Jump to content

Direct Flights V Indirect Flights (Hotel Quarantine Factor)


john luke
 Share

Recommended Posts

I post this from a UK point of view, although I imagine that travellers from other countries will have similar issues.

At the moment there are only two airlines who fly direct from the UK to Bangkok.  These are Thai Airways and Eva Airways.  Both are significantly higher priced that indirect flights with one or two stops midway.  

The two mentioned airlines only fly out of London Heathrow airport, which unless one lives in or near the London area is not the easiest place to travel to.  From the point of view of someone living in the north of England or even Scotland I would say it is at least a three or four hour train, bus or car journey to.  For me personally I can get to Schipol in a shorter time than it would take to get to Heathrow airport.

The pros and cons of direct and indirect flights have been covered on here and other forums many times, however the introduction of Hotel Quarantine in UK suddenly brings up a new issue.  As I understand it, (please correct me if I am wrong), if one now travels through any of the red list countries, which now include UAE, Qatar amongst others, then one is obliged to book Hotel Quarantine at a cost of £1750 per person before travelling home.  

Some travellers may factor that into the cost and that is fine.  The potential problem that I envisage is that assuming UK overseas travel restrictions are lifted in May as expected, I could book a return flight via Netherland, France or Germany, which at the moment would not require me to undertake Hotel Quarantine on my return to UK.  Covid 19 is on the rise in many European Countires and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that some European Countries could appear on the UK red list.  Politics may play a part either encouraging or discouraging UK to place EU countries on the red list.  There can be a lot of change within a two or three month period.

What do members think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • john luke changed the title to Direct Flights V Indirect Flights (Hotel Quarantine Factor)

Yep it’s a risk. I’m booked to go to Greece next month, if it doesn’t appear on the green list when published (I’d be surprised if it does) I’ll be sacking it off. I reckon it will be amber which increases the chances of moving to red whilst I’m away, no way I’m risking getting stuck in a quarantine hotel with that bill to pay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Sangsom said:

....... no way I’m risking getting stuck in a quarantine hotel with that bill to pay.

It's not just the expense. Many people can't afford the time either. Plus, for me and possibly others, there is the mental factor: I'm not sure how I'd react to the solitary imprisonment. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Bazle said:

It's not just the expense. Many people can't afford the time either. Plus, for me and possibly others, there is the mental factor: I'm not sure how I'd react to the solitary imprisonment. 

I can’t afford the time either......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm holding a ticket from Thailand to the UK that I didn't use from June last year.  I do fancy going back to the UK for a little while, but that flight is with Emirates so currently quarantine would be required if I used it.  If they're still on the list when I do go back I'll probably book a fresh return starting in Thailand and avoiding any red list places, then use my Emirates ticket next year when things have hopefully settled down.

Choosing an alternative transit point that will definitely not be red is more problematic, but if the government uses objective measures to decide a country's status then you can make an educated guess based on their performance to date.  If politics comes into it then all bets are off.

It wouldn't surprise me if Thailand goes red soon which opens another can of worms.

Vaccine availability also enters my thinking.  I don't fancy staying 12 weeks in the UK to get both doses so would have to pay for two trips, or pay for a vaccine should that become possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Bazle said:

John, your post implies you are prepared to accept the risk of Thailand being red listed. So why not also the risk of the intermediate country? 

Possible but less likely in the short term than Netherlands Germany or France.  Transit point is my main concern.

23 minutes ago, KWA said:

I'm holding a ticket from Thailand to the UK that I didn't use from June last year.  I do fancy going back to the UK for a little while, but that flight is with Emirates so currently quarantine would be required if I used it.  If they're still on the list when I do go back I'll probably book a fresh return starting in Thailand and avoiding any red list places, then use my Emirates ticket next year when things have hopefully settled down.

Choosing an alternative transit point that will definitely not be red is more problematic, but if the government uses objective measures to decide a country's status then you can make an educated guess based on their performance to date.  If politics comes into it then all bets are off.

It wouldn't surprise me if Thailand goes red soon which opens another can of worms.

Vaccine availability also enters my thinking.  I don't fancy staying 12 weeks in the UK to get both doses so would have to pay for two trips, or pay for a vaccine should that become possible.

