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

sli1

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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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Before I was discsonnected (yet again) they did say I had been issues a travel credit. Whether this is the same as a cancellation I’m not sure. If a cancellation means points back in my account in a day or two, giving me the freedo to rebook online that would be perfect.
I can live without the cash for the moment but not the points. If they come back in a day or two that would be perfect.

Btw I went to Bris airport to see ticketing. They have been removed and not coming back.
 

Apiraclubby

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Day 2,
Woke up to a blizzard, snowed about 15cm until lunch and then the heavens opened up to blue sky. We planned on heading over to this church on top of a hill in Hochkrumbach for a sunset tour. Got a couple ripper drone videos which we took a screen shot from.

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sli1

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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.
This is interrupting the flow of @Apiraclubby's great photos so I will finish my tail of woe here. I have finally sorted. The stuff that Qantas screwed up is just beyond a comedy of errors. I can only say that I tried to change a flight destination via the phone on a rewards flight and over the period of about 7 hours - it couldn't be done. I reached the point where the correct flights show up in the app, but as Qantas didn't ticket them with Emirates, Emirates cancelled them.... So, I agree @Heinz, under no circumstance try and change your flight destination via the service desk where it is expected that you are subject matter expert.

Thank you @Zeroz. If only Qantas would have told me (particularly during the 4 hr and 15 minute call) that my points would be returned immediately on cancellation. This was the key.

Today I was on hold 1 hr before requesting that my (what had become a non-existent booking in my profile) was formally cancelled. The operator put me on hold for a few minutes came back and said "that has been done and the points will be returned immediately" while he was on the line, I hit refresh on the website and the points had returned. I then just booked the flights I wanted Bris->Dubai-> Vienna (No covid test required) and picked my seats all in 20 minutes.

Of course, Qantas will hold onto about $1K for 8 weeks but I can live with that.

I do wonder whether the flight will go from Bris. There were stuff all seats taken on the flights.
 

Apiraclubby

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Opened the door to -13 this morning and boy does that hit u in the face. So why not get up above the lifts and tour around Karhorn/ Auenfelderhorn at 2300m to really get the bones creaking. These bowls up top don’t get much sun so the snow stays in the dream zone all the time. Went for a latte and strudel after all this mountain walking business and can confirm Austrians are still running 2 inches of dishwashing froth on top in a glass likes it’s 1995.

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Apiraclubby

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Not too much to report on today. We spent the morning down in the valley jumping off things and the afternoon hiking around up top again chasing that afternoon light. Tomorrow will probably be our last day of blue sky for the next week, some sick part of me is looking forward to a full blown blizzard. Definitely need some fresh snow.

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Heinz

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The billboards up. Johannes Strolz is literally bringing home the gold.

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Saw the interview with his proud father Hubert yesterday who won that same event on 1988.
Johannes won't be back home for a few more days yet though as he may still be competing in the mixed team event on Saturday.
Edit. And it seems he has also got the 4th spot for the Austrians in the slalom tomorrow.
 
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blueandwhite

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Not too much to report on today. We spent the morning down in the valley jumping off things and the afternoon hiking around up top again chasing that afternoon light. Tomorrow will probably be our last day of blue sky for the next week, some sick part of me is looking forward to a full blown blizzard. Definitely need some fresh snow.

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Amazing pictures mate, looks brilliant!
 

Kletterer

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@Apiraclubby If you have not been to Rufikopf area yet I suggest you give it a visit. Its really awesome and not to be missed on a Pow day. Its always tough deciding where to go. The Berger Rinderalpe run is a must do . Its marked as ski route 241 on the ski map but there is nothing on the ground to guide you . The way i do it is stay further left on the lower section so that you can traverse and then skate to the base of Sonnen Jet chair - so basically you end up skiing under the A is in Auenfeld on the ski map. You can get a good view of it from the AuenfeldJet Gondola.
 

DVP

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Got back on Sunday from 5 days in the Aosta Valley. Stunning as always, food and drink great but the snow is pretty dire for Feb. Had to cancel our heli drop as just couldn't justify the cost with the conditions. Have to hand it to the Italian snow makers and groomers though, was still great fun other than the day at Courmayeur which was pretty much sheet ice (Saturday crowds didn't help there). If it doesn't snow in the next couple of weeks, anyone with a trip booked to Italy should consider moving it to Austria I think!
 

