Travel Alert January 2021: Waivers For International Travel to the United States

If the United States is in your travel plans — whether it is your final destination or you are connecting from any other country or external jurisdiction — over the next month or so, the change fee and any difference in fare may be waived due to an order from the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States which calls for the expansion of the requirement for all airline passengers who enter the United States to have proof of a negative 2019 Novel Coronavirus test result to become effective as of Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Travel Alert January 2021: Waivers For International Travel to the United States

A test will be required of all passengers prior to departure to the United States — combined with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get tested again up to five days after arrival and stay home for seven days after travel has been completed — is purportedly critical in efficiently helping to slow the introduction and spread of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic within communities in the United States from infections which are related to travel. Even though it will not eliminate all risk, testing prior to departure — with results known and acted upon before travel begins — will help identify infected travelers before they board airplanes.

Airline passengers will be required to get a viral test for current infection within three days before their flight departs to the United States; and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result — whether a paper copy or an electronic copy — to the airline, or provide documentation of having recovered from 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before any of the passengers board.

If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery — or chooses not to take a test altogether — the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

Flight Waivers

If the United States is in your travel plans over the next month or so, you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are five airlines which have issued travel alerts for all international travel to — or connecting through — the United States as a result of the aforementioned order from the director of the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States:

  • American Airlines has issued a travel alert for Tuesday, January 12, 2021 through Tuesday, February 9, 2021; and Monday, January 25, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Delta Air Lines has issued a travel alert for Tuesday, January 12, 2021 through Tuesday, February 9, 2021; and Monday, January 25, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued a travel alert for Wednesday, January 13, 2021 through Thursday, February 15, 2021; and Monday, January 25, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued a travel alert for Tuesday, January 26 through Tuesday, February 9, 2021; and Monday, January 25, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Sun Country Airlines has issued a travel alert for Tuesday, January 26 through Tuesday, February 9, 2021; and Monday, January 25, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Summary

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

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