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Anyone been to the USA recently?

42 replies

PattyPan · 03/01/2022 18:03

Thinking about visiting Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and a couple of other NPs in that sort of area around April/May this year but a bit concerned about the testing requirements, length of the flight, possibility for restrictions over there, possibility for getting stuck there etc. For anyone who's been to the US recently did you have a good/bad experience? Any tips?

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KateADM · 03/01/2022 18:36

My daughter was just here visiting from the UK and we found it impossible for her to get tested to return. I suggest you bring a Covid test like the Randx with you because it has a test report you can upload to your airline. Right now you need to get tested 2 days before you return but I can easily see the UK changing it to 1 day.

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PattyPan · 03/01/2022 18:42

Good idea @KateADM, I think it would be a lot cheaper to do that as well as the rapid tests I could find in Vegas were $250! We would be flying BA as I have a flight voucher and they have a deal with Randox to make it £35 which is much more reasonable. Did your daughter have any issues testing before entering the US?

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Einszwei · 03/01/2022 18:45

In the US right now. Testing to get here is easy. Right now you just need to show proof of vaccination and a negative antigen before travel.

However, omicron levels here are high. I caught covid within my first week here. Luckily my trip is long enough that I should be testing negative for my flight back to the UK. My advice is to only come if you can afford the flexibility of staying an extra 2 weeks if needed.

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AmIgoinghomeforXmas · 03/01/2022 18:47

We are just about to fly back to the USA, we have done rapid antigens to get back in.

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KateADM · 03/01/2022 18:50

@PattyPan

Good idea *@KateADM*, I think it would be a lot cheaper to do that as well as the rapid tests I could find in Vegas were $250! We would be flying BA as I have a flight voucher and they have a deal with Randox to make it £35 which is much more reasonable. Did your daughter have any issues testing before entering the US?

Her only issue was that she flew out on a Monday so she had a lot fewer options to get tested in the UK on a Sunday. I believe she had to drive over an hour to get to a pharmacy that was open. (But she left making the appointment to the last minute because she thought she could do it within 3 days of flying and the US had just changed the rule to 1 day before flying.)
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KateADM · 03/01/2022 18:51

@Einszwei

In the US right now. Testing to get here is easy. Right now you just need to show proof of vaccination and a negative antigen before travel.

However, omicron levels here are high. I caught covid within my first week here. Luckily my trip is long enough that I should be testing negative for my flight back to the UK. My advice is to only come if you can afford the flexibility of staying an extra 2 weeks if needed.

Oh I hope it didn't ruin your trip!
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PattyPan · 03/01/2022 18:56

Oh no, @Einszwei, hope you are ok! If you don't mind me asking, whereabouts are you and do you have any idea where you caught it? We (it's just me and DP) can WFH so were planning to bring laptops in case we test positive when testing to leave. We were just planning to come for around 10 days and the first week of it would be an arranged tour. I suppose we wouldn't know if we caught it early on unless we had obvious symptoms and we are both triple jabbed so hopefully unlikely. I will clarify with the tour provider what would happen if someone catches it mid-tour though. And I am definitely taking out good insurance!

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Mommybunny · 03/01/2022 21:01

I went to Boston for a long weekend in the second week of December (I’m a fully vaxxed US citizen resident in the U.K.). I booked the flights before Omicron and frankly if I’d known about omicron before booking I wouldn’t have done it.

I used a company recommended by my airline (Virgin - the company was Prenetics) for all my tests. I will say they were very professional and helpful as possible under extremely trying circumstances, and given the shitshow of the early omicron response they were not outrageously expensive. Here are the tests I had to do for this 5 day trip:

-Video-observed LFT in the 24 hours before I departed in order to enter the US. The result was negative but when I tried to upload this on Virgin’s “FlyReady” portal it wouldn’t accept the result so I spent the morning before my flight crapping myself that there was somehow something wrong with the result. I took my chances by showing up at Virgin’s check-in counter with my pdf result and sailed through. 😥

-LFT 48 hours (not video observed) before landing in U.K. Because this was a late addition to the travel requirements I ordered it very close to departure and it didn’t arrive in time. Luckily the testing service had an office close to my home so I was able to pick one up on my way to the airport.

-Day 2 PCR after I arrived back in the U.K.

All in all it added about £100 to a transatlantic round trip. A lot of money but I know a lot of providers are much worse.

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Mommybunny · 03/01/2022 21:07

My biggest worry was the LFT before I flew back to the U.K. If that had been positive I’d have had to stay in the US for potentially another 10 days. It would have been a major inconvenience but not a catastrophe as I could have stayed with my mother. Thankfully all my tests were negative.

Again, this was before omicron really kicked off in the US. It was getting started in the U.K. but delta was still the dominant variant then, and I’d been boosted two weeks before traveling to the US.

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bizzey · 03/01/2022 21:16

OP sorry to jump on your thread , but was hoping someone might be able to help me.
DS is due to go on Friday on a university placement.

I thought it was a 1 day PCR that he needed.
Am I right in thinking that this needs to be done /booked on thursday a few hours after the proposed flight time on Friday ?

Also , how long to allow to go through passport and security?

Sorry for the hijack OP.
GOOGLE is not helping us .
Thanks anyone .