Apiraclubby

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@Apiraclubby Did you do any resort skiing on the weekend? Overly busy?
Sure did and yes the carparks are packed. However the lift lines are never more than 3 minutes, enough time to pull up the fffffffpt face mask. And the runs always feel kind of empty. I think the reality is the skiable area is way too big for the amount of carparks and hotels available.
 
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Apiraclubby

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@Apiraclubby If you have not been to Rufikopf area yet I suggest you give it a visit. Its really awesome and not to be missed on a Pow day. Its always tough deciding where to go. The Berger Rinderalpe run is a must do . Its marked as ski route 241 on the ski map but there is nothing on the ground to guide you . The way i do it is stay further left on the lower section so that you can traverse and then skate to the base of Sonnen Jet chair - so basically you end up skiing under the A is in Auenfeld on the ski map. You can get a good view of it from the AuenfeldJet Gondola.
Mate thanks for the hot tips. Keep them coming. Been up the Rotschrofen double a bunch of times and never been over to 241. With this re-set it will be magic. Had some incredible powder days over at Rufikopf 5 years ago, so I’m keen to take my Brother over.
 
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Apiraclubby

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Lay day today, as they say, let it snow. Looks like we’ve got about 15 to 20 new in the last 12 hours. Complete whiteout. Going for the non traditional lunch of Gösser and cereal. I’ll admit, not the greatest beer, certainly no Meckatzer.

Anyway, here’s a couple of Austrian/ Ski Arlberg hot tips we’ve learnt.
- at any ticket office u can pay $15 euro for a 8 day injury insurance cover. So if u get airlifted/ hospitalised/ ambulance u pay nothing.
- we generally tour more in the first half of the day and if we feel like it we can get a 2hr arvo ticket for $30 euro and hit the sunset groomers.
- bakery fresh bread is good for 12hrs then it’s cardboard.
- to operate a drone in Austria u need a $500 euro license and pay for drone insurance

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sn0wbunny29

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sli1

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Sure did and yes the carparks are packed. However the lift lines are never more than 3 minutes, enough time to pull up the fffffffpt face mask. And the runs always feel kind of empty. I think the reality is the skiable area is way too big for the amount of carparks and hotels available.
Beauty Ta, I've booked 5 days from Sunday March 6. Think we will organise our movements to ski there on the Sunday if the weather & conditions are go.
 

Heinz

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Well having taken the first step of booking flights to Vienna I have started the process of planning what to do when I get there. It does feel good to be able to do this again - it is part of the process which I enjoy. Although of course I was able to plan for NZ last year but that of course that didn't work out. Hoping for better this time.

So first up I emailed the tourism office in Schladming for accommodation options and they quickly responded with a few good options. One which ticked the boxes was Zirky's apartments in Haus im Ennstal which certainly rang a bell. I initially though figured just coincidence. But after a few email exchanges after I mentioned I was flying from Australia it turned out that the owner there is the nephew of the Peter Zirknitzer who started Zirky's in Hotham. He did spend a season many years ago there with his uncle.
 

Boodwah

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Well having taken the first step of booking flights to Vienna I have started the process of planning what to do when I get there. It does feel good to be able to do this again - it is part of the process which I enjoy. Although of course I was able to plan for NZ last year but that of course that didn't work out. Hoping for better this time.

So first up I emailed the tourism office in Schladming for accommodation options and they quickly responded with a few good options. One which ticked the boxes was Zirky's apartments in Haus im Ennstal which certainly rang a bell. I initially though figured just coincidence. But after a few email exchanges after I mentioned I was flying from Australia it turned out that the owner there is the nephew of the Peter Zirknitzer who started Zirky's in Hotham. He did spend a season many years ago there with his uncle.
Awesome!
 

LDJ

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Went to get the Swiss certificate today and it’s now not required for being in Switzerland as of 17th Feb so foreign nationals can’t get it so unfortunately that loophole is gone for anyone who doesn’t already have it.
 

sli1

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Went to get the Swiss certificate today and it’s now not required for being in Switzerland as of 17th Feb so foreign nationals can’t get it so unfortunately that loophole is gone for anyone who doesn’t already have it.
Wow. Thought I was a bit OCD getting ours a month before leaving but it turned out to be the right move. What is the option then if you are flying directly into Germany or Austria and don't have it?
 

