Feeling the airport love

Did anyone else get a bit teary seeing all the reunions at Sydney Airport yesterday?

The first commercial flights since March 2020 finally landed. Watching people hugging and crying after so long apart was so moving.

Sydney Airport wrote on LinkedIn: “The ‘Love Actually’ moment we’ve all been waiting for. This morning, we welcome the first international arrivals under the new quarantine-free travel arrangements. With the international border officially opening today, we can’t help but feel emotional as family and friends reunite at the Arrivals Hall.”

It reminded me of Hugh Grant’s voiceover in the movie: “Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion is starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

Except at Perth Airport, which must be pretty deserted because the Premier is still refusing to even contemplate a date to allow international and many interstate flights to resume.

Qantas gave up waiting and organised to fly direct from Darwin to London rather than it’s old Perth to London route.

Mr McGowan got his knickers in a knot over that – he said the suggestion of abandoning Perth as a transit hub was “outrageous” after the state spent $15 million upgrading a terminal at Perth Airport to accommodate the UK flights.

“All I’d say to Qantas … as a state, we funded the Perth-London flights,” he said. “We put in place $15 million worth of improvement at the terminal.

“(Qantas) need to show some understanding and perhaps some gratitude to what the state government has done.”

Sorry, what? It might be June next year before McGowan opens the border. Is he delusional?

Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce (five words I wish I never had to write in the same sentence) has alleged McGowan went crazy when he confronted him about Western Australia’s border plans.

The acting PM told a reporter on Monday that the last time he questioned McGowan about reopening his border, the WA Premier “lost his marbles”.

“Every state and territory, except for WA, has announced plans to reopen their borders. Do you have anything to say to the WA premier?” a reporter asked.

“I did last time, but he lost his marbles with me. So I’ll just let him talk,” Joyce replied.

WA is now the only state or territory that does not have a timeline for the easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers. You’d think Western Australians would have a problem with that, but McGowan has a staggeringly high approval rating of 89%. The vaccination rate, on the other hand, is only 60%.

It seems not enough residents are missing the rest of the world. They want to stay in their little bubble forever, but it will burst one day.

While I’m a bit scared about our international borders reopening, I’m also relieved because, as the saying goes, the only way out is through.

Oh, and I booked an international flight using Qantas points yesterday … woo hoo, stay tuned!

Song of the day: Pointer Sisters “Jump”

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