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Triip Delay and Covid test

If flights are delayed, does anyone know how the 'within 72 hour arrival time' works.

We leave for Rome on Saturday, don't arrive until Sunday morning. We will do the proctored test on Friday rather than Thursday to buy a bit of extra time.

Would like to know our options as so many US flights are being cancelled and rebooked for a day or even more later.

Thank you!

Posted by
3888 posts

I read somewhere on the forum that a person was required again when the plane was delayed. Can't tell you where or what airline.

Posted by
303 posts

I don't know the answer but assume that you are wise to assume that if your flight is delayed and your arrival is going to be more than 72 hours after your test was carried out, there's a problem. Would the airline gate agent who is announcing the delay alert people to the fact that they should check the time their covid test was done, and if necessary, head down to the area in the airport where 1 hour rapid tests are being carried out, assuming the airport has such a service? O'Hare does, for a fee of $120. Or will the gate agent be oblivious to this, and people waiting for their delayed flight will have to take it upon themselves to do something like that?

I'm stressing out about these 72 hour timing issues too. I was researching it on an Italian government website, hoping for more guidance on the 72 hour rule. The language I read was that the test must be "carried out" within 72 hours of arrival. What does that mean? Sample drawn no sooner than 72 hours before the flight lands in Italy? Or results dated no sooner than 72 hours before the flight lands? It's two very different things if you go to a testing facility that has a 24 to 48 hour wait for results.

Presumably anyone looking at your test results in Italy will do the time zone conversion. You've already got some extra time built in due to the fact that Italy is 6 hours ahead of EST in the US. If you arrive at, e.g., 9 a.m. on Sunday, Italy time, the count-back doesn't go back to 9 a.m. on Thursday in the US. It would be 3 a.m. Thursday. So long as you carried out your covid test after 3 a.m. Thursday, you'll be okay. But again, does that mean sample drawn, or the time stamp on your results? Does anyone know?

Posted by
90 posts

Terri, we flew to Italy last Wednesday out of New York, flying to Venice. Our flight was delayed by the storm that hit New York Wednesday evening. Due to the delay ( 24 hours), our Covid test results would’ve expired. We were told by the airline that in the case of a weather delay there is a 24 ( or 48- I don’t remember) hour extension as long as you don’ leave the airport. I can’t speak to any other type of delay. I would check with your airline.

Posted by
126 posts

Thank you. I'll check with the airline when we get to the airport as the hold times are ridiculous. We bought a 6 pack of tests to do here and the return and have the extra two as insurance just in case we need them. I understand that trying to get a proctor online in case of a delay may be more of an issue than the actual delay, but we're ready, just in case. I can't imagine sitting in an airport for 48 hours if the delay is that long.

Posted by
18876 posts

I have no first-hand knowledge about this, but absolutely everything I've read suggests (to me) that it is the time a sample is drawn which is key. That is why a lot of folks have been concerned about choosing a place to test--the turnaround time can be unpredictable but they have to be sure they have the results by the time they check in at the airport (or earlier if they need to upload in advance). So there's a perceived need to build in quite a lot of padding when deciding when to take the test, and folks may end up with testing dates/times that are quite far ahead of the departure date/time.

Posted by
3888 posts

I've tested a few times for Hawaii where the requirement is 72 hours. That can be tricky when you consider delays, time zone differences and hours of testing facility.

I believe the U.S. requirement is 3 days, not 72 hours. It can really make a difference. A couple days ago when I was talking to Delta the ticket agent confirmed it is 3 days and she claimed they do not get as specific as time zone changes.

Posted by
126 posts

I'm looking for the arrival in Europe, which I've read is 72 hours. The US return is 3 days. It would be so much simpler if times were uniform across the globe.

Posted by
5294 posts

I saw somewhere there is a grace period of 24 hours if you are delayed during your journey, can't point to anything official though.

But for practical purposes, the only check of the test results will be by your airline at check-in, if they decide you are OK, then you are good to go, there is no check in Rome that I have heard of, I had no further checks, but I did transit through AMS.