Airlines expect surge in international passengers now that travel ban has been dropped

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After nearly 20 months, the U.S. has lifted the travel ban for international passengers looking to visit the country and major airlines are expecting to see a surge in overseas travelers because of the changes.


United Airlines expects a 50 percent jump in inbound international passengers Monday compared to a week ago.

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“United also announced plans to increase international capacity by 10% in 2022,” the company said in a statement.

Delta Airlines said it saw a more than 450 percent jump in bookings in the weeks leading up to the travel ban being lifted.

“Many international flights are expected to operate 100% full on Monday, Nov. 8, with high passenger volume throughout the following weeks,” Delta Airlines said in a statement.

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The new rules announced by the federal government say that most non-U.S. citizens coming into the country will have to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and they must show a negative COVID-19 test from within the last three days.

Airlines like Delta and American Airlines created a digital tool for fliers to upload the documentation.

There are some exemptions for people under age 18 and people from countries with low vaccination availability.

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Visitors crossing land borders in Canada and Mexico only have to show proof of vaccination but not a negative COVID-19 test.

The new rules allow for international travelers to be vaccinated by any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), not just ones approved in the U.S.

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