with 4+ hours.

First time I changed, it took about 20 minutes (post hold) in talking to someone who sounded like they were 3 meters from the phone.

Yesterday, it was like talking to the work experience kid who would labour the most tedious, irrelevant minutia. Without exaggeration, I was told the flight I wanted to change to "is operated by another airline" at least 25 times over the 4 hours. Yes mate, just like the existing flight I've got and most qantas rewards bookings to contintental europe.

Moral of the story, while Qantas rewards flights are "flexible" I would hold off and be pretty damn sure of which airport you will fly into. Changing destination is hideous.
 
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sli1

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You now how it goes. Especially after two years without skiing, you ideally get some sunny days with firm snow at the start of the trip to dial in the technique and then you get plenty of fresh snow so you get to ski off piste a tonne. Never works out that way though. I'll report back on Carv.
 
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Sbooker

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You now how it goes. Especially after two years without skiing, you ideally get some sunny days with firm snow at the start of the trip to dial in the technique and then you get plenty of fresh snow so you get to ski off piste a tonne. Never works out that way though. I'll report back on Carv.
I'm keen to hear your thoughts on Carv.
At the youthful age of 49 I will be taking my first lessons in France next month if I can produce the required negative test prior to departure. I will then discover whether I have any technique to 'dial in'.
Regardless I plan to shell out for a guide if we're lucky enough to score a powder day.
 
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Apiraclubby

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We made it,
2 planes, a train and a 120 euro taxi( cos I was over it).
The apartment view is worth every bit of it.
Warth am Vorarlberg.
Not the easiest place to get to but I find the harder to get to the fresher the powder. Centre of pic down the back is Lech town. Apparently 1hr by touring.

Side note: Emirates at Melbourne airport wouldn’t give us our plane tickets without seeing the Swiss covid pass.
We were never once asked for proof of pcr test.

EB864D02-27EF-4309-B759-E9D23CD5D456.jpeg
 

Heinz

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We made it,
2 planes, a train and a 120 euro taxi( cos I was over it).
The apartment view is worth every bit of it.
Warth am Vorarlberg.
Not the easiest place to get to but I find the harder to get to the fresher the powder. Centre of pic down the back is Lech town. Apparently 1hr by touring.

Side note: Emirates at Melbourne airport wouldn’t give us our plane tickets without seeing the Swiss covid pass.
We were never once asked for proof of pcr test.

EB864D02-27EF-4309-B759-E9D23CD5D456.jpeg

Good timing. Warth will be busy celebrating the local boy Johannes Strolz winning the Gold medal in the alpine combined just an hour ago, 34 years after his father won Gold in the same event in Calgary. :)
 

Kletterer

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We made it,
2 planes, a train and a 120 euro taxi( cos I was over it).
The apartment view is worth every bit of it.
Warth am Vorarlberg.
Not the easiest place to get to but I find the harder to get to the fresher the powder. Centre of pic down the back is Lech town. Apparently 1hr by touring.

Side note: Emirates at Melbourne airport wouldn’t give us our plane tickets without seeing the Swiss covid pass.
We were never once asked for proof of pcr test.

EB864D02-27EF-4309-B759-E9D23CD5D456.jpeg
Well done . Thats Karhorn on the right. Awesome offpiste both sides. I had a good ski around Saloberkopf area few weeks ago- Excellent spot indeed and not busy .
 
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sli1

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We made it,
2 planes, a train and a 120 euro taxi( cos I was over it).
The apartment view is worth every bit of it.
Warth am Vorarlberg.
Not the easiest place to get to but I find the harder to get to the fresher the powder. Centre of pic down the back is Lech town. Apparently 1hr by touring.

Side note: Emirates at Melbourne airport wouldn’t give us our plane tickets without seeing the Swiss covid pass.
We were never once asked for proof of pcr test.

EB864D02-27EF-4309-B759-E9D23CD5D456.jpeg
:thumbs: Wowee. Not letting you board until you have the Swiss pass. We have ours but still....
Keen to hear your thoughts on staying at Warth and any recommendations for places to stay. We haven't booked any accommodation as yet but keen on doing a week there.
 

