Sweet Home Chicago
Testing, Testing, Swab 1-2-3…
- Well, it’s been a long two years, hasn’t it?
- Testing, Testing, Swab 1-2-3…
- Off to Heathrow (Take the coach they say. It’s fun they say)
- Cathay Pacific T3 lounge, Heathrow Airport
- AA87 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare International (Main Cabin Extra)
- Into the USA, Crown Plaza O’Hare
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Airplane Art from the Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Fooding around Chicago… Badly
- Starbucks Reserve Rosterary, North Michigan Avenue
- Exploring Chicago with a smartphone
- Back to O’Hare, British Airways Lounge
- BA296 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow (World Traveller Plus – Premium Economy)
- Welcome back to the UK, or how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory
- To the Journey
The Day Before – Off to Birmingham Airport
As part of the entry requirements for the USA, one has to have a COVID test that is supervised. Thankfully, antigen tests are accepted for entry into the USA (as well as PCR tests) – which help reduces costs when you’re travelling.
This meant I could cheat heavily, and go to my local airport to get tested – where ExpressTest has an outpost. Whilst I could have done a video consultation, to be honest, it was easier getting off my backside and heading to the airport for the same thing.
Thankfully, trains are slowly returning to some sense of normality when I travelled to the airport, with a five to six train an hour frequency between Birmingham New Street and the airport. I splurged £7.20 on an all-day bus/train/metro ticket (as I had some other things to do that day after the test).
Arriving at the airport on the train, it was time to go through the barriers and head for the air train. Again, these seem to be running normally, with both of the “trains” (well – cable hauled cars).
A good sign that the airport was surviving.
However, it seems that recovery is going slowly still at Birmingham airport – with catering outlets closed – or at the very least – in suspended animation.
ExpressTest has moved their facility at the airport – where it used to be at the back of the EuroTerminal, it is in the space between where Burger King was and Security (as Jet2 has reclaimed the space to check passengers in).
My barcode was zapped quickly, and I was processed in. Even though the test was supervised, a rather generic FlowFlex testing kit was used (which is no more than £8 worth of tests in the stores). The swab was taken, mixed and the control line came up, rather than the test line.
I was allowed to leave with my certificate to fly sent in 40 minutes or so.
With that done, I tracked back to Birmingham New Street – the advantage of the location where ExpressTest is now is that it is a short walk back to the AirRail Link.
Once back in town, I had a couple of things to finish up in an office in peace and quiet. It was during that time that the certificate arrived.
This allowed me to utilise and complete the VeriFLY application. And that thing is nothing short of a mess, with some very poor UI choices, how it handles and describes things.
In the end, I had to:
- Complete the passenger attestation electronically.
- Submit the results of my test which had to be reviewed manually within an hour(with an upsell for speedier processing)
- Submit one of three barcodes I had for COVID vaccine injections (as the app had trouble processing more than one bar ca
It took time as the tests had to be checked manually, but eventually, VeriFLY gave me a green light – meaning I could conduct On-Line Check-In.
I forgot about this until I got on the coach.
Speaking of coaches, let’s skip forward in time. Some might say time is an illusion. Coach times doubly so
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