Coronavirus: Briton on birthday gift trip stuck in US

  • Published
Rob McGeechanImage source, Rob McGeechan
Image caption,
Rob McGeechan is supposed to be flying home on Saturday

A British man who travelled to America as a 21st birthday present says he does not know when he will be able to travel home.

Rob McGeechan is supposed to be flying home on Saturday, but has been unable to contact airline Qantas.

The 21-year-old, from Briar Hill in Northampton, is in Kansas City, Missouri, where a stay-at-home order has been imposed.

"I'm alive, safe, but at some point I've got to get home," he said.

Mr McGeechan had travelled to Kansas City on 11 March to stay with friends on a trip that was a 21st birthday gift.

Image source, Rob McGeecham
Image caption,
Shelves in Walmart where cereal was supposed to be stocked were completely empty

Qantas booked Mr McGeechan's flights with partner American Airlines.

He had been set to fly from Chicago to Heathrow on 4 April, but Illinois is under a state-wide emergency stay-at-home order with all but essential flights cancelled.

Instead he was told he would fly from Dallas.

Mr McGeechan, who has been posting about his experience on YouTube, said he received two emails from Qantas saying his booking had changed but with no further details.

He said he had called the airline every day and been on-hold with them for up to three hours.

Mr McGeechan said his "generous" friends have said he can stay with them as long as he needs to, but he is worried about family in England.

In the meantime, he said he was spending time indoors, playing computer games, and popping out for food.

"I'm probably too well fed as McDonalds has not closed," he said.

Image source, Rob McGeechan
Image caption,
Rob McGeechan says restaurants are still open in Kansas City

The American Airlines website says if passengers cannot contact them, it will "honour all changes and the value of your ticket if you don't take your flight".

The Qantas website says the airline is "experiencing some delays in call wait times".

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