Traveling to the USA from EU during COVID-19

First of all, before you plan any trip always check official government requirements, bans, etc. We are still in this annoying COVID-19 age so it is important to check everything very carefully including transit coutries.

My flight was from Prague to Amsterdam in the early morning with KLM. I had to prove myself with two negative tests even I am fully vaccinated. The biggest surprise was the plane was almost full of travelers. Thanks to my car export business in Europe I am a client of Erste Premier – the biggest bank in the Czech Republic and have free access to their airport lounge. I had a quick breakfast but everything was limited thanks to COVID-19.

Erste Premier Longue in Prague’s airport

In Amsterdam, I had less than two hours for transfer. Amsterdam airport is quite small so you will always find your connected flight. I think this Boeing is for approximately 350 people and I would estimate there were around 30 people on this flight. There are currently hard times for airlines especially from the EU to the USA due to the travel ban for most of the travelers from the Schengen area. You might ask how could I travel to LA if I am not a US citizen or permanent resident? In a previous post, I was writing a story about my E-2 visa application and NIE (National Interest Exception). I got the NIE thanks to my business.

Empty Airplane from Amsterdam to Los Angeles
KLM Airplane

Honestly, I could probably effort to buy the business class already but I am still trying to stay humble. Next time though I seriously will consider the business class because the jet lag from this flight was one of the worst in my life. You know I am not the youngest… I am 29 already 🙂

Last year when I came to LA on B1/B2 visa that allows you to stay in the US as a tourist for 6 months I had really unpleasant talk the with border control officer. He asked me why I wanna stay in the US for 4 months as a tourist. We had about 20 minutes of discussion about my life, my business in Czech, and so on. In the end, he let me go to the US but I swore I am not going back to the US next time without an E-2 visa. The risk they would return me back to Europe was pretty high and if this happen you have serious problem.

Anyway this time I had E-2 Visa + NIE in my passport and everything was absolutely without any problem!

I took a shuttle bus to my rental company Budget directly from the international terminal. You only have to remember what car rental company you booked. The buses are completely free. If you don’t rent a car there are buses that will take you to the parking space where are taxis and all coming Uber drivers.

In the next post, you can look forward to the car rental experience!

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