I got my second vaccination 8 weeks after first.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a real risk and one that I am not prepared to take.

For a small inconvenience of a train ride to London vs a posible 2 weeks quarantine, I will go direct every time.

If Thailand goes red on the return then that is out of your control anyway and it still gives you the option to extend there until hopefully things improve.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, boydeste said:

It's a real risk and one that I am not prepared to take.

For a small inconvenience of a train ride to London vs a posible 2 weeks quarantine, I will go direct every time.

If Thailand goes red on the return then that is out of your control anyway and it still gives you the option to extend there until hopefully things improve.

The only answer for me as well. 

Seems slightly nuts to be to contemplate the alternative, make things easier by booking an overnight stay in London to break up the journey

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would be looking at all the data very thoroughly before I leave this country. 

I have a mate who wants to go to Thailand in June or July and is prepared to pay for 1 weeks quarantine but as he is going for about 4-5 months he would take the risk of things being a bit more stable at the time of his return.  He does have the ability to stay longer if need be.

I have flights booked to Greece in the middle of August and I believe there is a better chance of Greece being green at that time than either May or June. Flights changeable till departure and hotel able to be cancelled for free up to 2 weeks before so I am mildly positive.  Got to admit I am more concerned about coming back than going.

I will make an informed decision at the end of July before I commit to going and I will be looking at all the facts and figures and government whispers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Lemondropkid said:

The only answer for me as well. 

Seems slightly nuts to be to contemplate the alternative, make things easier by booking an overnight stay in London to break up the journey

That's exactly what I do for my Canada trips. Travel down on the train the day before,  enjoy a nice meal and a few drinks, then get a good night's kip in a hotel. It makes the flight much more enjoyable too.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I plan to return to Thailand late June early July, not even thinking about booking flights yet. Too many ifs, buts and maybes. That said it could of course be that the uncertain situation we are in now, remains the same in 5 or 6 weeks time. 😷

Doing quarantine in Thailand is bad enough but I am f***d if I will do it in a Travelodge near Heathrow. That is my main criteria for the next trip home - avoid quarantine at all costs when I return to UK. 

Edited by Smiler
  • Like 1
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A bit of a conundrum it appears John.

British Airways also fly direct (BA009), but as you said I don't think they've any flights scheduled at the moment, plus it's from LHR also so a bit of a moot point on my part, but if one has a substantial Avios mileage, it may mitigate the cost which could be a factor.

Regarding the hotel quarantine, as I understand it once someone had been quarantined fully and are allowed to go home, the Govt then invoices the person for the amount a week or two after, but as you say, it's down to the traveller to foot the bill.

Personally I would approach it as follows:

If time was not a factor, i.e if I were going for an extended stay of over 4 weeks, then the following would be my choice:

By going direct (and working on the assumption Thailand is not going to be on the red list), The extra travel time and overnight stay in the hotel for 2 nights (one night each way) plus travel costs would possibly outweigh the cost of going on a cheaper flight and then possibly transiting through a Red listed Country and having to ASQ in the UK at £1750. This also removes the possible but slight risk that if Thailand adjusts it's ASQ rules, and a country you have transited through is on their list (and you can't change your flight details), then your ASQ in Thailand might be longer or subject to different criteria.

It is of course a risk, but by going direct the risk factor is reduced (providing Thailand stays green) by a sizeable margin, as the possibility of a European Country going red is a viable one and as you said, can easily be swayed by political issues as much as medical ones.

The cost of going direct is , if from the North of the UK, extended UK travel time and a higher flight cost versus possible extended ASQ both in Thailand and the UK depending upon various factors in exchange for a cheaper flight and less UK travel time by going indirect.

There is a third option, Possible transit through China, Russia or Turkey, none of which are on the UK red list at time of writing.

My choice would be to mitigate risk. Either a very early start the day of departure to drive down (sleep on the plane with no interruptions) or a night in a cheap hotel near to LHR (many whom offer free or discounted parking ) go direct and pay the extra.

By going indirect there are some variables that can change during your stay, which may have an effect upon when you return.

  • Like 1
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...