After initial red tape it was pretty much a breeze
by Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva
My first flight since coronavirus began last March was to Maui–where I am as I write this. I can’t say it was a piece of poi getting here. There was a little angst-producing requirements to take care of prior to even leaving home.
First thing you must do is get a negative Covid19 test 72-hour prior to departure. We were able to do this at Kaiser Permanente.
The wait was nerve wracking. But we passed. Next is filling out a health questionnaire on the Hawaii Safe Travels site. You had to download your test results and wait for a QR code to appear in your email. This is an important code because once you arrive in Maui you show it to authorities and even the car rental company. No proof of negative Covid19 test, no entry to Maui unless you quarantine for 14-days.
The Hawaiian flight
The next hurdle is getting on the plane. Which was a snap at a rather empty LAX. You of course need to pass through TSA and then show QR code. Once on the plane masks must be worn except when eating or drinking. Hawaiian utilizes extreme sanitizing methods so you feel pretty safe, too.
We flew in First Class. The crew and service were great. A breakfast of cheese blintzes, sausages, fresh fruit, roll and cake came on real plates with silverware and cloth napkins. Drinks were poured in real glasses. Due to lack of business Hawaiian switched our flight to a smaller aircraft–the Airbus 321 Neo. So we didn’t have our usual lie-flat seats. But hey we were flying to paradise and the seats were comfy.
After five smooth hours we disembarked in Maui. The fun began as we were led to reps who checked out health questionnaire, Covid test results and QR codes. If all is in order you’re given a pink slip to proceed to baggage claim and beyond.
If you rent a car you must produce these credentials. They are also necessary at the hotel or condo on check in.
Many of our favorite restaurants are closed. Some temporarily, others permanently. Masks are mandatory indoors but not at the beach, when exercising, or while dining outdoors. Everyone follows the rules.
So far we ate al fresco at Five Palms twice, took out food to eat on our lanai and shopped at Safeway. We are in a condo and doing most of our own meal prep.
Our condo at Mana Kai Maui is smack on one of Maui’s best beaches. It’s pretty empty, which is just fine with us. Well the gym and business center are closed but hey we have a big ocean out there and we are in it several times a day.
Was it worth it? You bet your hula skirt it was
The bottom line is it’s safe to fly, But there are some little worthwhile sacrifices like mask wearing and distancing. But getting out of Dodge and changing the monotonous routine that began with the onset of the virus makes it all worth it.
That said, the talented travel advisors at Pavlus.com are available now to make your escape dream come true. And at the some of the lowest prices on earth.