Heinz

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Wow. Thought I was a bit OCD getting ours a month before leaving but it turned out to be the right move. What is the option then if you are flying directly into Germany or Austria and don't have it?
Depends when you go. I am seeing talk of Austria possibly dropping requirement for Green pass in March. I had already got mine several weeks ago.
 

LDJ

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Wow. Thought I was a bit OCD getting ours a month before leaving but it turned out to be the right move. What is the option then if you are flying directly into Germany or Austria and don't have it?
Germany I believe you can go to pharmacy and get a pass or similar but I’m not 100% on this. In Austria I’d imagine I will be doing a lot of explaining. Luckily I’m only there for a short-time with family so won’t be going out to restaurants or bars. As long as my hotel is okay with my Australian pass I should be sweet. I’ll let everyone know once I get there on 5th March
 

John F

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Got back on Sunday from 5 days in the Aosta Valley. Stunning as always, food and drink great but the snow is pretty dire for Feb. Had to cancel our heli drop as just couldn't justify the cost with the conditions. Have to hand it to the Italian snow makers and groomers though, was still great fun other than the day at Courmayeur which was pretty much sheet ice (Saturday crowds didn't help there). If it doesn't snow in the next couple of weeks, anyone with a trip booked to Italy should consider moving it to Austria I think!
Got back on Sunday from 5 days in the Aosta Valley. Stunning as always, food and drink great but the snow is pretty dire for Feb. Had to cancel our heli drop as just couldn't justify the cost with the conditions. Have to hand it to the Italian snow makers and groomers though, was still great fun other than the day at Courmayeur which was pretty much sheet ice (Saturday crowds didn't help there). If it doesn't snow in the next couple of weeks, anyone with a trip booked to Italy should consider moving it to Austria I think!
Can I ask when in Italy did you use the Oz vaccine certificate with the letter stating this is equivalent to the super green pass, or did you have the EU certificate from Swiss or France avenues? Our countdown to departure to Italy has started and now that the Swiss version is off limits, am seriously wondering if we should go via France stopover and get the pharmacy issue EU. Just dunno how our hard copy and letter combo will go with the average restaurant, train, bus etc…
 

Apiraclubby

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We’ve had some crap weather the last few days, bit of wet stuff, flat light followed by 10 degrees yesterday so we thought we’d hit the groomers and attempt to ski to St Antons.
After a slow start (brother left his poles at the bottom of our first lift in Warth) we made our way over to Lech and somehow ended up down in Zug. Turned out to be a nice detour as the new 8 seat Gondola/ heated seats is a real treat. Followed by an escalator at the top station.
Anyway, back down through Lech, crossed the road, tried on a couple Rolex, crammed into the cable car with the other 65 folk (social distancing only applies outside here) and began skiing our way across to Zürs, St Christoff.
The technology on these lifts is mind blowing and more impressive are the lift towers. We had to skip quite a few chairs as we were pushed for time but we finally made it to St Antons around 2pm. Flew the drone, got lunch and caught the bus back to Lech. I really appreciate how quiet and relaxing Warth feels now, Lech is like Chadstone on a Saturday. Everyone dripping in Gucci.
Last rides on the Auenfeldjet gondola which gets us back to Warth resort are 4pm, made it with plenty of time but by this stage the groomers were warm porridge. Sadly, From the top of Warth it’s still another 6km of skiing to get home as you need to ski down, chair up and ski down again to get across.
My legs don’t work anymore, but at least we are waking up to 10cm fresh overnight.
Storm has arrived, back to winter mode.

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Kletterer

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Zug was a standout for tree skiing options, and Zürs- the (non walking) off piste options look incredible and endless, but really need that blue sky after a dump.
Pow day with good vis in Zurs ? From Madloch scoot around to ski route 173 but stay high and traverse rightwards out under the Omeshorn cliffs to a huge steep face . Popular with guides but very straightforward for astute offpisters. An absolute corker . Rejoin the 173 and ski all the way over to Lech for an Opstler.
 
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Heinz

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Johannes Strolz will be bringing 2 Golds and a Silver back home to Warth with Gold in the final team event. :)
He'll be carrying the flag for Austria in the closing ceremony.

