My trip from Cotonou, Benin all the way back to Los Angeles yesterday was surprisingly smooth.
I flew from Cotonou to Istanbul via Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on Turkish, connected to London on Turkish, then flew from London to Los Angeles via Washington on United Airlines.
I expected chaos in Istanbul. It was calm. I expected chaos in London. It was calm. I expected chaos in Washington. It was calm.
All day I had seen headlines in leftwing, rightwing, and mainstream news outlets about how horrible immigration lines were in the USA. I think this Drudge Report homepage about sums it up:
I was bracing for the worst, but met with this in Washington Dulles:
(once again proving why Washington Dulles is my favorite U.S. gateway)
The airports I visited were not ghost towns. Quite the contrary, the Turkish Airlines lounge was full as usual, Heathrow Terminal 2 was quite crowded as British and Irish rush to the United States before today’s cutoff. Even Washington Dulles was fairly crowded for a Sunday night.
As for questionnaires, I did not fill any out. Had I entered Turkey (versus transiting) I would have had to fill one out. I did have to fill out the blue DHS arrivals form, even with Global Entry.
I was sent to secondary screening, though it wasn’t coronavirus related. Instead, I was traveling with my second passport and United automatically populated the info from my old passport into the app when I checked in. The discrepancy took a couple minutes to resolve. My passport was placed into an orange lock box and I was directed to a secondary screening area.
Those who had visited China, South Korea, or the Schengen Area over the last 14 days were also directed to secondary screening, where a health test was administered.
I braced for the worst, but yesterday was a very smooth day of travel, actually no different than a “usual” day. I don’t doubt things were bad earlier in the day at many U.S. airports, but the situation was quite calm in Washington Dulles.
Did you travel into the USA yesterday? What was your experience like?