Latest Travel News - Tom Cruise Set To Cruise, International Travel Return Predicted & Border Updates

18 September 2020
Read Time: 3.0 mins

QLD To Lift Border Restrictions For ACT Residents 

Hopefully a sign of more good things to come, Queensland will lift border restrictions on the ACT from 1am next Friday, September 25. 

"That means that people from the ACT will again be able to visit Queensland," Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced this morning. 

Mr Miles said the date aligned with the ACT school holidays and encouraged Canberrans to come to the Sunshine State. There have been no coronavirus cases in the ACT for more than 60 days.

 

Virgin Australia Introduces New Booking Flexibility

Virgin Australia is the first australian airline to offer booking flexibility until 31 january 2021 under a new customer policy, or ‘Passenger Promise’ as it’s being labelled. Australian travellers will be able to make unlimited booking changes without incurring any change fees for reservations with travel between now and 31 January 2021.

A spokesperson for the airlines said, “Whilst there is still uncertainty around border restrictions, we know that Australians want to start booking their travel and our Passenger Promise will give travellers the peace of mind they need to make a booking now.

Along with generous booking flexibility, Virgin’s Passenger Promise aims to ensure passengers feel comfortable when booking and flying through a number of measures, which you can check out here.

 

Tourism Research Australia Revealed a $17.7 Billion Loss On Domestic Overnight Spend during June

The National Visitors Survey (NVS) has quantified the dire effects of bush fires and COVID-19 on the domestic travel industry this year, showing a 65 per cent drop on overnight spend and a 45 per cent drop on overnight trips. 

 

Tom Cruise Has Literally Chartered A Couple Of Cruise Ships - Let That Sink In

The long awaited day has finally arrived where we can say that Tom Cruise will soon literally be cruising on a couple of his very own cruise ships...well he will need to share them with his film crew...probably.

Tom Cruise and his production company, Truenorth, have chartered two Norwegian expedition ships to finish filming Mission: Impossible 7 in order to accommodate the cast and crew, creating a contained “bubble” to protect them from exposure to COVID-19.

According to Forbes, Mission: Impossible 7 was among the first major movies to halt production due to the global pandemic, and now it’s resumed filming in Norway’s stunning coastal Møre og Romsdal district.Cruise has reportedly footed almost a million dollars of the bill himself.

If you thought Tom Cruise looked happy on a couch, wait until you see him on a boat. (Yes, we know a ship is not the same as a boat, boat just had more literary impact.)

Thai Airways Serves Up Inflight Meals 

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated commercial air travel, and like many airlines the Thai Airways fleet has been grounded for months. 

Thailand banned all passenger flights on April 4 but Thai Airways, which is 48% government-owned, didn’t let that keep the airline from continuing to serve its domestic customers. The airline transformed into an inflight meal experience in its head office by creating an aviation themed restaurant serving the airline’s signature meals in a novel show of entrepreneurial spirit and customer service.

 

Flight Centre CEO predicts overseas travel will return by new year

Speaking to ABC Breakfast on Monday, Flight Centre CEO Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner has an optimistic forecast for when we should dust off our passports, and it’s much sooner than previously tipped.

We may be flying as early as the new year providing one target can be met,

“Assuming we get good at contact tracing and assuming other countries do as well, it (international travel) will come back in the new year,” he said.

“We should be back to significant international travel about the middle of next year. Qantas is starting their international flights again, probably in July, obviously there is a lot of water to flow under the bridge between now and then. But that’s the best guess at the moment.”

Mr Turner said the first hurdle will be bringing domestic back by lowering state and territory borders.

“Then point-to-point international (will return) and finally, probably within a year, quite widespread international travel will be back,” he said.

 

Long Refund Wait Times Continue For Airline Refunds

A number of international airlines have announced updates to their refunds process with many announcing they will pause issuing customer refunds until travel returns or are experiencing long delays still. 

These include South African Airlines, Oman Air, Croatia Airlines, Air Portugal and Aircalin which comes after Qantas last week apologized to its customers and industry partners for delays in it’s refund process. Flight Centre customers affected by these updates can learn more here

Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a Flight Centre writer, producer and social media specialist. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she is based in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her adventures on Instagram at @samaaldenton.