At home in Colorado after an almost 2-week trip in London. Boy, did things change, especially in the final couple days. British Airways simply canceled the March 18 direct return flight to Denver, sending an e-mail notice on the 16th, but no offer of any alternative. How to get home?!? After making many phone calls, including one where the British-sounding employee at the US embassy just hung up on me, I finally got thru to a human at BA, who scheduled us on a trip to Denver, with very a tight connection in Dallas to an American Airlines plane. The “coach” section was almost completely full, but business class had only 3 people - virtually empty.
The experience at the Dallas airport was miserable - the first form we were given and filled out, regarding where we’d been and where we were going, turned out to be the “wrong” form, so after we finally were given the “right” form and completed it, we were allowed to proceed. They let 12 of us off the plane at a time, met by masked and gloved people, who gave us new, “priority” boarding passes. Never screened for fever, and this still ate up a lot of the connection time. A couple in the row in front of us and a couple just behind us on the plane were also booked for the Denver flight. None of them made it, but we luckily did, after more ordeals.
Asymptomatic (then, and 24 hours later, still), we made the long trek to the almost totally empty Global Entry/passport control area. After that, and getting wrong directions twice from different airport personnel, we got our carry-on-only luggage and ourselves to a particularly unpleasant screening by mean security people. They had no protective equipment on, and may not have had any idea we’d been on a plane from the U.K. that was loaded with people who’d come from many places. No one ever looked at the bright orange “priority - tight connection” sleeve containing our newest boarding passes, no matter that they said “TSA Pre-Check,” no matter that we had no restricted or non-conforming items in our bags or on our persons. After getting unnecessarily yelled at trying to just get thru (no problems leaving Denver on the way over, none in London coming back), complying with every order barked at us - the only passengers there at the time, so maybe they were bored and needed some entertainment- we finally got thru. A young woman who got to Security as we were leaving was now getting yelled at, so that must be a Texas greeting, y’all. Hope to never have to endure the horrible Dallas Airport ever again. And it was empty, except for that handful of airport personnel. At least there wasn’t a huge crowd, blocking aisles or delaying the long, long, skyline train to our gate.
We hoped those other people from the London plane would make it, too, but sadly, no. Maybe they got held up filling out a new form, or waiting at baggage claim (carry-on makes a difference with tight connections), or dealing with the shouting TSA bullies. We’re now home, in self-quarantine. A dear friend went to the supermarket for us, and brought our order to our door. We trust our precautions will keep us and everyone else healthy and safe. Waiting for the quarantine to end, then we’ll see what happens. Hope the Scotland/Scandinavia trip in July is still on, and the September Rome trip, as well. Hope the sickness and deaths cease, worldwide. Follow protocols, and do what you need to do for your safety. May your next travels be rewarding.