Preparing to Fly Internationally

Hi @Kelownagurl While you wear that mask for 18 hours on a flight, remind yourself that some health care workers have been doing that for us for the past two years. That’s how I rationalize things these days. I hear friends complaining about the high price of gas/petrol, in part due to the Ukraine/Russia war. I remind them of the extremes the Ukrainians are facing, and I’ll peacefully accept the increased cost.

I hope you have some great adventures across the pond. Safe travels to you. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I totally understand that many people have to wear one all day at work and I have always fully supported mask mandates and always wear my mask everywhere I go regardless of my struggle.

My issue is personal though - I get extreme anxiety when I feel I can’t breath cool air (I can’t go in saunas for example) which has been an problem long before the pandemic started, coupled with travel anxiety at the best of times.

I’m quite nervous about how I will react to wearing one for that length of time. I plan to practice wearing a mask for a full day before I fly so I can practice finding some ways to handle the panicky feeling whenever it happens with meditative breathing etc. Right now, when I get that way out in a store, I just go outside for a moment and take a few breaths, but the idea that in an enclosed space for hours I won’t be able to easily do that is scary.

Ativan will also likely come into play. :joy: :grimacing:

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Hi @Kelownagurl I sympathize with you, and hope your flight experience goes well. Now I’ll wish you sweet dreams on your flight. :slightly_smiling_face: :sleeping: :heart_eyes:

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@Kelownagurl perhaps you can always have a water bottle at hand, and lower your mask for a few sips whenever you feel the need for some fresh air. Of course, there’s always the rest room for an extended ‘breather’ :grimacing:. Best of luck on your extended travels!!! We opted this year for a long 14 day cruise across the Atlantic, and just heard masks are no longer required….slow and steady for us this time around.

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Haha, yes I definitely plan to use that strategy. I usually fast on flights so can’t really use the “I’m eating” excuse but I do keep sipping my water bottle so that will help for sure.

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Bem Vindo Lisboa!!!




So much to share! Wow wow wow
Just getting here!
But first some vino :wine_glass: tinto on that balcony.
Tomorrow I head to Coimbra.
Zzzzzz

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Yay - you made it!!!

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Amazing @Amparo Welcome to Portugal - have a WONDERFUL stay :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :airplane: :clinking_glasses:

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@Amparo welcome to Portugal! We are glad you made it you through all the hurdles we have to overcome now when travelling internationally.
Just a few months we were in Europe. Pre departure we were dreading the Covid testing and anxiously waiting for the results. When the results came negative and on time we got relaxed. Unfortunately we were totally not prepared for 1 hour interrogation by an United Airlines employee at Denver Airport. She kept going through our paperwork, passports, COVID testing and return reservations. It was almost as she was looking to find something to deny us boarding. It was one of the most unpleasant and frustrating travel experiences.

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@BunnyCat Were you flying into Denver from out of the country? Sorry you experienced that.

@Edith We flew Sacramento- Denver-Frankfurt, so Denver was our second round of document checks. One thing we learned is that airlines (at least United) ask you to upload the documents online, but still request to verify everything in person.

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You have to REALLY want to travel these days to go through these hoops.

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Yes absolutely! I will write more about my experiences because it truly was not smooth and easy like previously.
I just need to breathe a bit and I will be sharing soon.

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Breathe? You need a few days of gasping!

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Right now, our trip to the UK from Canada looks pretty straight forward.

No covid tests or quarantine required (unless things change)

We have to fill out the UK locator card online 3 days before we fly.

We need to show proof of vaccination, which we have digital and paper copies.

And to return home to Canada, we need to have all documentation uploaded to the ArriveCan app, including the results of a rapid test that we do via video the day before we fly.

We are purchasing the rapid tests from https://switchhealth.ca/en/partners/aeroplan/ before we leave and then just do them via video the day before we fly.

There’s a chance Canada won’t require a a rapid test on return by June but we are assuming it’ll be needed and will order the tests in early May.

The Atlanta to Detroit flight was uneventful. Less than an hour to board the international flight, I had to again show all the documents, covid test results, passport, and locator code. All had been uploaded and shown in Atlanta multiple times even after the clarification of the mix up by Air France canceling a segment of my return flight because they had me routed into Spain instead of Portugal. (Insert big eye roll and many deep breaths). Of course they also had to be shown to TSA.
Once I scanned the boarding pass to board, on the gangway were 5 police men, local, not feds, not TSA. They were taking turns stopping people and asking them to again show their ticket and passport. I told the big guy “I haven’t done anything yet, I am just starting”. He smiled taking my passport and ticket and then asked me what my final destination was, business or holiday and how much cash I had. He winked and led me pass on through when I answered that everyday was a holiday for me.
Air France flight was simply outstanding. Service, atmosphere, food, everything…outstanding.
In Paris a bit after 11 and 6 hour layover ahead, I had to leave the secured area as there was not a way to get to the required terminal directly. I inquired about the lounge I had selected with my premium pass and the young man told me to go to a different terminal and go to a different lounge he said was much better. The pass I had was only valid for the lounge I selected so I went there. Lots of walking and plane train rides later, I found it. Totally disappointing. It looked like a cafeteria, no food only snacks and nothing was included except machine coffee and tea.

Boarding the flight to Portugal, also with Air France, had to go through TSA again and at the gate had to show all documents again. We were shuttled to the plane and had to walk on the tarmac and go up stairs to board. Again, attendants and service were magnifique’.
When we arrived in Lisbon, the very wonderful male attendant held out his arm for me as I made my way. It was such a small gesture but I was absolutely delighted.
In customs, very smooth and routine and passport was stamped!
The airport was super crowded and seemed a bit chaotic but I made my way to the taxi stand. The hotel offers shuttle service but at that point I just wanted to get there and didn’t want to wait anymore.
Tudo bem. I made it and if you think I was happy before… :rofl:

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oh and Air France does not allow cloth face mask. They must be surgical grade or N-95. They do give you an envelope with a fresh mask, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipe and ask you to please change your mask and not reuse them.
Food was amazing for a flight, Dinner and breakfast.

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I was way too excited to have tested positive. Many countries are accepting a letter of recovery which I went to my doctor and obtained on Thursday. Trying to figure out what to do with the cat, and I will be off to Venice, Italy??? In Alaska our test is still free and there are many drive up areas, you just have to make sure They are doing the right type (PCR, but check with the requirements of each country) of test.

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Quite an ordeal, and yet you’re so chipper. Science should study you. Thanks for the example you set. :blush:

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Thank you Edith. I hope to see you in London. I believe we will have a most interesting and enjoyable conversation.
I woke last night at two AM to some music playing in the courtyard and I believe there was singing as well. Smiling with content I drifted back to sleep and then The song of birds awakened me. Church bells are ringing now coffee in hand, the joy continues.
Enjoy your day!

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