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Wild storms in Sydney throw travel plans into chaos

November 29, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Wild storms around Sydney and beyond have thrown travel plans into chaos, stopping flights at Sydney Airport yesterday, stranding passengers, disrupting public transport and giving travel agents plenty of challenges as a month’s worth of rain dumped down in two hours.

Flight delays will feed through into today. Sydney Airport was reduced to using one runway yesterday morning. Flight delays and cancellations fed through the system, hitting Melbourne and Brisbane airports by mid morning and other airports soon after.

Sydney Airport cancelled close to 100 flights before midday, including four international flights. By the end of the day over 130 flights had been cancelled. The weather hit Qantas, Virgin Australia, Tigerair and Jetstar flights in and out of Sydney, with airlines facing delays in disembarking passengers as wild weather pounded the tarmac.

Fallen trees and flooded roads made reaching Sydney Airport a major challenge on the city’s wettest day since 1984. Public transport was disrupted and buses replaced light rail. Floods closed O’Riordan Street at Mascot near the airport at one point, though the street reopened later.

News of yesterday’s storm was carried around the world, including by the Voice of America (VOA) below.

As well as the conditions making it difficult for commuters to reach work and return home, the storm caused the cancellation or postponement of events around Sydney, including travel industry events.

Among them was an evening function at Sea Life Aquarium to launch the partnership between PONANT and National Geographic Expeditions, and to launch their first joint brochure. It coincided with the re-opening of Sea Life Sydney Aquarium’s ‘Day and Night on the Reef’. Wildlife expert and National Geographic presenter Hayden Turner was to give a presentation, but the weather was just too wild. The event has been postponed until early in the New Year.

It has been a blustery month for Sydney. Sydney Airport was operating with just one runway last Friday as well, as strong crosswinds buffeted the city.

The weather underscored the need for travel insurance. Airlines do their best to cope with adverse weather but they are not obliged to offer passengers compensation.

Qantas has posted the following options available to Qantas customers holding a valid ticket issued on/before Wednesday 28 November 2018 for travel to/from Sydney on Wednesday 28 November 2018

General information

Your customer’s ticket

Written by Peter Needham

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