Travel to the US and back.

202 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, jeba said:

 My son was tested and the only proof he received from a test centre (in Bavaria) was a sms. Is that sufficient?

 

I think paper would be best.  Was there maybe a downloadable pdf attached to the SMS?  or a link to a webpage where a pdf could be downloaded?  The CDC website says:

 

What information must be included on the test result?

A test result must be in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy). The documentation must include:

  1. Type of test (indicating it is a NAAT or antigen test)
  2. Entity issuing the result (e.g. laboratory, healthcare entity, or telehealth service)
  3. Specimen collection date. A negative test result must show the specimen was collected within the 3 days before the flight. A positive test result for documentation of recovery from COVID-19 must show the specimen was collected within the 3 months before the flight.
  4. Information that identifies the person (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number)
  5. Test Result

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, DoubleDTown said:

 

the "attestation" is likely to be found on your airline's website (or at least a link). 


For United, it’s included in the online check-in process where they now let you upload your test result and then digitally sign a bunch of documents. For Lufthansa, we just printed and filled it to bring to the airport. In neither case did anyone in the US ask to see the document.

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Definitely get paper proof of your test. We landed in Chicago yesterday and switched planes in Munich. We had to show our negative tests at least 4 times 🙄🙄 There was also the possibility of randomly being selected upon landing in the US and having to show it again. I don’t think an SMS would suffice. However, just before we landed in Chicago, they announced that a PDF attached to an email would be okay or a screen shot of a PDF in case one couldn’t get internet connection at the airport. 
 

The attestation form is something different and even though they made a big stink about having the form printed out, which can be downloaded from the airplane’s website, we only showed it once. They asked for our marriage certificate at least two times in order to make sure my husband (German) is allowed to enter into the US.

 

Do yourself a favor and book only flights that change in the country you’re in (in case you can’t get a direct flight). It was enough of a hassle changing in Germany; I can’t imagine having to go through another country to get to the US.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Santitas said:

Definitely get paper proof of your test.

We landed in Chicago yesterday and switched planes in Munich. We had to show our negative tests at least 4 times 🙄🙄 There was also the possibility of randomly being selected upon landing in the US and having to show it again.

 

 

Santitas,

 

thanks for taking the time to share your experience.  useful!

 

Follow up question:  was your negative test certificate for a "rapid antigen" a/k/a "schnelltest"?      A PCR test is not necessary, right?

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18 minutes ago, DoubleDTown said:

 

Santitas,

 

thanks for taking the time to share your experience.  useful!

 

Follow up question:  was your negative test certificate for a "rapid antigen" a/k/a "schnelltest"?      A PCR test is not necessary, right?

Yes, that’s correct! We literally went to the Turkish restaurant across the street from where we live who offers the free Bürgertest with results in 15 minutes. Afterwards, we were given a printed document with our details and also received an email with the certificate. 

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On 24.7.2021, 09:03:35, Santitas said:

The attestation form is something different and even though they made a big stink about having the form printed out, which can be downloaded from the airplane’s website, we only showed it once. They asked for our marriage certificate at least two times in order to make sure my husband (German) is allowed to enter into the US.

 

 

Thank you for describing your experience Santitas.

 

I have another question, did they ask to see the marriage certificate when you landed in the US or was it only before you boarded the plane in Germany?

I (US citizen) am flying very soon with my German husband. We got married in Denmark and therefore have a Danish marriage certificate. We also have different last names and I'm a bit worried about them accepting it in the US.

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1 hour ago, KylieW said:

 

Thank you for describing your experience Santitas.

 

I have another question, did they ask to see the marriage certificate when you landed in the US or was it only before you boarded the plane in Germany?

I (US citizen) am flying very soon with my German husband. We got married in Denmark and therefore have a Danish marriage certificate. We also have different last names and I'm a bit worried about them accepting it in the US.

They asked to see it before boarding in Germany. They wouldn’t have let him board the first leg of the trip in Germany without it. On a side note, if you have children that also entitles him to enter the US as the parent of a US citizen who’s a minor. So you could bring the child’s birth certificate as well.

 

i don’t think having a Danish marriage certificate would be an issue, but you could always call the airlines just to make sure.

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4 hours ago, KylieW said:

 

I have another question, did they ask to see the marriage certificate when you landed in the US or was it only before you boarded the plane in Germany?

I (US citizen) am flying very soon with my German husband. We got married in Denmark and therefore have a Danish marriage certificate. We also have different last names and I'm a bit worried about them accepting it in the US.


Like Santitas, we also had to show ours before boarding in Germany. Ours is a US marriage certificate and we have different last names, and had no problems.
 

Just remember it can take time at the counter. Both flights to the US we waited around 20 minutes for approval at Frankfurt. The airline has to call Homeland Security for a special sign off.

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Maybe this could be helpful if anyone wants reassurance...

 

We flew BER - ZRH - JFK (Swiss Intl) on July 2nd (US / German married couple, US / German dual citizen kids) and we are still here.

