Likely stranded in Antigua Jan 2021?

Old Jan 1, 21, 2:06 pm
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Likely stranded in Antigua Jan 2021?

We are (a couple) travelling from Tier 3 area BA LGW to ANU early Jan which at this point in time will probably go as planned.
However, the next planned UK Government Covid review announcement is due a few days after our departure.
Looking at the stars it is probable that most if not all of UK will be put into Tier 4 / Lockdown at that point. This will probably result in most ANU flights being cancelled by BA due to to lack of passengers.

My hypothetical question is (perhaps based on previous experiences during Novembers lockdown from the learned members of Flyertalk) how likely are we to be stranded in ANU or more likely forced to curtail our planned 3 weeks stay on the island by BA?
Is it possible we will be given an option of a return flight end of Jan/early Feb should the government impose further restrictions?

It all depends on the frequency of service that BA will likely continue to run to ANU during a "lockdown" and any insight would be appreciated.

Thanks for any words of wisdom / comfort you can provide.

Last edited by Stoat; Jan 1, 21 at 2:23 pm
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Old Jan 1, 21, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
We are (a couple) travelling from Tier 3 area BA LGW to ANU early Jan which at this point in time will probably go as planned.
However, the next planned UK Government Covid review announcement is due a few days after our departure.
Looking at the stars it is probable that most if not all of UK will be put into Tier 4 / Lockdown at that point. This will probably result in most ANU flights being cancelled by BA due to to lack of passengers.

My hypothetical question is (perhaps based on previous experiences during Novembers lockdown from the learned members of Flyertalk) how likely are we to be stranded in ANU or more likely forced to curtail our planned 3 weeks stay on the island by BA?
Is it possible we will be given an option of a return flight end of Jan/early Feb should the government impose further restrictions?

It all depends on the frequency of service that BA will likely continue to run to ANU during a "lockdown" and any insight would be appreciated.

Thanks for any words of wisdom / comfort you can provide.
Hello and a happy new year to you.

As you point out, tier conditions may change and BA may alter services.

More crucially, the local government could ban airlines from the UK because of the new COVID variant. Turkey has done so today.

I am in Brazil with all UK flights cancelled by the Brazilian Government to both GIG and GRU and being cancelled a week's worth at a time - with both LATAM and BA affected equally.

Looking at BA source, I suspect even BA cargo flights are cancelled to Brazil.

I had assumed that if all goes wrong there would be some BA service back to the UK from here. There isn't. I am not clear whether this is down to BA or the Brazilian government but it doesn't really matter - it is what it is and I have to deal with it. I will get home somehow even with an indirect routing.

I hope that my work will be flexible and I can work remotely and I am "stranded" in Rio which is not exactly an ordeal.

I suspect there are many others with sudden unplanned extended overseas stays.

It is not for me to tell you what to do - but if you go then maybe having a backup plan to get back to the UK would be useful in case there are no direct UK services. For me it is probably an Iberia flight via Madrid if I can persuade BA to change me on an Avios ticket.

In coming here, I calculated on a worst-case travel scenario and found that events dealt me an even more difficult situation. I suspect that things may be that way for a period.

Good luck with your planning and if you travel then have a great time.
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Old Jan 1, 21, 3:17 pm
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Nobody, truly nobody, can form a remotely informed opinion as to what the situation will be on any given date in the future. Part of the general recommendation that when permitted, travel be limited to the truly essential.

If you do decide to travel, I would have backup plans in place which include coverage for obligations back in the UK as well as research into other options which might permit you to hop scotch back home. Bear in mind that each of those "hops" may include challenges of its own, including testing & perhaps quarantine.
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Old Jan 1, 21, 4:07 pm
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Got to say...a jolly to Antigua right now seems frivolous at best.
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Old Jan 1, 21, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by smokie36 View Post
Got to say...a jolly to Antigua right now seems frivolous at best.
Can understand your point but the trip was booked almost a year ago.

