So, sadly I cancelled my perspective trip coming up on the 1st of May. We had tickets through to Palawan, the Philippines but at the end of the day, it seemed like there was little choice but to cancel it. Here we are in Australia and cricket games are now being played in empty stadiums, the Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled, and it seemed the whole world is in panic.
So the only sensible thing to do is cancel I think. I certainly had pressure from a few different people to cancel, and I’m really disappointed because I was really looking forward to snorkelling, but I feel like I’d almost be tempting fate. I booked through three different airlines – SCOOT, Air Swift and Cebu Pacific return to Australia.
SCOOT I booked in ‘ScootPlus’, which is their old Business Class. The seats were only $450AUD which is a great price but it also meant they were refundable. Unfortunately the ones for Cebu Pacific are not in fact I don’t think there are such things as refundable tickets with them, which is a little concerning because I’m sure I booked the highest class ticket possible (still economy, no Business Class on Cebu Pacific).
Air Swift is a small airline and I sent them an email to cancel but have not yet heard back. I may need to call them but that could be something that takes a lot of time. SCOOT had moved us onto an earlier flight from Melbourne as they cancelled the one we were on which was an overnight flight. Then they told us there was no room in ScootPlus. So I was a bit angry at them and regretting ignoring my pledge not to fly SCOOT again, but in the end they appear to have come through.
But in all fairness, this thing is rocking the world. Is it a massive overreaction? Or not? Is it a massive UNDER-reaction? I don’t know but you can’t take these things flippantly and although the chances of catching the virus might be low enough, there is always the chance of being forced into some sort of quarantine. Just if someone on your flight is found to have the virus or symptoms similar. Plus the possibility of further cancellations too. Sadly, this is the second time I have had to abandon a trip to the Philippines. It was the original destination for my honeymoon but the orientation for my work in Japan was moved forward and that was that. Interac did not have any sympathy either I must say, which was disappointing. I had talked to them and checked the dates before booking.
But I digress, as I often do. It’s been a hard time personally as my mum has been in hospital. Things are looking better now, but maybe it’s best not to go too far away from home for a little while. (no, she has not had the Coronavirus!)
What might I do with my May leave? Well, there is this concert I was hoping to go to before the Philippines, but that got moved to May 1st which was when I was leaving, but then I cancelled so I bought tickets to ‘So Pop’ featuring Steps and the Pussycat Dolls, amongst others. Now this would definitely be in doubt at the moment, but we’ll have to see how everything progresses.
Any travel will be domestic. My wife and I have talked through a couple of options and at the moment a return to the Sunshine Coast looks the most likely possibility. I’m considering going by train for something different which might provide an interesting VLOG or two, although my wife will fly both ways. We’ll see.
For now though the world holds its breath to see what happens with COVID-19 and whether things slowly get back to normal or if things are yet to get much worse before they turn around. Feels like its time to be conservative with travel. On the other hand, travel services will be feeling the pinch and some are going to go bust. Virgin Airlines Australia has cancelled a lot of flights, and Qantas has reduced capacity by 25%, Flight Centre in Australia is closing 100 branches Australia wide. We’re in for tough times.
UPDATE: Australia is basically in lockdown now. More to follow but Virgin have cancelled all international flights and Qantas will as of the end of March. I write these posts a week or so in advance and in these times a week is a LONG time. I am planning on writing a post on COVID-19’s effect on tourism.
Stay safe and well wherever you are. Thanks for reading – May the Journey Never End!