- The United States reopens to foreign visitors from dozens of countries on Monday.
- Airlines and CBP expect the new travel rules will lead to a spike in travel.
- International travelers should be ready to face bottlenecks once the new travel rules go into effect.
Planning to travel internationally next week? Be prepared for busier airports and border crossings.
Airlines and U.S. Customs and Border Protection expect a spike in travel starting Monday, the day the U.S. reopens to foreign visitors from dozens of countries, and U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico reopen to nonessential travel.
Add in a slew of new entry requirements for international visitors that must be verified by airlines — proof of COVID-19 vaccination, a negative coronavirus test and attestation forms — and bottlenecks are inevitable.
“It’s going to be a bit sloppy at first, I can assure you,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said last week at a U.S. Travel Association conference. “There will be lines, unfortunately.”
‘Flights will be fairly full’
Airlines are prepping for a big increase in travelers eager to vacation in the United States or reunite with loved ones.
Many of Virgin Atlantic’s U.S.-bound flights on Nov. 8, including its first flight to the U.S. that day from London to New York, are sold out, according to spokesperson Andrew Scott.
United Airlines expects more than 30,000 people to fly into the U.S. that day. That equates to a peak summer day for the airline.