Breakfast television reporters today jostled to interview passengers departing the first Sydney-to-Brisbane flight in months, creating scenes which I’d place anywhere between ‘chaos’ and ‘panic attack’.
I mean, I work in the media, and I’m not even sure I’d want to have a chat on live TV moments after stepping off a flight.
In case you missed it, Queensland removed its hard border with New South Wales overnight, months after it first restricted travel over fears of coronavirus transmission. Qantas reintroduced its popular Sydney-Brisbane route in preparation, with the first of its renewed flights touching down earlier today.
It makes sense The Today Show, Sunrise, and ABC’s News Breakfast would try to capture the scene at Brisbane Airport: the border closure separated friends and family for 250 days, an unprecedented measure in modern Australian history. Plus, as evidenced by the recent reopening of the NSW-Victoria border, watching loved ones reunite, from a respectful distance, can be quite cathartic.
But today’s footage is pretty full on. The Today Show and Sunrise duked it out to interview passengers as they entered the terminal, with duelling microphones thrust before one reunited family.
Amid smiles and kisses, Sunrise‘s Sam Mac even said the quiet part out loud, remarking that there’s “nothing like a special family moment shared with fourteen camera crews and a random weather guy.”
Mac then commented that The Today Show‘s Aislin Kriukelis was “cutting my gig” by sneaking further up the line.
Here’s what happened when @MrSamMac greeted every single passenger who arrived on the first @Qantas flight from Sydney to Brisbane after the Queensland border reopened ✈️ pic.twitter.com/EHiQdVy2b3
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) November 30, 2020
The Today Show also caught a fair number of business travellers, and folks who had only been outside of Queensland for a matter of days.
“How long have you been away for?” Kriukelis asked one traveller, as a Sky News microphone butted in on the action.
“Ah look, a couple of days, two days,” the man responded, causing Today Show host Karl Stefanovic to cackle back in the studio.
“Keep going, this is great TV,” Stefanovic said.
The camera soon turned around to reveal a significant media presence at the terminal, with camera operators and breakfast telly reporters filling the scene.
#BREAKING: The first flight from Sydney has just touched down in Brisbane. We caught up with some of the passengers who have been separated from their loves ones for up to 250 days. #9Today pic.twitter.com/G8sDczd4lm
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) November 30, 2020
ABC’s Michael Rennie was also on deck, capturing some of the moments before those reunions.
It’s been 4 months since Ashley and her daughter Payton have seen husband/Dad who’s been working in Sydney. He’ll be getting off the first flight back into Brisbane in a few minutes since the Qld border reopened! @BreakfastNews pic.twitter.com/RYgsiGtqjI
— Michael Rennie (@mf_rennie) November 30, 2020
Putting the Sunrise / Today cross-mic combat aside, the border reopening really is a massive deal for both states.
From now on, New South Wales and Victoria residents who haven’t recently been in a designated COVID-19 hotspot can skip 14 days of coronavirus quarantine before roaming around Queensland. Police checkpoints at the border have also been eliminated.
Nine News reports Queensland is expecting to welcome around 6,000 interstate visitors from today. With any luck, some of them will be able to sneak through without coughing up responses for live breakfast television.