Towards the end of 2020, Qantas was one of the first airlines to introduce a rule that required all passengers to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Now, following the Australian government's decision to allow unvaccinated travelers to enter the country, Qantas has said that it will roll back its vaccination rule.
Unsurprisingly, the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX closed down almost as soon as the travel world came to a screeching halt in March 2020 and it has remained closed ever since. The oneworld Business Class lounge at LAX which Qantas also operates reopened late last year but until now, there has been no sign of the First Class lounge reopening. That's about to change.
Following on from the announcement that Qantas will launch a new service between Melbourne and Dallas/Fort Worth later this year, we now have confirmation that the airline is about to double the number of flights that it offers between Melbourne and Los Angeles and that its A380 will be making a very welcome reappearance on this route later in the year.
Dallas/Fort Worth is the home of American Airlines - Qantas' transpacific partner - so it's a destination that can act as a gateway for Qantas flyers wanting to reach a myriad of other locations within the United States. That's why Qantas already operates flights between Sydney and Dallas and why the airline has now announced that it will also fly to Dallas from Melbourne.
It's safe to say that Qantas has been one of the airlines worst hit by the chaos that the pandemic brought to world travel but with most of Australia now reopened to vaccinated travelers, it looks like the airline is getting things back to 'normal' as quickly as events allow.
After being shuttered for almost 20 months, the Qantas Lounge at London Heathrow T3 finally reopened its doors on 10 December and is welcoming oneworld flyers once again. Fortuitously, I was flying out of Heathrow Terminal 3 shortly after the lounge reopened so I paid it a visit and took a look at what it's offering as the travel world struggles to get back to some semblance of normality.
Qantas has said that following the announcement from New South Wales than it plans to open up to vaccinated visitors from 1 November and that vaccinated visitors will no longer need to quarantine, it will bring forward the relaunch of a couple of its key routes. Specifically, the Sydney - Los Angeles and the Sydney - London routes are two that will be coming back sooner than planned.
with Australia's borders still firmly closed and with international travel looking unlikely before the latter half of this year, Qantas is bringing back its 'Mystery Flight' concept in a limited (and slightly tweaked) way, as the airline looks to promote domestic tourism.
Right at the very start of the year, Qantas announced that it was planning to restart international flights from July 2021. That news led to the airline receiving a short, sharp rebuke from the Australian authorities for preempting what should be a governmental decision. Now, following confirmation that Qantas' international flights will now not resume before October, it would appear as if the airline has come to heel.
One of the bigger consumer stories that has emerged during this pandemic is the story of tens of thousands of travelers struggling to get their canceled trips refunded by airlines all over the world. Qantas is one of the airlines that has been less than stellar when it comes to returning customer funds and now the airline is offering customers incentives if they choose to accept a credit for future travel over the cash they're owed.