Flying long haul during Covid19, might seem a little daunting. One of my relatives has just returned from New Zealand. A 3 week holiday turned into more than 5 months!

This was her experience flying back to Dublin with Emirates from Auckland.

Auckland Airport

Firstly my relative said that Auckland airport was like a ghost town.  “Staggered flights meant that there were not as many people.  Airline staff checked our Covid certificates. We then went to checkin as normal and then went into the departure lounge. My son went with me as far as he could. I went through security and straight to the departure gate.”

Flying Long Haul during COVID19

The Airport was Quiet

Covid19 Certificate

“Emirates gave a window of not more than 96 hours to have the test done and certificate back before the flight time. Not leaving too much time for error! In New Zealand, test results take 2-5 days. The charge was $120. However, other people paid $240. I don’t know why there was a difference.”

Covid Test

Covid Test

Receiving the Results

“There was some confusion. I was advised that the test results would be in Tauranga. However, on the Saturday morning, when I checked, they knew nothing about it. Waikato Hospital in Hamilton had received the results instead. The receptionist processed the test results immediately. She sent a text with the certificate. The original I collected on Monday.”

Not Within the Deadline

“Technically, the time frame stipulated by Emirates, was different to time of the test. In hindsight, there was no other way of getting it back in time.  Although, accepted in Auckland, the official in Dubai was hesitant about the date. The test was taken on Friday and this was now Wednesday, well outside the 96 hour deadline. However, one of his colleagues took a look at it and let me through.”

Empty Seats

“The flight was by no means packed. There were lots of empty seats but I was sitting directly beside another girl. The crew were all wearing protective gear and masks and apart from that everything was pretty normal.”

Dubai Airport

Not Much Time

“I didn’t hang around the airport in Dubai, I didn’t have much time between flights so made my way to departure gate once i got off the Auckland flight.”

Form Filling

“I  had to fill in a form on flight for arrival in Dublin.  After baggage collection, the official looked at my form.  He asked about my onward journey. I advised that I was heading to Northern Ireland by bus. So that was that, no quarantine suggested at home or anything.”

Good Idea

” Finally,  I think pre-flight testing is a good idea. However, 96 hours doesn’t give much time to be sure of getting the results back. Flying long haul during COVID19 was all a strange experience but I got home in the end. ”

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