Apiraclubby

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Day 1
As per usual, my brother and I agree to stick to the groomers, get a feel for the place and remember how to ski again. 2hrs later we’re bored and looking for untouched lines and short hikes to get into more interesting terrain. Snow conditions are variable at best. Everything in the sun is cooked, everything in the shade is actually quite good. But shaded untouched runs are hard to come by. Then we discovered the upper south facing bowls of Karhorn peak. This mountain is intimidating to say the least. Tomorrow we’ll bring up the touring gear and The drone and try make a bit of magic.

C94E5CAC-25FF-41A3-80A8-3F36802F31D7.jpeg


9CC1F7BD-3E68-4624-9417-F217FEAB8B2A.jpeg


1FFE7CF4-D7AD-4E35-94EE-5E3097E7010D.jpeg
 

Apiraclubby

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:thumbs: Wowee. Not letting you board until you have the Swiss pass. We have ours but still....
Keen to hear your thoughts on staying at Warth and any recommendations for places to stay. We haven't booked any accommodation as yet but keen on doing a week there.
So far I love the place, only been here 24hrs but so far so good. We won’t spend a lot of time in the village itself but it has a real charming relaxed vibe without hoards of tourists. I picked it because it provides incredible touring literally on one side of the road, and the other side is resort skiing. Accomodation is not the easiest to find, we booked an Airbnb apartment 3 months ago which is actually owned by a hotel in town. Will let you know more in a week.
 

sli1

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I spent literally 4 hrs and 15 minutes with a Qantas consultant today (not the hold time waiting to get to the consultant) to change a classic rewards flight from Munich to Vienna. Huge bonus of no longer requiring the -PCR for going through Qatar.

@LDJ I agree with Heinz, driving time is really no difference. However, see my post above. Almost every part of that call to change flights was excruciating. I'm guessing the Aust border opening has happened without extra staff.
The gift that keeps on giving.
I'm truly at my wits end. I have the necessary points, there are available flights and I can't book them.

While my flights were showing in the Qantas app and online, I wasn't able to manage the booking because the flight hadn't been ticketed. So I rang yet again last night to ask what needs to be done to get them ticketed and was told that it would be expedited.

Today, the booking had disappeared from my profile. So when I rang (yet again) I was told that I've been issued a credit which means my points are tied up for eight weeks and can't be used for my preferred flights in early March. I explained that I don't want a credit, I simply want to book and ticket my wanted flights. The consultant went through from scratch what flights I wanted and told me she was just going to check availability I'll put you on hold for a mom...... and then i'm disconnected.

On ringing up (yet again), the message says the waiting time is two hours (and there is no option for a consultant to call back).

What fucking point is there and having Qantas frequent flyer points. Does anyone know if Qantas ticketing or the Qantas domestic lounge in Brisbane can help with international bookings?
 

Heinz

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The gift that keeps on giving.
I'm truly at my wits end. I have the necessary points, there are available flights and I can't book them.

While my flights were showing in the Qantas app and online, I wasn't able to manage the booking because the flight hadn't been ticketed. So I rang yet again last night to ask what needs to be done to get them ticketed and was told that it would be expedited.

Today, the booking had disappeared from my profile. So when I rang (yet again) I was told that I've been issued a credit which means my points are tied up for eight weeks and can't be used for my preferred flights in early March. I explained that I don't want a credit, I simply want to book and ticket my wanted flights. The consultant went through from scratch what flights I wanted and told me she was just going to check availability I'll put you on hold for a mom...... and then i'm disconnected.

On ringing up (yet again), the message says the waiting time is two hours (and there is no option for a consultant to call back).

What effing point is there and having Qantas frequent flyer points. Does anyone know if Qantas ticketing or the Qantas domestic lounge in Brisbane can help with international bookings?

That is just appalling!! Lesson appears to be if making a booking with Qantas you want to make absolutely sure you get exactly the flights you want first time booking online. Otherwise you are stuck with the (no)service desk call nightmare and most likely screwed.
 
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Zeroz

A Local
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Apr 8, 2002
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Bouvet Island
www.banipal.co.uk
If you cancelled FF flights the points will likely be back in your account in a day or two. I did this twice for our trip.
However the $500 (or whatever you paid) for taxes and fees will take months to refund.

My sister wants a Europe trip and I just checked March, lots available. e.g. EK to MXP, business. Easy 25 hr flight incl 2 hrs in Dubai.


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