Joe Edgar and his wife, from Glasgow, were on a holiday in Australia for a family wedding back in March.
On the night of the wedding, Joe’s brother discovered that his flight home had been cancelled and warned Joe to check the status of his flight, which he discovered had also been cancelled, without anyone from the airline reaching out.
Stranded in Australia
Joe rung the airline company the next morning and they had re-booked him on another flight which subsequently also got cancelled. Despite the UK Foreign Office telling travellers to come home and “Australia telling us you need to get out”, Joe and his wife’s names were put on a list of people that were advised to make their own way home, essentially leaving them stranded.
After calling the airline again – it took Joe 12 hours to get through – Joe was eventually told that there were no flights from their original airport – Brisbane – but there was space on a flight from Sydney.
Finding a solution, finding AllClear Travel
At this point, Joe was happy to accept any option that would get him back to the UK.
The airline asked him to pay more for these flights, which Joe refused, but he booked flights from Brisbane to Sydney and a hotel in Sydney before an early flight out. Then the flight to the UK got cancelled.
“We obviously then had to cancel everything, the flights to Sydney, the hotel. Honestly, it was a nightmare.” After calling the airline again, Joe was told there were no flights to the UK and was offered a voucher – “I didn’t want a voucher, I needed to get home.”
As a last resort Joe called his insurance provider, AllClear Travel just to see what the situation was.
After Joe explained the whole story, AllClear said they would get back in touch. “I was a touch sceptical and we were getting anxious. Our airline just said ‘tough, we’ve stopped flying’ – that was their attitude.”
AllClear’s assistance company got back to Joe within the hour and asked for passport details and previous flight information. The next day (Sunday) Joe received a further call from the assistance company appointed by AllClear.
They told him they had organised a flight for him on Monday from Brisbane to Manchester. Although their home was in Glasgow a car had also been arranged to pick Joe and his wife up from Manchester and drop them at their final destination.
Joe comments: “It was absolutely first class, it was brilliant. So from the time I phoned the insurance company, and the time I got home, even taking into account time differences, it was about 3 days. Given that I’d spent a week trying to get a flight home and got nowhere, I thought that AllClear were excellent – you cannot fault it in any way. I don’t normally leave reviews, good or bad, but in this case I felt it was well deserved.”
Published: 16 March 2021