The need for vaccinations and verification of COVID-19 test results is expected to create a serious delay at US and international airports once the country fully reopens on Monday.
“The big problem we anticipate is airline check-in at airports outside the US,” says Sherry Stein, chief technology officer at SITA Americas.
“[U.S. Customs and Border Patrol] requires airlines to be responsible for verifying vaccination records and test results before allowing [international travelers] to check in. ”
However, that doesn’t mean that once travelers land on American soil, everything will go well.
Data retrieved from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) on “causes of on-time flight and delays”, and analyzed by The Family Vacation Guide portal, shows that between July 2019 and July 2021, several American airports experienced persistent delays.
O most affected airports – from worst to least bad – are Newark Liberty International, NJ, with 24.29 percent of flights delayed; LaGuardia, New York with 23 percent; Dallas Fort Worth International in Texas with 21 percent; Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International in Florida with 20% and Palm Beach International with 19.66%.
Other airports with similar problems are Boston Logan International, Massachusetts, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International, Louisiana, Orlando International, Florida, San Antonio International, Texas, and John F. Kennedy International, New York.
But why is going through customs getting worse each year instead of getting better? Diverse, uncontrollable and predictable reasons.
Let’s start with the uncontrollables. Bad weather. This simple reason is the only aspect impossible for the airline industry to control and has negatively impacted hundreds of flights in recent weeks.
In relation to the foreseeable ones, some of the major airlines face the biggest crew shortage in years.
For example, United Airlines Inc. is spending about $2.8 million per month in paid licenses for unvaccinated pilots because their crewmates “refuse to risk their safety” flying with them.
On September 27, 273 American Airlines employees began the process of leaving the company for not complying with its new mandatory vaccination requirement.
SITA Americas is supposedly working with governments to create a digital solution to streamline airport processes.
What’s most notable about these promised solutions is that the US has been closed to the EU and Asian countries for 21 months, and in all that time they haven’t been able to solve the problem, let alone now that the country will fully reopen on Monday .