We are just trying to explore the possibility of dragging the phoenix from the ashes.
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Old Jan 1, 21, 4:27 pm
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“Looking at the stars it is probable that most if not all of UK will be put into Tier 4 / Lockdown at that point. This will probably result in most ANU flights being cancelled by BA due to to lack of passengers”

People have been suggesting the same for this month but it certainly hasn’t happened. I’ve been watching the MLE (Maldives) flights and they are still at 9 a week. If people were cancelling, I would have expected BA to manage the reduced loads by reverting to 7 a week, but that hasn’t happened (yet).


Compare this to the total England lockdown in November, where BA pulled leisure destination flights quite rapidly, the Tier system seems to leave it to the individual to decide if they should fly and consequently more people seem to do be doing so.
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Old Jan 1, 21, 4:28 pm
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It's all crystal ball stuff, at best semi educated guess work. If you travel at the moment, you need to price in the risk of disruption, delays and hassle. If that's not how you travel then there are alternatives. On the other hand if you can manage the risks and consequences. You won't be stranded in ANU forever, but it would be impossible to guarantee that everything goes like clockwork. So there isn't a right global answer, different people will have different takes on this. I would point out that ANU also isn't going anywhere, they will doubtless be happy to see you whenever you are ready.
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Old Jan 1, 21, 5:41 pm
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Is there any value in travel insurance in a situation like this or is insurance useless these days?
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Old Jan 1, 21, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by skimthetrees View Post
Is there any value in travel insurance in a situation like this or is insurance useless these days?
seems on person may have just answered that for you here https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32930093-post47.html which is basically no if you live in tier 4 or the country is on the FCDO all but essential travel list.
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Old Jan 1, 21, 5:51 pm
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If BA cancel the return flight are they obliged to re-ticket and get you back home via any other route? E.g. for MLE would they likely re-ticket MLE-DXB-LHR?
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Old Jan 1, 21, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by smokie36 View Post
Got to say...a jolly to Antigua right now seems frivolous at best.
bit harsh, especially when the government has explicitly said international leisure travel is permitted from tier 3 locations.
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Old Jan 1, 21, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by bluemoon68 View Post
ďLooking at the stars it is probable that most if not all of UK will be put into Tier 4 / Lockdown at that point. This will probably result in most ANU flights being cancelled by BA due to to lack of passengersĒ

People have been suggesting the same for this month but it certainly hasnít happened. Iíve been watching the MLE (Maldives) flights and they are still at 9 a week. If people were cancelling, I would have expected BA to manage the reduced loads by reverting to 7 a week, but that hasnít happened (yet).


Compare this to the total England lockdown in November, where BA pulled leisure destination flights quite rapidly, the Tier system seems to leave it to the individual to decide if they should fly and consequently more people seem to do be doing so.
The converse of this is that if flights get pulled then there are shed loads of people in the Maldives with no flight home ....
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Old Jan 2, 21, 1:14 am
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The flight to Antigua stops in Turks and Caicos as well. It operated twice a week over the Christmas period and is switching to one weekly for the next few weeks. Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory and the vaccine was being delivered there this week by the BA flight. This may increase the likelihood that BA will keep operating the route for a while in any case.
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Old Jan 2, 21, 3:00 am
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Originally Posted by oceanscape View Post
If BA cancel the return flight are they obliged to re-ticket and get you back home via any other route? E.g. for MLE would they likely re-ticket MLE-DXB-LHR?
The short answer is yes.
The longer answer is that, from experience of lockdown 2 in November, revenue tickets were re-routed. Reward ticket holders had a harder time and some reported being kept out there on BAís expense (at least up to limits), others bought tickets themselves with the intention of pursuing BA for the costs later. (This was for SEZ, but Iím sure the same principle applies). Of course lockdown 2 had a fixed end date, whereas these tiers, and consequently the flights dependent on them, could move in either direction and continue for longer.
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Old Jan 2, 21, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by Raymoland View Post
The flight to Antigua stops in Turks and Caicos as well. It operated twice a week over the Christmas period and is switching to one weekly for the next few weeks. Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory and the vaccine was being delivered there this week by the BA flight. This may increase the likelihood that BA will keep operating the route for a while in any case.
The flaw in this of course is that BA could choose to operate the flight as Turks and Caicos routing only. Iíve seen this happen at the end of last year with some Carribean flights that serve two destinations being amended to one.
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