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antarctica faqs

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Have a question? Below are answers to some of most Frequently Asked Questions. If the answer you are looking for is not there, please call Antarctica Flights on 1800 633 449 from Australia or 0800 650 740 from New Zealand.

Are There Any Age Restrictions For The Flight?
People of all ages are welcome on the flights, however we do ask you to consider the following:
Children under 16 years of age must travel with an adult
If you are travelling alone, you should be able to move around the cabin unaided
Parents should remember that this is a very long day for younger children

Will I Need My Passport?
You will not need a passport, as this is classified as a domestic flight. However you will be required to present government approved photo ID at check-in.

Please allow sufficient time to transit security dependent on which terminal you will be departing from. We will send confirmation of the exact departure time for each flight to those who have booked closer to the departure date.

How Long Is The Flight And How Long Do You Spend Over The Ice?
The average flight duration is 12.5 hours (depending on your departure point). About three hours into the flight we usually see the first sea ice and icebergs. We spend approximately four hours over Antarctica and the remaining four hours traveling home.

How Does The Seat Rotation Work?
Every passenger (excluding Economy Centre & Business Centre) is allocated two Boarding Passes. At the half way point of the flight, an announcement is made asking passengers to move to the seat listed on their second boarding pass. Business Deluxe will be seated in a window seat for half of the flight and in a next to window seat for the other half. Premium Economy, Economy Superior and Economy Standard passengers will have a window seat or the seat next to a window seat for half of the flight and an aisle seat for the other half of the flight. Economy Centre & Business Centre seats do not rotate.

It is important to note that while over Antarctica, most passengers get up from their seats and move about the aircraft, allowing everyone on board to enjoy excellent viewing opportunities. The aircraft flies in long sweeping ‘figure 8s’ over various points of interest to allow these spectacular sights to be viewed from both sides of the aircraft.

Can I Reserve A Particular Seat?
You may select a seating class but not a particular seat. Seats are allocated on the best available at time of reservation, however final seating allocation is done the evening before departure when final bookings are confirmed.

What Kind Of Viewing Can I Expect From A Centre Seat?
While the Economy Class Centre seats do not rotate, ample viewing can still be achieved by walking to any available window space or exit zone. There is a fantastic atmosphere of cooperation amongst passengers as they share the experience.

This is unlike any flight you have been on before.

What Kind Of Viewing Can I Expect Seated Over A Wing?

The viewing of Antarctica is out, not down, from the aircraft so excellent viewing can still be achieved from this section.

Will The Flight Land?
We do not land on Antarctica, primarily for environmental and safety reasons. Antarctica is as close to a pristine environment as there is on Earth. The activity of Antarctica Sightseeing Flights has been approved by all Antarctic Treaty nations. Most importantly, you cannot see the spectacular views available from the aircraft when you are on the ground.

What Time Do You Depart And Return?
Departure and return times vary slightly although you will be sent specific times when you receive your tickets.

All times are subject to change and can be affected by things like airline operating procedures and weather.

How Much Will The Weather Affect The Viewing?
We have over 19 different approved flight plans. Our Captain monitors the satellite cloud picture in the days leading up to departure and on the morning of the flight and selects the route with the best visibility on the day. We have operated over 110 flights and have been able to offer excellent viewing opportunities on all of them thanks to the skill and preparation of the Qantas pilots and the knowledge of our onboard Antarctic Experts.

How Low Will We Fly?
When over Antarctica we fly at approximately 10,000 feet or 2,000 feet above the highest ground within 100 nautical miles. This altitude provides excellent viewing while still respecting the wildlife habitats at sea level.

Will I See Any Wildlife?
As most Antarctic wildlife lives at sea level, 10,000 feet below the aircraft, we cannot see them in any detail. We fly at this altitude to protect the various species. To experience the wonders of Antarctic wildlife, you would need to join a cruise, which Croydon Travel can assist you with.

Can I Take Photos And Video?
Absolutely! All cameras are welcome. We are always getting feedback from passengers who are delighted with their photographic results – and these are amateur photographers! The information pack you will receive after you book your flight contains photography hints and tips.
As part of your Accor Plus package you will also receive a complimentary video DVD of your flight – we take with us a professional videographer who has numerous cameras in different areas of the aircraft to capture every moment.

What Will There Be To Eat And Drink?
Even though this is classed as a domestic flight, we provide international standard service on our Qantas aircraft. Two full meal services, snacks over the ice, and complimentary bar service is provided.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is recommended. Special premiums are available. Please enquire when booking.

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