What is screaming I'm from Singapore

Corona chaos: pirates on their way back to Germany (Part III)

Disclaimer: This trip started in early February before all the restrictions and other measures went into effect. At the moment we definitely advise you not to travel - as already mentioned in many places!


Ahoy pirates!

Who would have thought that, I am on one of my perhaps most beautiful trips and just think to myself: Man, I want to be at home! The pandemic hit us personally too and in some cases had to fear for our way home. Tobi already has his way to the South Seas paradise of Palau portrayed and also -Ben- reported how he was upset from Indonesia back to Germanyhas come.


Part 3 - Ramon- from New Zealand via Australia and Singapore to Germany

When I made the long journey to the other end of the world at the beginning of February, I did not expect that I would be at the airport in Auckland a month later and not know whether I would somehow get to Berlin. On March 5th, after 2.5 weeks in New Zealand, it should first go to Melbourne, at this time the news was already rushing from Europe, the feeling became uncomfortable, the first flights were canceled, but the situation was not yet as clear as it is she is now. I landed 3 hours late in Australia, almost all passengers and employees wore masks and because only two international planes landed at about half past three at night, the queues for immigration and customs controls were incredibly long - you wanted to know and find out where you have been in the last few days and weeks.

Timeskip by 10 days, I am now at Sydney Airport, the situation, especially in Europe, is getting worse, more and more flights are being canceled, entire airlines are staying on the ground, you read about hamster purchases and isolation and despite my vacation I was constantly with my colleagues the pirate crew in contact, because our industry, tourism, was simply not what it was a month ago - everything was different, even our offices were closed and we were "banished" to the home office. Twitter, my Instagram profile and my Whatsapp are flooded with pictures and stories of how people buy toilet paper and flour like crazy - what the hell? Here in Australia the world is still ... oh ... no, the world is not okay either, Tom Hanks got Corona in Australia and from one day to the next there was no toilet paper and flour here either, a small one Bottle of disinfectant costs 20 Australian dollars. Whaaaaaat ????

Back to my plan: From Sydney it was supposed to go with a 24h stopover in Singapore to Moscow, then to Stockholm and finally to Berlin, but we received the message that Singapore is closing the borders for tourists who have been to Germany in the last 2 weeks. Well, we were last in Germany over 2 weeks ago, but in the time of the virus you never know, the news situation changed almost every minute. Keep calm, I can do it.

At check-in in Sydney:"Guys, you're lucky, Singapore will close its borders for everyone from tomorrow night, you're catching the last flight to Singapore!" - In other words: Singapore is now closing the borders for everyone, regardless of who was where and when. And then a micro-panic broke out in my head: We will land in Singapore at 12:05 a.m. the next day, she said from tomorrow they will close the borders, does that mean: Tomorrow tomorrow or tomorrow in two days? I have no idea, at least I have my ticket, everything will be fine, they won't send me back.

I'm on the phone with my colleague Ben, who is more or less stuck in Indonesia, his flight to Berlin was canceled without replacement - just like that. New return flight prices: Utopian, the risk that nothing will fly in the next few days is dramatically high. On the other line: family and friends in Berlin, they wish me luck that I can get to Germany without any problems. Ha, I laughed to myself, without any problems ... At the time, of course, I had no idea that my "problems" were nothing compared to what to expect the next day. Boarding begins, the flight is perhaps 2/3 full, the flight attendants from Singapore Airlines are all wearing masks, the background noise is a mix of running turbines and the personal stories of the passengers who all have the same topic in mind. Oh dear, it will be fine.

Landing in Singapore, one of the busiest airports in the world, which is open around the clock and has no night flight ban, at that time dozens of planes leave for Europe and Oceania, but again: Yawning emptiness, the scoreboard littered with "Canceled", the body temperature is measured everywhere, when you arrive you are asked where you have been and where you want to go, but I arrived, what luck. Off to the taxi and to the hotel, I'm overtired and no longer know where up and down is.


Snapshot of an Instagramer's flight scoreboard

The next morning is breaking, I have booked the late check-out especially so that I can sleep late, my onward flight to Europe does not leave until 00:05 ... I wake up after 4 hours of sleep, check my cell phone and everything in my body contracts:

Hell, flight SQ362 via Moscow to Stockholm was one of the only flights to Europe that has not yet been canceled. A positive ray of hope at this moment: Singapore Airlines just rebooked me on another flight to my final destination Stockholm, it should now go via London. Wow, Ben's flight will be canceled without replacement and I will be rebooked free of charge, Low Cost Airline vs. Premium Airline. But that would have been too easy: I arrive in Stockholm 1 hour after the start of my separately booked connecting flight to Berlin - mist, I can forget the connection. I check the internet and actually: There is no longer any way to come to Berlin, in 2 days at the earliest and then for almost 300 euros. I run to the hotel room phone and try to reach the special hotline at Singapore Airlines and a nice voice told me that the approximate waiting time Four hours would amount to. I jump into the taxi and let myself be driven to the Singapore Airlines Service Center in downtown, I find myself in a luxury shopping center and that's where Singapore Airlines customer service is supposed to be?

Photo © princessreiko

Timeskip: 5 hours later my number 3077 is called, my heart starts racing, why was I there right away? Oh yes, I'm not coming to Berlin. "Yes, I'm German, I live in Berlin, but I booked my flight to Stockholm via Moscow because it was cheaper, but I'm arriving later now, I can't get my specially booked flight to Berlin and would be in Stockholm for at least 2 days stranded and who knows if they won't close the borders by then, can you somehow bring me to Germany? "

Pirates, you must know, the contract of carriage between me and Singapore Airlines just states that they will take me to Stockholm and that is what I was trying to achieve here? The woman at the counter checked all possible options, she kept mumbling airports and flight numbers to herself, Frankfurt? Full, London goes, but flights to Germany are all full. Zurich? SQ346, wait a minute, I have to ask my supervisor. Long tapping and running back and forth and suddenly she looks at me and says: So, I rebooked you on the flight to Zurich tonight and then to Berlin - free of charge. Tears came to me - for joy.

Singapore Changi Airport, the best airport in the world, says Skytrax, best airport in the world, I say too! The scoreboard literally screams "Canceled", my flight to Zurich "On time", what a pleasure. The usual procedure: where have I been, where do I want to go, what is my body temperature and through. Shortly before boarding came a breaking news from Germany. Among other things, Switzerland will close its borders with Germany from tomorrow morning. So with uncertainty I got into the Airbus A380, which should take me to Zurich in 13.5 hours, but I was glad that it was finally that far. In a nutshell: In Zurich I was allowed to travel to Berlin as normal, there was a yawning emptiness at both airports AND, shockingly, there were no controls like in Singapore, Sydney or Auckland. Mmm. As a precaution, I'll be staying at home for the next few weeks.