Image by Lars_Nissen, Pixabay
Long before the current COVID-19 pandemic was declared, I had flights booked.
Adelaide, South Australia to Perth, Western Australia.
Perth, Western Australia, to London, United Kingdom.
These flights were destined to be a traditional holiday that people take after signing some papers that permanently bond themselves to another.
I know there's hundreds of thousands of other stories just like this, unfolding, unravelling, and plans like this are falling apart all over the planet.
In fact, in some areas, society itself is starting to unravel, like a malcontent roll of toilet tissue, not quite placed on its holder correctly.
In my own wisdom, to make things easier for myself, and to make things easier in case things went wrong, I've made things harder. We all make mistakes.
I booked the flights using Frequent Flyer points using Australia's "national" carrier, Qantas, which is now standing down around 20,000 staff as it braces to cut all International flights for the foreseeable future. As countries around the world continue to delude themselves that they can control a virus (I'll be happy to be wrong) - we live in a world that will be forever changed by a viral load that will do more and more to ensure the true cost of things are considered.
I paid the taxes on a credit card issued by the airline itself.
At the end of the day, it's all just money.
Just like the hotel booking, again - paid for on a credit card issued by the airline.
The refund will go back to the original card - a card since cancelled due to the hefty annual fee, which more than offset the other fees and charges.
The flight back, too, is cancelled.
There's a certain sense of dread following all of these things - I'd read many horror stories of local venues closing or becoming bankrupt as a result of ordinary business, and this was a concern of mine prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Now, the real risk of losing a deposit on a venue booking may also materialise.
Again, it's all money.
I'd rather have it all in my pocket though, and use it on other things right now.
At the same time, the events that are planned to occur later in September this year, are hopefully, still going to go ahead. Otherwise, I'll have to make the best of a scenario, and postpone.
It's such a mess - and one that I was looking forward to getting myself into.
Now, it's a maze of deconstructed business continuity processes and an elaborate expose on the poor financial management of corporations the world over and the revelation that business should approach the "if you can't honour a booking, no matter the circumstances, don't take it," or, at the very least, provide a robust, automated refund policy to enable end users to make changes using clear, fair, and easy to understand rules.
The travel industry doesn't have this at the best of times.
I don't expect to see the money I spent on all of this mess ever again, but I hope that I will.
This outcome makes me feel sad.