Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Nov 2021: Prep
on Wed 10 Nov 2021
Story: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Nov 2021
Tags: American Airlines | British Airways | CDG | France | Hawaii | HNL | Honolulu | JFK | LAX | LHR | Los Angeles | New York | Paris | Trips | USA
Nice quiet day today ahead of the start of my first trip in 18 months or so. Not flying until late in the day, but decided to take the day off to avoid any last-minute stress and to make sure I’ve got everything in order, including all of the covid testing procedures. I took my first official covid test yesterday. Prior to that I had done a couple of the free NHS covid tests to make sure there was nothing amiss.
Will be heading into Heathrow T5 Meet & Greet early afternoon so that I can avoid the rush hour and allow me some time to enjoy the CCR. I booked this trip at the start of June, not really knowing whether it was going to be possible to fly to the US or not. As it happens, President Biden did the honourable thing and declared in early Oct that the doors would be open early Nov for international visitors. That turned in Mon 8th Nov, so my timing was just right.
It was a good deal as well. Not seen a price as low as this to Hawaii for a number of years, so I had to jump at the chance. I couldn’t book it through BA, so had to resort to booking it online through AA. That left me fewer options if I had to reorganise my trip (e.g., if the US didn’t open up in time or my client had an implementation organised for the same weekend!), but I’ve been lucky that it appears that it’s all going to work out ok.
Planning to take into account all of the covid requirements has taken a lot of time in the run up to starting this trip:
- Flying to France – ended up being straightforward on the basis I am fully vaccinated. No explicit covid test required. The only other (French) requirement was for printing and signing a couple of documents.
- Flying back to the UK – again, not too challenging as a result of being fully vaccinated. Just needed to fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and commit to doing a Day 2 test, even though I would be transferring onto a flight to the US. Odd but not the end of the world.
- Flying to the US – over and above being vaccinated, this is the first requirement for a covid test, to be taken max 3 days before flying. Spent a lot of time looking at how to simplify all of the covid tests I might need, especially with the specifics for Hawaii (see later). In the end, a Lateral Flow (LF) antigen test was all I needed and I performed this at home, unsupervised. I purchased tests at a BA discount from Chronomics. The only other (US) requirement was for printing and signing an attestation document.
- Domestic UA travel – nothing required.
- Flying to Hawaii – this is where (initially) it looked like it was going to get complicated. Up until early Nov, Hawaii had some specific requirements: covid tests needed to be performed by trusted partners, which were not easily accessible on my route from anywhere other than LAX airport. So, I made sure I had 6 hours at LAX to give me time to do a walk-up LF antigen test and get the results in time for me to board my flight to Honolulu. As it happens, the Hawaiian government requirements changed late on and they came into line with the US mainland. So as long as I could upload my vaccination certificate into the Hawaii SafeTravels website and then completed a health questionnaire (max 24hrs ahead) I should get a pre-clearance covid wristband and avoid further documentation checks on landing in Honolulu.
- Flying back home – just needed a return test in support of my JFK-LHR flight, another PLF and a commitment to do another Day 2 test.
So, I purchased 4 LF antigen tests from Chronomics (@ £17 each) and I thought I should be good to go.
BA and AA have teamed up with Verifly which provides pre-screening of passengers, asserting the correct procedures for specific routes. Verifly allows the uploading of UK vaccination certificates and covid test results. I’m not entirely sure how this then links in with BA and AA, but it seems to enable full online check in. Showing the Verifly green tick to demonstrate all pre-screening has been done simplifies the work that BA need to do pre-flight.
Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Nov 2021