Well – you know what they say? The best laid plans….or something like that!
My travel buddy and I were at our gate last night awaiting our 9:25 boarding time when all the craziness began. My phone started blowing up with calls, messages, texts. I had just been watching the President’s address and knew what was happening.
Immediately we went to the airline desk and these poor folks at KLM Air were gob smacked. They had no idea what was happening! With no time to think about anything other than the prospect of being “stuck” in Europe for 30 days or more, we acted quickly and with the only reasonable and responsible decision we could make. We asked to have our luggage pulled from the plane. As we are at the desk, they start boarding the plane.
A half an hour later “clarification” comes out that of course, US citizens would not be barred entry back on to US soil – but I know this game. Disney plays it. They don’t “close” the Magic Kingdom when it reaches capacity on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas, they just make it impossible for people to get there by stopping or diverting transportation. I already have notification that my flight returning from Athens on Monday has been cancelled. So while I may not have been BARRED from returning to the US, I still may not have made it back without considerable time, anxiety, and expense. And while a month in Europe sounds romantic – and I want to do it someday with my hubby – now is not the time for a forced extended vacation.
One of my colleagues, Kerry Michel, wrote this not an hour ago and I couldn’t agree more….”Just some clarification, this ban does not apply to legal US residents (last line of the first paragraph) and does not apply to all European countries. I am in no way advocating travel to Europe for anyone, just providing accurate information, as that is key to making sure we understand the parameters of the Proclamation. Additionally, for those who do travel to said countries on the list, returns will be limited to certain airports with the appropriate screening tools before reentry is allowed. Those airports have not yet been identified; a list is forthcoming. So, flight changes may become necessary for some. Can you still be quarantined? Yes, absolutely, so make appropriate arrangements should you choose to travel to any of the Countries on the list. As I have been telling all of my Clients, this is a fluid situation and is literally changing every single day. Staying informed is the most important first step.”
And, informing my clients and attempting to stay on top of this living beast that is ever changing right in front of my eyes is my top priority.
So, while I sit here on hold (as I am sure I will be ALL DAY LONG taking care of clients who trust me and I will not let them down) I will get to Athens someday – and I feel for all those people abroad whose livelihood is being severely disrupted, but there is a time for stubbornness and a time for responsibility. Last night I had to draw the line.