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KateADM · 03/01/2022 21:19

@bizzey

OP sorry to jump on your thread , but was hoping someone might be able to help me.
DS is due to go on Friday on a university placement.

I thought it was a 1 day PCR that he needed.
Am I right in thinking that this needs to be done /booked on thursday a few hours after the proposed flight time on Friday ?

Also , how long to allow to go through passport and security?

Sorry for the hijack OP.
GOOGLE is not helping us .
Thanks anyone .

Is this UK to US?
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bizzey · 03/01/2022 21:22

Sorry. Yes. UK to USA.

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bizzey · 03/01/2022 21:24

He is double vaxed.

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KateADM · 03/01/2022 21:32

@bizzey

Sorry. Yes. UK to USA.

How long to get through passport control and security is a crapshoot. Lately it seems a lot quicker but it depends on the airport, the time of day, etc.

Regarding Covid tests: UK to US is 1 calendar day before your flight. It does not have to be 24 hours, just the actual calendar day before the flight at any time. So if your daughter is flying on Friday, any time on Thursday is acceptable.

Viral Antigen Test is accepted. Rapid test is fine as long as it's a viral test. We got ours at Boots, my daughter got hers at a small local pharmacy.

Here are the CDC's FAQ list to back me up: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html#anchor_1635127081
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KateADM · 03/01/2022 21:34

sorry, I see it's your son and not daughter.

Tell him to carry his proof of vaccination. I would also have him bring a Covid test with him that allows for uploading a document to his airline for when he returns to the UK. We used Randx.

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KateADM · 03/01/2022 21:38

Oh look what I found lol! Download this app and it will tell you wait times at security. Not sure if it includes the times at Passport control although those are much faster than they used to be.

www.tsa.gov/mobile

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SeasonFinale · 03/01/2022 21:39

I flew in to Atlanta on the first day the US reopened Everyone who was a non US citize
with connecting flights missed them that day. They let all US citizens through passport control first and then others on the excuse they needed to check covid paperwork which had been checked at Heathrow anyway.

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bizzey · 03/01/2022 21:47

@KateADM. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.
He is not due back till May/June , so can organise that himself !

The place we have found near us , do the antigen test as well .
Wasn't sure if it was enough.
Need to check what the university specify.
Check in will be early-ish. About 7.30 am.
Good to know the timing is based on date not hours.
He can get it done early Thursday am and results should be back later that day.

Thanks again.

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KateADM · 03/01/2022 21:57

[quote bizzey]@KateADM. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.
He is not due back till May/June , so can organise that himself !

The place we have found near us , do the antigen test as well .
Wasn't sure if it was enough.
Need to check what the university specify.
Check in will be early-ish. About 7.30 am.
Good to know the timing is based on date not hours.
He can get it done early Thursday am and results should be back later that day.

Thanks again.[/quote]
Tell him to throw a Randx test in his luggage and save it for his trip back in May with him because we found it hard to source one over here with the ability to upload the results and get them accepted. (We had the On/Go and American Airlines wouldn't accept the certification). And without health insurance he may have to pay a crazy amount to get tested at an urgent care or local pharmacy.

And you're quite welcome. :)

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lljkk · 03/01/2022 22:03

yes recently went, good experience. I was with family not organised tour. You do need contingency plans.

Bizzey:
You can book the return PCR any time before checkin, with reference code. Advice is generally to book it 2-3 days before flight. I would take covid LFT for each person with you on holiday. They only cost £19 from c19testing.co.uk, if you do need one, much cheaper than American antigen (rapid) tests (very hard to get at moment, too)

If your airline uses it, get Verifly on your phone which can speed up check in enormously.

last week, We got off plane at 915/920am & were thru security etc with our 2 checked bags by... 955/10am. Only because DD got pulled aside for manual search at immigration. That took extra 10-15 minutes. Our group was 5 people, all Brit citizens.

In October 2018 I got from off plane & onto Heathrow express with 2 large checked bags within 20 minutes

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Lockdownlard · 03/01/2022 22:43

Sorry to hijack, but we have had plans to go the the US since Jan 2020 and have moved it 3 times, now booked for March this year for three adults and a teen. We are planning to fly to LA and then to Vegas on day 4, returning to LA on day 14, home to U.K. on day 17. We are wondering if we need covid tests for both interstate flights? We are thinking of cancelling as we are worried we may catch covid and not be able to return when planned, or rules change and need to quarantine etc etc and also end up spending £100s on tests. Does anyone know how many tests we would need to take?

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Mommybunny · 03/01/2022 23:02

I’m pretty sure at the moment there is no testing requirement for domestic air travel. Dr Fauci has been advocating for it I think, so watch this space.

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KateADM · 03/01/2022 23:20

And when things were bad originally, they did limit interstate travel, but that was very early on. I feel like it was before the vaccines. Just always carry your proof of vaccination.

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AttilaTheMeerkat · 04/01/2022 10:08

Verifly is a pre flight checklist that BA amongst some other airlines use but its nothing more than that. It was rushed out too quickly and has been beset with issues.

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orangina01 · 04/01/2022 10:25

Verifly worked perfectly for us on our outbound with American Airlines and our return with BA. Quicker queue for those who had Verifly and no issues at all. Didn't have to show a piece of paper! Brilliant. And very much being used successfully by many, many folk on both our flights.

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