Here is my initial report from our first signature tour since March 2020. Our itinerary has been slightly revised the original Switzerland and Germany trip. We dropped Switzerland and added Romantic Road and the Baltic Sea in Poland. Stops in Munich and Salzburg are unchanged.
My day started with American Airlines flight from Tulsa to Chicago (45 people on the plane that seats 76). My transatlantic flight from Chicago to London was on American Airlines Dreamliner (very nice and new plane with great seats and large bathrooms; only 70 passengers on the plane designed for 234 people). My last flight was British Airways flight from London to Munich on the Airbus with 95 passengers (out of 185 seats).
As you may have expected, social distancing was encouraged on each flight and that task was easy to accomplish. I have had at least one (and on two longest flights two) empty seats next to me on each flight. Even on a relatively busy flight to Munich most middle seats were empty. Flights were boarded from the back to the front and we deplaned in reverse order. Masks were required. Except my first flight, meal service was provided.
Tulsa Airport was not very busy. I cleared security in 3 minutes.
To stay active during my layover in Chicago, I walked through 2 large terminals. What a contrast between almost empty United Terminal 2 and busy (but not crowded) American Terminal 3. American is defiantly flying more right now. The AA terminal felt like a pre-COVID-19 day of travel in terms of crowds while the United terminal was very quiet.
London airport currently operates only 2 of its 4 terminals. Airport is a bit more busy than Terminal 2 in Chicago. As an added bonus, airline lounges are open and I was able to enjoy my favorite airport breakfast (smoked salmon with egg Benedict).
Munich airport was almost as busy as Terminal 3 in Chicago. One of the new major developments at all German airports is availability of COVID testing upon arrival or departure (for as little as $60, with results within 3-6 hours).
How was mask compliance? Other than few couples refusing to wear masks, compliance was very good. Not only were people wearing masks, but wearing them properly (over the nose, not just the mouth). Airports and airplanes are very clean and feel safe. The one negative of current situation is that food selections at the terminals is limited as many places are still closed.
I will offer details of our first day in Munich soon.
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