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Fear, panic and chaos: the joy of flying from the UK to New York again | Emma Brockes

After bagging one of the first post-Covid US-bound flights, I realised it wasn’t quite the dream experience I’d hoped for

It was 11.30pm, and hour two of struggling with American Airlines’ third-party app, when I started to give up hope. It hadn’t been this bad on the way over. Before flying from New York to London, I had downloaded the Covid security app, uploaded my vaccine and passenger locator forms, and waited for authorisation to fly. It was onerous but straightforward and the following day, at JFK, I sailed past lines of people still waving their paperwork. “Should’ve downloaded the app,” I thought smugly.

That was on Friday, three days before the US reopened its borders to British passport-holders. The following morning, after a two-thirds empty flight, as per most international travel during Covid, I landed at Heathrow. It was empty, but apart from that still very much Heathrow. There was something reassuring about the Covid test authorities sending me to the wrong test centre at Terminal 5, and when queried, informing me – with the sadness of those conveying an immutable reality – “Our systems need updating.” Ah, good to be home.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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