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It’s no secret that flying right now is chaotic. Lines at airports snake out the door, flights are being delayed or cancelled on short notice and bags are going missing.
In an effort to offer a more reliable service, Qantas and Air New Zealand are pre-emptively scrapping flights as far into the future as March 2023.
Yes, peak-season Christmas breaks are likely to be impacted.
Qantas has been chipping flights off its domestic network since May, every few months taking more planes out of the air.
For the most part, it’s been removing high-frequency domestic routes such as Sydney-Melbourne and Sydney-Brisbane, inconveniencing travellers by 1–2 hours.
Between October 2022 and March 2023, it plans to cut a further 10% of its schedule. While this is intended to ease the strain on the airline, it’s no doubt going to unnerve its customers already booked to fly during the silly season.
Air New Zealand plans to drop capacity by 1.5% over the next 6 months across its domestic and international schedule. No specific routes will be axed.
Looking at the disruptions our customers and staff have faced over the past 5 weeks, we’ve made some adjustments to reduce short-notice cancellations in the months ahead.”
Already booked your trip? Sit tight. If your flight is impacted, the airline will contact you directly with options, which may include:
With holiday-makers often booking their Christmas trips well in advance, even small delays may have a ripple effect on everything from airport transfers to accommodation.
To take the stress out of the most wonderful time of the year, getting travel insurance can help.
Finder’s insurance expert Gary Hunter says, “It’s worth taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your trip. That way, you have more flexibility over when you want to travel – not when the airline has a flight available.
“For example, if you plan to go away over Christmas and the airline you’ve booked with doesn’t have any other flights on the days you want to travel, a travel insurance policy can pay for alternative flights,” says Hunter.
“It can also cover you for accommodation costs, pre-booked activities and additional transportation expenses, such as airport transfers,” he added.
As airlines continue to reduce their services, the availability of Christmas flights is bound to become slim.
If you’re wishing to get away, booking your flight early can secure you a seat on the plane.
Early bookings can also improve your chances of snatching up a bargain. Historically, August has been the best time to book Christmas flights for cheap.
Catch the latest Christmas holiday deals here before they sell out.
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