Passengers slam ‘ridiculous’ queues at airport after US opens up to international tourists

Waiting times described as a ‘disgrace’

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 10 November 2021 11:46 GMT
<p>Travellers queue at the JFK International Airport in New York City</p>

Travellers queue at the JFK International Airport in New York City

Passengers reported frustration at being stuck in long queues at the airport after the US finally lifted its ban on international tourists earlier this week.

Long wait times at JFK were branded a “disgrace” and “ridiculous” by disgruntled British travellers.

Marc Evans, 42, his wife and two children touched down in the New York airport having flown from Manchester on Monday – the first day that Brits were allowed back into the US for leisure purposes.

“Twenty months closed, lots of time to get things right and JFK Airport queues are a disgrace, three planes landing at the same time from Manchester is ridiculous,” he tweeted, alongside footage showing long queues snaking around the airport.

It took the family just shy of two hours to get through the airport, he told Manchester Evening News, which “did dampen our moods,” he said, adding: “Myself, my wife and two children were tired and it was really hot inside.”

Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian had said earlier in the day: “It’s going to be a bit sloppy at first. I can assure you, there will be lines, unfortunately.

“We’ll get it sorted out.”

The US reopened to vaccinated tourists from all over the world to much fanfare on 8 November.

The country had been closed to leisure travellers from the UK and Europe, among other nations, for almost 20 months, following a presidential proclamation introduced by Donald Trump in March 2020 and later upheld by Joe Biden.

As British travellers start returning to the US after the 20-month travel ban, they face significant costs for coronavirus testing, The Independent can reveal – before departure and after arrival in America, and on returning home.

A family of four (where the parents have been fully vaccinated but the children have not) will need to undergo a minimum of 10 tests between them to comply with US and UK law, plus two more recommended for the adults.

The total cost could run into hundreds of pounds.

A test before departure for the US is mandatory even for fully vaccinated visitors.

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