Heartbreaking pictures show an Aussie mother and her three young children sleeping on London’s Heathrow airport floor after being forced to LIVE there because of Australia’s international travel cap
- Australian mum and kids had to sleep on a London airport floor for three days
- Sheree Richardson said she has been stranded in London due to travel caps
- The Morrison government is capping international arrivals at 30 per plane
- Airline industry has previously said 100,000 Australians stranded overseas
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An Australian mother and her three young children have been forced to sleep on the floor of London‘s Heathrow airport for three days after being bumped from flights because of coronavirus travel caps.
Sheree Richardson, from Perth, posted images to Facebook on Saturday of her children, including and infant, sleeping on the airport floor using winter coats for warmth.
‘Homeless now at Heathrow with three children. Have been for three days and watch people paying for business class tickets right in front of me! 14, 11 and 1-year-old it’s not right,’ she captioned the pictures.
Ms Richardson said she booked her flights well before the Australian government introduced international arrival caps on incoming flights into the country.
The family’s ordeal echoes the 2004 film The Terminal in which Tom Hanks plays an Eastern European tourist left stranded in JFK Airport after a coup in his home country.
The film was loosely based on the true story of Iranian refugee Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived in limbo at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport from 1988 to 2006.
Ms Richardson, from Perth, posted images to Facebook on Saturday of her children, including and infant, sleeping on the airport floor using winter coats for warmth
She said she booked her flights well before the Australian government introduced international arrival caps on incoming flights into the country
Planes arriving at Sydney airport are limited to roughly 30 passengers under the travel cap rule, with many economy passengers complaining they are being bumped at the last minute for higher-paying business class customers.
Qantas and Virgin Australia have effectively paused international flights, leaving Doha based Qatar Airways as the main airline flying Australians stranded overseas back to the country.
The travel caps were imposed by the Morrison government because of the policy to quarantine every returned traveler in hotels for 14 days on their arrival in the country.
Allowing more than 30 people on each flight would threaten to derail the complicated system.
Qatar Airways told WA Today that the family have been re-booked on flights home to Australia on September 16 and 17.
‘Due to the restrictions on passengers travelling to Australian destinations, Qatar Airways can only carry a limited number of passengers per day to certain destinations,’ a spokeswoman for the airline said.
The airline industry has previously said up to 100,000 Australians could be stranded overseas because of coronavirus border closures and travel caps.
The official figure from the Australian government places the number at about 20,000 though these are only the people who have registered with the government.
The family’s case was brought to the attention of Australia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, George Brandis.
‘This is obviously extremely troubling and no Australian should – or need be – in this position,’ Mr Brandis tweeted on Sunday.
A consular assistance team (pictured) has been deployed to Heathrow airport in London on Monday to help stranded Australian travelers
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On Monday a team from the Australian High Commission was sent to Heathrow to assist Australian travelers.
‘They’re helping to facilitate Australians returning home, and deliver support in the event of disruption. It’s tough to head home right now: but we’re determined to help and support however we can,’ Mr Brandis wrote.
She had previously said she contacted the Australian government for assistance but received a reply that noone could help with her case ‘as it’s the weekend’.
She provided an update to her followers that she had now been moved to a hotel and that her children were ‘safe’ while they continue to wait for flights home.