The US still requires non-citizens to show vaccine passports at the border. This creates all sorts of delays because people don’t know this.
“You have no idea what much the airport workers hate this,” an airport worker told me.
As everything COVID-related, this makes no sense. A passport doesn’t protect you from spreading COVID. It’s all stupid theater.
6 thoughts on “COVID Theater”
Sadly, it is not just a stupid theater, it has real consequences. For example, several members of my family are not able to enter the US because of it.
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I know, my mother was almost denied entry today because she lost her vaccination record.
Consider flying general aviation (GA) instead of commercial aviation (CA), the latter being the major airlines you’re used to.
You will not like the cost: expect a ten-fold or more increase in the costs per mile.
But the entry experience is different because you’re behaving like a higher class of traveller.
Ever wondered why they have “special” border entry areas for the first-class commercial aviation travellers on international flights?
They’re handled with kid gloves.
In general, even a semi-crap GA flight outranks the most posh CA flight’s first class, including Emirates, Etihad, and Singapore Airways.
The usual entry experience: you hand your passport to one of the flight deck crew, he hands all of them off to the border services people, and a few minutes later you have a new stamp in your passport.
If you have long-term stay visas of a global traveller variant, that goes a little bit faster.
None of the usual questions you’re used to at the border clerk’s station, such as whether you’re passing on unwanted agricultural items or have enough reefer in your suitcase for a Boomer-era rock band to subsist on for two months, tend to be asked, because you rarely ever have to march into the area with the border services offices.
These days I’d say at least 6 USD per mile travelled is fairly typical.
Major airports won’t let you use them: forget about landing at EWR because you’ll be landing at Teterboro, for instance.
Also forget about landing at MIA, RSW, FLL, TPA, MCO, and JAX, because you’ll be landing at a four-letter airport.
Naples Municipal, for instance, is an option as long as your plane has serious noise abatement kit (if it’s a jet).
Some international airports charge landing fees, and so that’ll be on top of what you’re paying.
You may be able to pull costs down to 4 USD per mile with careful planning plus the use of a less convenient (and slower) aircraft, and there are groups looking to share charters to lower their out-of-pocket costs.
If you have a large group and you’re in a hurry, NetJets is really the way to go, but sticker shock for you will be instant.
NetJets usually starts at about 125k USD for US 48 and you usually have the plane for up to ten hours with the base rate, but it comes fully crewed with a pilot to take you wherever you want to go.
Where it shines is if you need to move a professional crew of some kind (architects, nuclear techs, sports teams, what have you) and you’re looking at excessive first class fees with baggage fees, which means you’ll be on a charter anyway.
Sometimes you wind up with a GA experience that’s a puddle jumper or small regional airline, and those are more in keeping with what you’re used to with flying commercial aviation.
And so getting picked up in a chopper, going to a municipal airfield on the Atlantic coast, and then going via puddle jumper to a Caribbean destination would have been a cheaper option.
We didn’t do that, in part because this was my girlfriend’s first time flying GA, and I had seriously heavy luggage.
We flew by chopper to the airfield, then flew to an Atlantic coast airfield where we topped up on aviation fuel (and snacks), and then flew directly to the destination.
So if you are genuinely tired of having relatives being fucked with by US border inspections, get them all in one place in Canada and use a GA flight to get them across the border.
Toronto Harbour airport to Teterboro would be a fairly common and relatively unquestioned route, with the commercial aviation connections being YYZ and EWR.
Once across the border, they can travel to another airport and fly commercial aviation if that’s your thing for cost savings.
The experience with the “plandemic” has soured me on wanting to fly commercial aviation ever again, plus GA needs the cash infusions, and so I’ll continue to fly without an entourage of uninvited people who hog the arm rests.
But if you’ve guessed that all of those border inconveniences are a function of class, perceived or otherwise?
Absolutely spot on.
It does discourage the wrong sort of people from traveling, though. I assume that’s the point.
“… the wrong sort of people from traveling …”
[waves my hand as part of the “wrong sort of people”]
Oh, but you didn’t really mean me, did you?
But it’s quite all right, because:
1) I won’t be flying commercial aviation again pretty much ever;
2) Therefore I won’t be coming in contact with many “tourists”;
3) Where we currently live is so far off the map that they’ll film the remake of “A Boy And His Dog” there;
4) Where we’re going doesn’t seem to care anymore about “vaxx passports” or even our status.
And what’s most interesting about the “not caring” part is how many places we can go to where they don’t even need to look at our passports unless we’re staying for longer than the average cruise ship tourist’s visit. Even then, it’s a quick stamp if we don’t already have the entry or long-term stay visas.
Several of these places are hurting because of over-reacting, and so the latest visa invention: a yearly stay visa where you don’t have residency status, but instead are able to come and go within that year as you’d like.
Some countries are too ignorant to get it even now. (Yes, Saint Kitts, we’re looking at you … seriously, WTF.)
Back in America, we’re seen as The Great Unvaxxed, and so we’re the “wrong sort of people” to be travelling.
Living in a place “so far off the map” where it’s obvious we’re holing up waiting for every major US city to erupt into uncontrollable violence just adds insult to the injury for a lot of people.
And so we’re the “wrong sort of people” to be caring about Democrat on Democrat violence in cities that turn themselves into “self-cleaning ovens”.
Get your supplies while they last, that’s what we were doing in Broward.
What we’ve actually been doing: there are certain non-reportable assets that we can move freely, and so most of those have been moved. Several LLCs have sold at a loss and we’re going to be selling this entire kit and kaboodle for what we paid for it, improvements and all.
That loss then applies to our aggregate US income which if our planners are correct should advance our ability to put into motion the rest of what we have in mind at least one year earlier.
When you realise you’re still fighting class battles in America, the ones you thought you got away from by moving out of the United Kingdom, what do you do?
So we’re doing that.
Thanks to the yearly non-resident visitor visas, we can pack up valuables for transport and pack up the rest for storage.
The latter is what we’re doing now.
BTW, getting back on Eastern Standard Time was a genuine annoyance.
There are clear advantages to being on Atlantic Standard Time, among them being an additional hour to get coffee and essentials out of the way before having to call anyone on the North American continent.
Orange juice that costs more than diesel, that’s still taking some time to get used to.
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We are all the wrong sort of people 😉
The pilates crowd thought they’d found a way to avoid having to ever cross paths with us, whether it was in restaurants, universities, airports, or their favorite holiday destinations… so of course leapt for it. That is what the passport is about. Right now, anyway.