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Apiraclubby

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Woke up to this, we’ve been waiting a couple days for this one. Warth is down to 4 lifts opening for the day and most of lech won’t open so it’s a no ski day for us, unless we can find a couple tree runs around town to hike in the afternoon. I’ve got one ski day left and then the dreams over. Sadly won’t get back over to Zürs. Next time.

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Kletterer

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Woke up to this, we’ve been waiting a couple days for this one. Warth is down to 4 lifts opening for the day and most of lech won’t open so it’s a no ski day for us, unless we can find a couple tree runs around town to hike in the afternoon. I’ve got one ski day left and then the dreams over. Sadly won’t get back over to Zürs. Next time.

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Dont waste the day dude. Get ya low vis goggles and find some trees,
 
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DVP

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Can I ask when in Italy did you use the Oz vaccine certificate with the letter stating this is equivalent to the super green pass, or did you have the EU certificate from Swiss or France avenues? Our countdown to departure to Italy has started and now that the Swiss version is off limits, am seriously wondering if we should go via France stopover and get the pharmacy issue EU. Just dunno how our hard copy and letter combo will go with the average restaurant, train, bus etc…
Hi John, sorry if you didn't realise but I live in the UK. Not sure what countries recognise the Oz vaccination, but if it is at all helpful I wasn't able to get the Italian Green Pass using the UK vaccination. I already had the French TousAntiCovid app on my phone from France, which I could scan the UK QR code into and then that was accepted without issue in Italy.

I think if there are any EU countries that accept the Australian QR code, then probably worth getting their app and then this should be accepted in Italy?
 
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LDJ

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Well European travel just got a lot more spicy but on better news Austria relaxing more restrictions on 5th March including allowing Apres Ski. The mask is a definite bonus but does make it a little more risky getting a negative test on way back.

On 5 March, all Covid protection measures will be lifted except for mandatory FFP2 masks on public transports and in essential shops (supermarkets, post offices, banks, pharmacies)

I’m assuming ski lifts are not public transport so that is a winner as my first ski day with be 7th March
 
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Sbooker

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Maybe change your flight to Geneva and drive to Andora or the Pyrenees? Not much snow this year but just that bit further away from Ukraine. :)
 

sli1

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Maybe change your flight to Geneva and drive to Andora or the Pyrenees? Not much snow this year but just that bit further away from Ukraine. :)
I’m pretty happy with the decision to fly into Vienna. Dropping more restrictions while we are are there is a bonus. How is the Ukraine conflict effeting travel to Western Europe?
 

sli1

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Well European travel just got a lot more spicy but on better news Austria relaxing more restrictions on 5th March including allowing Apres Ski. The mask is a definite bonus but does make it a little more risky getting a negative test on way back.

On 5 March, all Covid protection measures will be lifted except for mandatory FFP2 masks on public transports and in essential shops (supermarkets, post offices, banks, pharmacies)

I’m assuming ski lifts are not public transport so that is a winner as my first ski day with be 7th March
Out first ski day is March 5th or 6th. Great timing. I need to chose one of those days as a driving day across to Warth. Can I assume Saturdays are busier than Sundays?
 

LDJ

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Out first ski day is March 5th or 6th. Great timing. I need to chose one of those days as a driving day across to Warth. Can I assume Saturdays are busier than Sundays?
I would assume but realistically only done Austria twice. I normally ski France every year and Saturdays definitely busier there
 
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Sbooker

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I’m pretty happy with the decision to fly into Vienna. Dropping more restrictions while we are are there is a bonus. How is the Ukraine conflict effeting travel to Western Europe?
Just jokes. All will be fine I’m sure. Austria is loaded by the looks.
 
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Apiraclubby

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I’m pretty happy with the decision to fly into Vienna. Dropping more restrictions while we are are there is a bonus. How is the Ukraine conflict effeting travel to Western Europe?
We are are up at Luxembourg for a few days, if u don’t watch the news u wouldn’t know there is a war. We noticed the traffic a lot heavier on saturdays than sundays in Warth. That also depended on what the weather forecast was going to be. Also there are multiple carparks along the main road coming into Warth. I’d skip most of them and drive to the end into Warth town itself.
 
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