 

Marriage Certificate: Requested in BER and ZRH before boarding flight - it was a US marriage certificate with a certified German translation attached. The gate agents in both countries only glanced at it for 10 seconds right at boarding and typed something into the computer and we boarded without issue. The US authorities did not ask for it - I told them she was my wife and they believed me (same last name, kids with same last name).

 

Negative COVID test: Requested in BER only at check-in. It was a printed result for an antigen quick test from a local strorefront testing center in a Betting Spielhalle (we got the free Bürgertest offered to Berlin residents). A PCR test was definitely not required. The US authorities did not ask for it.

 

US Attestation: They only asked if we had it at BER, but did not look at it. The CH & US authorities did not ask for it. We had 2 printed copies for each one of us - they went straight into the recycling bin at JFK.

 

Upon arrival in the US, everything was like pre-COVID normal (except for masks) - nobody asked to see any COVID-related documentation. We waited about 20 mins to have our passports checked (and photos taken) and we were on our way. Curiously, my German citizen wife did not need to be fingerprinted.

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Update. 

July 30, 2021: Traveled domestically within Germany to MUC and then connected on to IAD on July 30.  Ticket bought from LH, but MUC-IAD flight was a United plane.

 

When checking in online on LH website, no Covid questions or opportunity to upload anything.  Just entered passport data.  Used LH record locator on United website (United has another file identifier, but that works) but United didn't have any way for uploading anything - perhaps because ticket was bought from LH. 

 

At first German airport for LH flight to MUC was not asked any Covid questions -- though a couple in front of me also flying to MUC were asked to show proof of immunization.  (which would not be adequate for flying to USA anyhow).    

 

In MUC the United employee at the pre-gate security check wanted to see negative Covid test.  She was only person during journey that asked about it.  She was satisfied with a printout of a pdf of a Schnelltest result from a "testing center" (no QR code on pdf in this instance, fyi).  Testing center was a container in parking lot of a Schwimhalle.

 

{She was puzzled about why test had not been performed in Munich. Puzzled enough it took several rounds of questioning to get it through to this airline employee in a major airport that I was coming from a connecting flight.}  

 

No Covid questions upon arrival in IAD.

 

Wish me luck Germany does not wake up and declare USA a Virusvariantengebiet before my return...

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Thanks to everyone for posting their experiences here. We are now winding down our trip to the US, and we fly back to DE (transfer in CH) later this week. We are a family of 4 (2 fully vaccinated parents, a 6 year old, and a 3 year old) and we were wondering if anyone had very recent (like last week or so) experience traveling from the US to DE (esp with kids ineligible for a vaccine), and what the restrictions were. As far as we can gather from the following sources, as long as we as the parents are vaccinated, our kids won't even need a COVID test:

 

https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/quarantaene-einreise/2371468

https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php (DE & CH)

 

Is this in line with anyone else's experience? Thanks!

 

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4 hours ago, Brockman said:

Thanks to everyone for posting their experiences here. We are now winding down our trip to the US, and we fly back to DE (transfer in CH) later this week. We are a family of 4 (2 fully vaccinated parents, a 6 year old, and a 3 year old) and we were wondering if anyone had very recent (like last week or so) experience traveling from the US to DE (esp with kids ineligible for a vaccine), and what the restrictions were. As far as we can gather from the following sources, as long as we as the parents are vaccinated, our kids won't even need a COVID test:

 

https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/quarantaene-einreise/2371468

https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php (DE & CH)

 

Is this in line with anyone else's experience? Thanks!

 

We got back today from Chicago via Frankfurt and it was smooth sailing. We are a German-American family of three with two fully vaccinated adults and a 17-month old. They asked for proof of our vaccine status in the US and in Germany. In the US, we showed our Impfpass and in Germany, we just showed our app. Our daughter has dual citizenship, and they weren’t interested in her vaccine status or a Covid test.
 

The only hiccup was a guy who sneezed next to us at the gate into the air with his mask under his nose 🤬🤬🤬🤬

Oh, and the Karen who insisted on smoking her e-cigarette, talking on the phone while the plane was taxiing (sp?) and getting up to use the bathroom afterwards 🙄🙄 I was really surprised they didn’t turn the plane around and kick her off, but the entire flight crew was German, and I think they just wanted to get home and not have to deal with American authorities. 

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Thanks @Santitas that's good to know! I just got off the phone with a friend of mine (who flew with his family from the US to DE last week) and he said he paid $500 USD for express PCR tests in the US only to not be asked for them (neither in US or DE - parents were vaccinated traveling with 2 kids under 12). He said he spoke to a US airline rep in advance who said they were required to enter DE. Glad I won't be making that mistake!

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8 minutes ago, Santitas said:

Oh, and the Karen who insisted on smoking her e-cigarette, talking on the phone while the plane was taxiing (sp?) and getting up to use the bathroom afterwards 🙄🙄 I was really surprised they didn’t turn the plane around and kick her off, but the entire flight crew was German, and I think they just wanted to get home and not have to deal with American authorities.

