Ben at One Mile At A Time has an interesting post today, which offers a valuable lesson for all international travelers.

Even though much of the world has re-opened their borders, not everyone has and it’s risky for travelers to fly through countries that aren’t open. For example, yesterday, over two dozen Australian travelers were scheduled to fly from Helsinki, Finland, to Gold Coast, Australia, via Tokyo’s Narita Airport .

The first flight was on Finnair and the second was on Jetstar. As Ben wrote: “While the flight from Finland to Japan operated without incident, the situation took a turn for the worse after that, when the flight to Australia was delayed by 11 hours. Instead of departing at 9PM, the flight would depart at 8AM the following morning. This was due to a maintenance issue that caused a delay on the flight to Japan, and in turn the flight wouldn’t be able to depart Narita Airport the same day, before the 11PM curfew. This meant that travelers were stranded at Narita Airport overnight. The catch? Japan’s borders are still closed to most foreigners, meaning that those in transit would have to stay in the terminal overnight.”

One of the Australian travelers took to Twitter and now his story is making international headlines: @GordonlKnight tweeted: “So @JetstarAirways cancelled its flight from Narita, Tokyo, to Sydney but Jetstar doesn’t know what to do because (due to Covid rules) the airport forbids passengers staying in the airport or leaving the airport. Jetstar’s social media crew has no information and can’t assist.”

He then followed with: “@NRT – you have a major issue with 50 abandoned passengers in Terminal 3 right now. We need immediate assistance please.”

That was followed by: “An important message for @AustraliaInJPN . About 25 Australians are trapped in Narita Airport due to cancelled Jetstar flight JQ0012. Due to Covid restrictions we’re not allowed to leave the airport or enter hotels. We have no food, water or bedding. We’d appreciate assistance.”


The moral of this story is to always be prepared when transiting through countries that aren’t open because if you miss your connection or the flight cancels, then you could be in for a long, miserable journey. Always have a backup plan, leave plenty of time for a connection, bring snacks and medications in your carry-on bag and pack your patience. Oh, and definitely pack a portable phone charger so that at the very least, you always have access to information and the ability to communicate. A portable charger is the item flight attendants say they never travel without.

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1 Comment On "This is Why You Should Be Extra Cautious When Transiting Through Countries You Can’t Enter"
  1. Marlin Yoder|

    Many people have spent the night in an airport without bedding, this passenger seems a bit over the top with his demands.

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