Update regarding Rail Journeys and COVID-19

Please note, the below details are current as at 20 November 2020. We will update this page with more information as it becomes available.

We are currently experiencing high contact volumes and prioritising guests booked for travel this week. If you are booked for travel outside of this period, we recommend you read the below updates before contacting us.

In response to the recent South Australian COVID-19 developments, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend Great Southern journeys until 01 January 2021 and Overland journeys until 03 January 2021. Impacted guests will be contacted with further information.

This is a challenging time for all of us and we are doing our best to make decisions as quickly as possible for our guests, employees and partners as the situation continues to evolve.

Journey Beyond has been closely monitoring COVID-19 developments and how they may impact our guests and crew.

We are aware of new border restrictions and are working closely with Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australian Health Departments to confirm next steps and contact all affected guests.

We understand you may have questions about how your journey will be impacted and ask that you please wait for our Travel Centre team to contact you regarding upcoming bookings.

Guests with suspended journeys will be provided with a credit note to the value of their original booking and directions on how to re-book for a later date, up to 31 December 2022.

Journey Beyond takes the health, safety and wellbeing of all guests and crew seriously and will continue to follow recommendations from the relevant Government authorities.

Thank you for your understanding, we wish you and your family good health.

 

Our Travel Centre opening hours are:

Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6:00pm ACST

1800 703 357 (In Australia)

+61 8 8213 4401 (Outside Australia)

Question: What services are currently suspended?

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Following further advice received, together with the continuation of travel restrictions initiated by various governments, we have no choice but to extend our rail suspensions for our services. As a result, the Great Southern is suspended until 01 January 2021 and The Overland is suspended until 03 January 2021. The Indian Pacific is suspended until 14 February 2021, dependant on the reopening of the various state and territory borders for non-essential leisure travel. All guests with suspended travel will be provided with a credit to the value of their original booking and our team can assist them to re-book their travel for a later date, up to 31 December 2022 or alternatively, guests can re-book themselves via our Online Booking Engine.

Question: How are you keeping guests safe onboard?

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Our JourneySafe plan is based on expert advice and implements enhanced cleaning and hygiene procedures while initiating new measures like physical distancing.

To accommodate physical distancing on the train, guests will be allocated specific meal times, as well as scheduled times to spend in communal spaces such as the Outback Explorer Lounge area.

Each cabin will have its own supply of hand sanitiser and wipes. There will be communal hand sanitiser in lounge areas and provided before getting on and off the train.

We’re no longer offering shared platters and all Gold Single cabins have been removed from service to ensure all guests will have their own en-suite.

We are collecting all guests’ names and contact details to enable us to effectively contact trace if required.

Temperature checking will also be conducted upon check-in, prior to departure.

We request guests do not move throughout all parts of the train and stick to their specific accommodation and dining carriages.

Question: How will physical distancing be managed onboard?

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Guests will be allocated set times for meals and to spend in communal areas including the Outback Explorer Lounge and Platinum Club. When moving throughout the train, guests will be asked not to congregate in corridors, instead move into their cabin or the open end of the carriage to allow for safe passing.

Question: What will the check in process be?

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All guests checking in will be asked the following questions to ensure we are compliant from a COVIDsafe perspective.

  • Have you been in contact with someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 or has been symptomatic in the last 14 days?
  • Are you symptomatic – do you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or a sore throat?
  • Have you travelled from interstate?

Temperature checking will also be conducted upon check-in, prior to departure. If you have a condition that results in a higher than usual temperature, please provide a letter of explanation from your doctor.

Question: What if I begin to feel sick?

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If you begin to feel sick during your journey, our crew will do everything they can to look after you and other guests. You will be asked to quarantine if your cabin, where meals will be delivered and you will be frequently checked on by our staff.

Question: Will my experience be the same as it would have been before the pandemic?

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The pandemic has meant we’ve had to make some adaptations to further protect people’s safety and wellbeing, however we’re confident your experience will be just as memorable.

