While all Australian airlines are actively complying with COVID-19 safety protocols, not all are forcing “vaccine” mandates on domestic travellers.
For the “unvaccinated” looking to travel domestically by air, your best option currently is Virgin Australia.
In late October the airline said it will comply with State government requirements, but confirmed with Aviation Australia, that it ‘will not mandate vaccinations for its passengers on domestic flights.’
The inference is that Virgin Australia, unlike Qantas, its chief competitor, has no plans on discriminating, or becoming a police arm of the State by enforcing a policy of segregation onto domestic travellers.
According to Aviation Australia, ‘Chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said on Thursday vaccine mandates were a “matter for government” but it would follow any rules implemented by states.’
Hrdlicka added, “Some states will require only vaccinated travellers to move between states, and we will absolutely support any government requirement, but it’s not on us to mandate that ourselves. It’s really a matter for the government.”
While the “vaccinated” can currently travel via Virgin Australia, Virgin’s current approach isn’t written in stone.
Virgin just announced a no jab, no journey, policy for its international travellers.
From November 26, ‘Virgin Australia will only carry guests travelling on international flights who are a) fully vaccinated or vaccine approved b) under the age of 12 c) is between 12 and 17 and is travelling with a fully vaccinated parent or guardian d) cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.’
Additionally, Virgin Australia implemented an in-house mandatory “vaccine” mandate in September.
Newsroom, Virgin Australia’s media release platform, explained that the policy was finalised after ‘two weeks of consultation with employees and unions.’
From November 15, ‘frontline and airport-based team members will be required to be vaccinated,’ with ‘all other office-based team members by 31 March 2022.’
Three top Australian travel agencies were contacted by Caldron Pool to see if Virgin were not discriminating between unvaccinated and “vaccinated” air travellers.
All three agencies confirmed that Australian airlines are enforcing a “papers please” proof of “vaccination” policy for international travel.
They could not confirm whether Virgin Australia was still choosing to hold the line against discriminating between the unvaccinated and “vaccinated” for domestic travel.
The most helpful of those agencies confirmed for Caldron Pool that Qantas has a “vaccinated” only mandate for domestic travellers. (However, the policing of this appears to differ from airport to airport).
Referring to the Omicron variant of the Wuhan COVID-19 Virus, they also advised that “unvaccinated” people who are planning to travel by air, check for updates about applicable restrictions at their destinations and before check-in.
Word on the street is that Virgin Australia is still holding the line against participating in discrimination on the grounds of a person’s private medical status.
One Instagram user alleged that Virgin Australia told them “We do not discriminate…people are allowed to fly with us regardless of vaccination status.”
Sky News contributor, Liz Storer shared the comment in a temporary Instagram post, affirming, “I’ve heard the same from several unvaccinated people who have flown.”
Credit where credit is due.
Virgin Australia’s current, good-will-to-all-men (and women), domestic traveller policy raises them way above the un-Australian policy of their competitor.
As illustrated above, “unvaccinated” and anti-medical mandate “vaccinated” travellers should note, Virgin’s October 21st commitment not to discriminate between the vaccinated and unvaccinated is not likely to last.
The weight of political pressure on businesses to “punish” those who are “unvaccinated” is a new toy in the arsenal of power-drunk politicians who have been able to manipulate a crisis to further their own ideological self-interest.
The purge of “unvaccinated” members of the community may only just be starting.
Caldron Pool has sought comment from Virgin Australia about its policy.
As of the publication of this article, there has been no reply.