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May 28, 2008 at 2:02 am #589
While this is a bit premature I am starting to think about some traveling in NZ and Australia that I would like to do after my summer contract ends next Feb. From reading this msg board and other blogs I realize that this is a pretty standard experience. I was wondering how it works with getting back home. Does Raytheon give you the cash value of the ticket they would have bought you? Or are you just given a voucher? Do you have to fly out of a particular city? Will I have to tell Raytheon of my plans before I head down to the ice?
MikeMay 28, 2008 at 2:47 am #5718
You are a shade premature. This info is gone over in January, during the RE-deployment meetings.
Basically, you have two choices: Programmatic Travel, and Leisure Travel.
Programmic means that you’ll be returning straight home, but you will have the choice of staying in NZ a while, or flying home immediately.
Leisure travel means that you’ll be utilizing the services of RPSC’s contracted travel agent, in Christchurch. You’re given a ‘travel credit’ that can be used towards an around-the-world ticket, if you choose.
We use AA (American Airlines, and QF (QANTAS), primarily. When I leave the ice, I like to route through SYD (Sydney), then HNL (Honolulu), before returning to the mainland. We’re allowed a more/less ‘free’ stopover in ONE of the two places. You’d just need to pay for the ticket reissue.
Suffice to say, this is one of the more complicated aspects of ice life. Drives the travel agents nuts with our ever-changing desires.
Don’t worry, many others will chime-in on this. Ice people are nothing, if not seasoned, world-wide travelers. It’s one of our best benefits.
aMay 28, 2008 at 4:49 am #5719SciencetechKeymaster
Simple answer: before leaving home, think about what you’d like to do afterwards, then pack accordingly. HR will go over your options before you leave (the rules change constantly). Basically, travel within NZ will be cheap, flying to Sydney may be a $75 stopover, and other destinations will come out of your pocket. Occasionally there are stopovers available for cheap but I wouldn’t count on anything other than Auckland.
Extra baggage, backpacks, sports gear, etc, can be stored in Chch (Christchurch) while you’re on the ice. Be flexible… And fer Pete’s sake don’t book a trip that requires you to depart the Ice at a certain time — chances are you’ll miss it. Every year there’s tears and cries of anguish when flights are delayed and plans destroyed. (You’ve been warned. Now go have footloose fun and stop worrying.)May 28, 2008 at 9:37 am #5720thepooles98Keymaster
Somebody correct me if I’m wrong here. I think the rules change depending on whether you are a summer only or winter contract. I believe after a long period of time with an extended contract, your tickets expire while on the ice and have to be reissued. As a result your options of where to travel expand a little.
For most of the rest who are summering, you are limited to wherever Quantas flies to.May 28, 2008 at 9:42 am #5721
Mike, Mike, Mike…
It’s Q-A-N-T-A-S…Queensland and Northern Territories Air Service…May 28, 2008 at 8:45 pm #5722thepooles98Keymaster
Be careful what you ask for. I did welcome corrections. I never knew the acronym.May 28, 2008 at 9:25 pm #5723
Just yankin’ ya, Mike. Figured you would have seen it on your ticket jacket, or boarding pass stub.
Hope life is well for you in CA. How’s the Ranger job going? Swarms of people now?May 29, 2008 at 3:59 am #5724
Thanks for the information folks! I realize I am a bit premature but I am trying to figure out a rough budget for travel in Australia and NZ. It’s nice to know that I can visit Aus via a layover and not have to return to NZ before I fly home. Saves a few hundred dollars that way!May 29, 2008 at 4:25 am #5725
The last few years the exchange rate has SUCKED. Right now, it’s hovering around .78, which is a shade better than it has been, but nothing like the .40 it used to be.
Those were the good ole days…
May 29, 2008 at 4:29 am #5726
I am used to traveling throughout Latin America where I was getting by on 30/usd a day. There will be a little sticker shock, I imagine, when I find myself spending upwards of a 70-100 day in Aus/NZ!May 29, 2008 at 6:27 am #5727AnonymousMember
Say Atlas why does the total listed job count remain the same days at A time . Don’t they have to list all jobs . And is it correct that Raytheon lost the contract and will there be a new contractor in two years .
Percy A SimmonsMay 29, 2008 at 7:26 am #5728
This is off the thread topic, so I’ll move your question over to the ‘Atlas’ discussion.
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