 

When I used to travel a few times each year to the US I was rather dismayed at the lack of control over PAXs during take-off & landing.  Cabin crew often hid.

 

Back in 2015 my wife & I flew with GermanWings from Hamburg to Birmingham (UK).  The plane had only just touched down in Brimingham when a women on the opposite side of cabin stood up & started to move forward.  I could not help myself & snapped SIT DOWN which she actually did. 

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On 27.7.2021, 09:01:20, KylieW said:

 

I have another question, did they ask to see the marriage certificate when you landed in the US or was it only before you boarded the plane in Germany?

I (US citizen) am flying very soon with my German husband. We got married in Denmark and therefore have a Danish marriage certificate. We also have different last names and I'm a bit worried about them accepting it in the US.

 

I'm in the same situation and I have found nothing official anywhere about what I need to do to prove my German husband is, indeed, my husband. I have a copy of the German marriage certificate (in German), but I did not take his (complicated-to-spell) last name. Who is asking for it? The Germans (upon checking-in/boarding) or the Americans (immigration control) upon arrival in the US (luckily, direct flights to the US)?

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44 minutes ago, kitkat64 said:

 

I'm in the same situation and I have found nothing official anywhere about what I need to do to prove my German husband is, indeed, my husband. I have a copy of the German marriage certificate (in German), but I did not take his (complicated-to-spell) last name. Who is asking for it? The Germans (upon checking-in/boarding) or the Americans (immigration control) upon arrival in the US (luckily, direct flights to the US)?

 

They will not let you board the flight to the US without seeing that certificate. So it’s the Americans requiring that the Germans check your marital status before boarding your flight in Germany.

 

Your not having the same last name shouldn’t be an issue. It clearly states that you’re married on the certificate. 

 

When we arrived in the US, border control did NOT ask to see the certificate as they’re depending on ze Germans to check all that information beforehand. Good that you have a direct flight. We had to change in Frankfurt and had to show them the certificate again before we could board our connecting flight. It really slowed things down 🙄🙄

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Folks,

 

I'm from the US and flew to Berlin on July 26 on Iceland Air.  I checked in online, but was not issued boarding passes.  At Washington Dulles they required proof of vaccination (CDC card) or a negative Covid test.  I had two negative PCR tests that were done on July 23 and July 24.  IMPORTANT:  The negative test must be done within three days of your scheduled arrival date, NOT the departure date.  In my case I was leaving in the evening of July 26 and arriving in Berlin on July 27.  The July 23 PCR test was not accepted, however the July 24 test was.   

 

I flew back to the US on August 3.  I signed up for a Schnelltest at one of the CovidZentrum.de sites in Berlin.  It was free and I had the results in about 20 minutes.  There were several testing centers all over Berlin, but I went with the CovidZentrum.de site just to be safe.  I printed the paperwork (3 pages) at the local copy center and brought that with me when I checked in at BER.  Customs in the US did not check my Covid paperwork.  

 

S.

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3 hours ago, kitkat64 said:

 

I'm in the same situation and I have found nothing official anywhere about what I need to do to prove my German husband is, indeed, my husband. I have a copy of the German marriage certificate (in German), but I did not take his (complicated-to-spell) last name. Who is asking for it? The Germans (upon checking-in/boarding) or the Americans (immigration control) upon arrival in the US (luckily, direct flights to the US)?


My husband and I also have different last names. Was not a problem just showing our marriage certificate at the airline desk in Frankfurt. 

 

1 hour ago, Shenandoah said:

I had two negative PCR tests that were done on July 23 and July 24.  IMPORTANT:  The negative test must be done within three days of your scheduled arrival date, NOT the departure date.  In my case I was leaving in the evening of July 26 and arriving in Berlin on July 27.  The July 23 PCR test was not accepted, however the July 24 test was.   


Good info, but just to put it out there: an antigen test or NAAT (not PCR) is only good for 48 hours before arrival in Germany. And it’s by actual arrival time to Germany, including time zone adjustment, not just arrival day like going to the US. We had a very narrow window to get tested first time around (before fast turnaround PCR tests were easily available in the US).

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We flew from US to DE (via CH) on Friday, and at check-in in the US our vaccination certificates (I showed them Corona-Warn app and it was accepted without issue) were checked, but no COVID tests were required (because the US is not currently a risk area). As a non-DE citizen, I was asked if I was a resident of Germany, but not asked for any proof of that. We also had to fill in a form form online for CH, but no one asked anything about it. After check-in in the US, no one asked for any other COVID-related documentation. Our kids are under 12, so no proof of vaccination were required and no tests were necessary for them either. Good luck!

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Hi y'all. My mom's flying back to the US on Friday: LH to Heathrow, and UA to San Francisco. We'll get the rapid antigen test within the 72 hour window. As far as I can see, this works for all the relevant authorities (LH, UA, UK immigration and US immigration)? Biggest question mark is the transit. For the others I'm fairly sure she'll be ok.

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