Our exceptional food, wine and beverages remain the same and you’ll be blown away by the freshly prepared meals our chefs create onboard.

We’re still offering the same included Off Train Excursions and have worked with our third-party providers to ensure they’re practising COVID-safe behaviour.

Question: I had a booking aboard The Overland. Will this train be running so that I can reschedule?

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With the recent COVID-19 developments in South Australia, Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions has made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend The Overland until 3 January 2021. All guests booked on a suspended journey will receive a full travel credit that can be used on any Journey Beyond experience up to 31 December 2022.

Question: How can I rebook my future travel?

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All guests affected by temporary suspensions will be provided with a credit to the value of their original booking and our team can assist them to re-book their travel for a later date, up to 31 December 2022 or alternatively, guests may re-book online.  Guests affected by the suspensions will receive an email confirmation of their credit with further booking information.

Question: When I choose another departure will I be charged amendment fees?

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We are pleased to confirm there are no amendment fees for guests requesting date changes that were due to travel on dates affected by suspended services. Where bookings have been placed in credit, date changes can be made free of charge up to 45 days prior to departure. Please note, there may be fare differences for guests opting to change to a different travel season or product.

Question: Can I use my credit on a different journey or train?

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Yes, the credit can be used for any Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions journeys. Please note, there may be fare differences for travel seasons.

Question: If the journey I rebook is less than my available credit, can the unused portion be refunded to me?

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No, the credit will need to be allocated to a Journey Beyond Rail Expedition experience.

Question: Can I use my credit on third party products such as hotels, touring or accommodation?

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Yes, credit is available on all third-party products and upgrades. Please note, refunds will not be allocated for remaining credits.

Question: Which services are eligible for additional credit and why are they different for some travel dates?

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Different credit structures have been developed to allow for extenuating circumstances for some departures.

As you are aware, state borders were closed on 22 March 2020 which forced Journey Beyond to suspend all rail operations. Guests booked for travel on this same day were eligible to receive up to 150% credit on their original booking given the late nature of the suspension.

Journey Beyond’s initial period of suspended operations was from 22 March 2020 until 31 May 2020 and majority of these effected guests received up to 110% credit.

Guests with bookings from 01 June 2020 through to 30 November 2020 (the current suspension date) are entitled to 100% credit of the funds paid.

Question: If I have only paid a deposit, will I receive 110% of the money paid or 110% of my total booking value for credit?

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Guests will receive future travel credit of the money receipted which could apply to a deposit or total booking fare.

Question: Are suspended services eligible for refunds?

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These are unprecedented times and we are doing our best to ensure all our guests receive the level of service and care you’ve come to expect from our team.

Services have temporarily suspended, not cancelled, as a result of federal and state government restrictions. As such, Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions is ensuring all guests can rebook for future travel up to 31 December 2022.

If the service you were booked on has been suspended, we have placed your booking on hold and you will receive a separate email detailing your future travel credit.

Question: I have booked through a Travel Agent; how do I amend my booking?

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If you have booked through a Travel Agent, you will need to contact your Agent directly to amend your travel arrangements.

Question: Will I be able to rebook my car to travel with Motorail when services resume?

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Our Motorail services are currently under review and are not available at this time.

Question: When will the remainder of the season open?

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We have partially released the 2021 travel season early this year to facilitate bookings for guests affected by the suspensions. This limited release includes bookings for The Ghan and Indian Pacific from April to November 2021. We anticipate opening the full 2021 – 2022 season shortly and will update this page accordingly. All credits issued will be applicable for bookings up to 31 December 2022.

Question: Will Journey Beyond provide travel insurance letters

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Yes, guests affected by the suspended services can request a letter from Journey Beyond for travel insurance purposes. Please email [email protected].

As I’m sure you understand, we are receiving high contact volumes and as such, response times may be longer than usual.

Still have questions?

We’re always here to help.

Our Travel Centre opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm ACST.

1800 703 357 (In Australia)

+61 8 8213 4401 (Outside Australia)

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