- Digital planning resources and at-home testing options among some of the resources available to customers to smooth upcoming travel
As travelers return to the skies and leisure travel continues to climb to pre-pandemic levels, customers eager to reunite with their favorite international destinations are finding new challenges along the way as governments continue to grapple with how and when to reopen their borders. From additional entry documentation to negative COVID test requirements or proof of vaccination, traveling internationally looks a bit different these days.
Through the pandemic, teams at Delta have been hard at work to find new and better ways to guide customers across their journey, from planning the perfect trip to navigating their day of travel. Natasha Yamaoka, Director – Global Distribution & Digital Strategy International & Enterprise Payments, answers some of the top questions from customers who want to know what to expect ahead of upcoming travel and details what Delta is doing to improve the experience along the way.
WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL LIKE TODAY?
NATASHA: A lot of progress has been made to safely reopen borders and reunite customers with their favorite destinations. The U.K., Canada, Greece, Iceland and others reopened borders to leisure and other non-essential travelers earlier this summer, which gives customers even more options as they look to return to travel.
But as we have seen over the last couple of weeks in Europe, it will take time to fully restore international travel to 2019 levels. In the meantime, there are a few things customers should consider to ensure they have a smooth journey when traveling in the weeks and months ahead.
READ MORE | COVID-19: travel from third countries into the EU (European Council)
WHAT CAN CUSTOMERS DO TO PREPARE FOR AN UPCOMING TRIP?
NATASHA: Before they head out on an upcoming international trip, follow these four steps:
- STEP 1: If you haven’t flown in a while, make sure your passport is up to date! Many countries require your passport to be valid for more than six months from your date of return, and the U.S. Department of State has some helpful resources to make sure you are good to go.
- STEP 2: Understand what entry requirements are in place at your destination. Use the Delta Discover Map on delta.com to plot your origin and review the latest detailed information around test requirements, quarantine restrictions, additional paperwork needed and other local government information.
- STEP 3: As your date of travel approaches, double-check those requirements. At about 14 days out from your flight, take a look at the Delta Discover Map again to make sure your destination’s requirements haven’t changed.* If you need a negative COVID-19 test, visit our testing resources page for everything you need to know about the resources available to you as a Delta customer, including new in-home CDC-accepted testing options for purchase that provide results and peace of mind in minutes.
Earlier this summer, we introduced Delta FlyReady – a health credential verification tool that helps take the guesswork out of testing.
Customers on eligible routes can upload and verify their test results prior to arriving at the airport, saving valuable time on your journey. We still have work to do to bring it across all our international routes, but this tool is one example of how we are eliminating guesswork for customers traveling abroad.
- STEP 4: Confirm you have what you need to travel. At seven days out from departure, check your entry requirements again to make sure you have the proper government-required documentation – and make sure to bring printed copies as they will be needed along your journey. Remember to confirm what is needed for your return as well — it may differ from your outbound trip. The U.S. still requires customers show a negative COVID-19 test and completed digital health attestation upon return.
I’M ALREADY VACCINATED – DO I STILL NEED A COVID-19 TEST TO TRAVEL TO MY DESTINATION?
NATASHA: Proof of vaccination is becoming increasingly prevalent for customers interested in traveling to Europe and other regions, but negative COVID-19 tests are still required to enter many destinations.
Customers who need a negative COVID-19 test for entry to their destination should check out our testing resources page to see the options available to them based on their origin and destination. Remember, the U.S. still requires a negative test to re-enter the country, so plan to take a rapid antigen test with you or make arrangements to test at your destination prior to returning to the States.
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO CUSTOMERS HEADED INTERNATIONALLY IN THE COMING MONTHS?
NATASHA: Please pack a little patience. With the added government requirements introduced during the pandemic, wait times at the airport may be a little longer as our agents work to clear each passenger. We’re hiring more than 5,000 employees across the business to make wait times shorter and smooth your journey through the airport. Above all, rest assured that we’ve got your back and are doing everything we can to make your journey as seamless as possible on Delta as international recovery continues.* For some local governments, managing the impacts of the pandemic on their communities may require changes to entry requirements that were in place when you booked your ticket. These can be changes to required documentation, testing or even new quarantine requirements when you arrive. We’ve made it easy to adjust your reservation if needed in My Trips or the Fly Delta app by following a few simple steps.