When the sky falls in Sydney, many people have no idea when their next wedding is due.
But that’s not the case for the wedding flights industry, which has struggled to keep up with demand and are often forced to operate on short notice.
The industry’s chief executive says the problem is that many airlines have “no idea” when their flights will depart and so passengers can’t plan ahead.
“It’s very frustrating because you can’t have any expectation of the airlines going into business mode because of the holiday period,” chief executive of wedding flight company, Citi, Chris McLean said.
“We have had to go into business as a result of this and have to make sure that people are prepared for the unexpected and the unexpected can be pretty serious.”
Citi is the leading flight booking agency for wedding flights in Australia, and has been operating on short-notice flights to Sydney for almost two years.
“The biggest problem for us is that we are constantly trying to get out to Sydney to try and find the flights that are going to be available and the ones that we have to be able to take out of Sydney to fly to,” Mr McLean told ABC News Breakfast.
“So if you have a flight booked to go to Sydney that is scheduled for the weekend or a week before, you can be very, very nervous and very, VERY nervous about when you’re going to get the flight that you need.”‘
A wedding flight that’s been delayed’Citi has been trying to fill a critical gap in the wedding industry by offering customers a choice between flights and accommodation, which is often only available for a short time.
“A wedding is an event that has been planned for a very long time and it’s just about planning for that day and what that day is going to look like, and what the guest of honour is going for,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
For weddings, there are two main options: flights or accommodation.
“If you’re a bride and groom or your mum and dad, you’re in Sydney right now, you’ve booked the hotel, you have your wedding gear and you’re flying out tomorrow morning,” Mr McGowan said.
Citi’s service covers about 40 per cent of all wedding flights, which are booked by major airlines and include major holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s.
“They’re all booked by the airlines, and then you have all the arrangements and the hotel arrangements, all the things that you have to do, and they all happen to be booked in a week or two,” Mr McDonell said.
So why can’t we know when the next wedding flight is available?
Mr McLean is not sure why the industry is so busy, and he said that a lack of knowledge about when the last flights are going out and what they will cost was an issue.
“There’s been some anecdotal evidence that people will call Citi and they’re told they have to fly out on Tuesday, and that’s the last flight that they can get to, because there’s no flights available in that time period,” Mr MacLean said, adding that a “delaying” in the market meant people were paying more attention to the dates of the weddings instead of the flights.
“People are really focused on what they want to do when they want the wedding and that can be a problem,” he said.
Mr Mclean said while the industry was facing a “challenging time”, they were trying to provide an alternative to some of the other travel options that were available.
“Our priority right now is to provide the service that the customer has, and it will be very easy to find the right flight,” Mr McKillan said.
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