Avoid a travel disaster! Be sure to double and triple-check all travel requirements into Europe before hitting the airport! My recent trip to Greece (from the US) posed quite a tangled mess of communications between the embassies’ and airline’s regulations resulting in missed flights and lost hotel bookings. What the countries require in terms of COVID tests and vaccination cards can be very different than what the airlines require.
Trusting our travel agents, we were told we did NOT need a COVID test and that we ONLY needed to provide our vaccination cards and UK locator pass to enter into Greece. However, when we arrived at American Airlines LAX, excited for our first out-of-the-country adventure in more than a year, we were unmercifully denied and told that we needed a PCR test. Not a rapid test, but a regular PCR (rapid tests are NOT accepted). We begged, pleaded, (I think tears were even shed!) and, of course, showed the proof from the Greek Embassy that a negative PCR test wasn’t needed if you could present a vaccination card! Again, they denied our boarding, and simply told us that we could get a PCR test at LAX – which takes 3-5 hours to receive a result, clearly making us miss our flight! We went home in a frenzied panic trying to find new flights, a PCR test we could get results back before the next day’s flights, and calling our friends to see if they were allowed on their flight. (They weren’t for the same reasons.) Don’t worry! This story has a happy ending since I’m writing from Greece! Here’s the problem: If you’re flying THROUGH another country to get to your destination, you must go by that country’s COVID regulations, as well. And they are all different. Also, some European countries are not accepting Americans if they’ve been to another high COVID-risk country first, so make sure to check who is accepting who before you try to country hop.
Thankfully, after hours and hours of phone calls with our travel agents and American Airlines, we were able to rebook the entire flight for the next day. It was a very long travel day, but when you are so excited to not lose your trip entirely, you don’t care if you have to fly strapped to the wing. You’re just psyched to get there!
So as a recap of what you need for Greece:
– PCR Test (Not Rapid) 48 Hours Before Flight
– Vaccine Card
– UK Locator Pass
It may sound like a lot of work, but getting to Greece was sooo worth it! Just take a look at some of the beautiful sights in my photos! More posts and photos will be coming soon!
Hope this helps prep any of you traveling to Europe this summer, forewarned is forearmed. 🙂
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