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Thread: Yyz --> aua

  1. #1
    Senior Member act1966's Avatar
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    Yyz --> aua

    Annnnnnd... we're back.

    For an indefinite period. More on that later.

    Getting from Toronto to Aruba:

    1) We used the Switch Health service in Toronto to get our PCR test done on August 30th in time for our Sept 2nd flight and within the 72 hour timeframe. They stated (on their website) that results are sent within 24-48 hours. Good to go.

    **One note: when we flew down in November of last year, you could start the ED card process anytime prior to your departure date. You now can only do it seventy-two hours from departure. We did it and selected "show test result at AUA" and received our green checkmark.

    2) We opted to stay at the Sheraton Gateway at Pearson Airport the night before the 6:15 am flight given that we'd be checking in at 3:15. Ugh. It's part of terminal three so you just walk across the street and you're in the terminal. The hotel was eerily quiet but it was just for sleeping anyway.

    3) We were flying American Airlines out of Terminal 3. Air Canada and WestJet aren't offering direct flights to Aruba until later in the fall - pretty sure it was a condition of getting a government bailout (i.e. the government is making it difficult for travellers to go to popular destinations until this nightmare is over). So we had to connect through Charlotte (we did the same trip in reverse on our way back to Toronto at the beginning of July).

    4) The check-in at YYZ was pretty well organized but security didn't open until 4:30 am so there was a long line up for that. Luckily, we have Nexus (Global Entry) so that took quite a few minutes off time in lines. They DID look at the Verifly App but also wanted to see our green checkmark and negative test on paper... so... have everything printed even if you have digital verification.

    5) At the gate, American was insisting that all wheeled carry-on be valet checked plane-side. I had a Rubbermaid with insulin pump supplies and was jittery about letting it out of my sight. I asked if the area was climate controlled. American rep: "I don't know." Helpful. Ended up taking my insulin out of the Rubbermaid and carrying it with me. Naturally, there was tons of room under the seats and in the overheads so... thanks, American!

    6) Get to Charlotte and, of course, my Rubbermaid was nowhere to be found. Sigh. I announced it was medical and then the flurry of activity started. Keep in mind this was all while people were jammed on the bridge to get off the plane, pick up their valet bags and then go into the airport. American's claims of "Your safety is our number one priority." started to smell like ka-ka.

    7) Finally got my goods and we headed to the Admiral's Lounge. Varying levels of protocol adherence so we just tucked into a corner for the two-hour stopover. This pandemic isn't ending anytime soon if that lounge was representative of the world at large. Don't dump those masks in the garbage just yet.

    8) Go to gate for the CLT -> AUA leg, line up like good little travellers. Show our boarding pass and passport and start walking to the plane - AA "official lady" sees the Rubbermaid and exclaims, "What is THAT?!?" Sigh. "It's medical." "Well some of it will have to go under the seat!" Whatever. It was fine - again, lots of room in the overhead.

    **Note: I contacted AA to let them know I was boarding with this to make sure there were no issues. Naturally, there was no response.

    9) Get all settled for the flight and off we go. AA served us a hearty meal of stale sandwich, bland cheese and general indifference. Nice to see they haven't let quality and service slide.

    10) Okay - the important part... we arrive at AUA. Everyone is taking their time de-planing... we were at the front and sailed through to the top of the escalator before security at AUA. This was the first check point - they looked at our green check mark (printed) and our negative covid result. They didn't ask to see our Aruban vaccination certificate. Down we go to the next checkpoint (the customs security desk) - they again asked for both documents and our passports. All good. They handed us a blue DVG card that essentially lets you out of the airport. Down to the luggage carousel and then the exit: they scan the QR code on the green checkmark sheet and review our negative test paper. All good and out we went.

    We received an email shortly after confirming that everything was good and we didn't need to quarantine.

    So there - that's how you get from Toronto to Aruba in eight million steps.

    We both agreed that we would never travel anywhere for just a two-three week stint. Too much hassle.

    Toodles.
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  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Glad that you are back in Aruba!!

    thank you for posting step #10 with good explanation

    Does your NEXUS allow you to do GE in Aruba on departure?

    Enjoy your visit to your home away from home............have fun......be safe.....post often if you can.

    Thanks
    THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind? SIDTM
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    I'm sure you are happy to be back. Thanks for the detailed travel experience, a lot of folks fly through CLT and I'm sure this will help them out. Keep in touch!

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  4. #4
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    Welcome 'home'! Enjoy!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    My goodness you are already back in Aruba! Good for you!!

    I’m with you when it comes to not wanting your meds out of your sight. It wouldn’t be easy to replace them if they get lost. Having refrigerated items is even more of a challenge.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Just plain......you're back.... YAY!
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the best of men!
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  7. #7
    Senior Member act1966's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post

    Does your NEXUS allow you to do GE in Aruba on departure?
    Yes…. If we’re flying/connecting through the US.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Laura in NH's Avatar
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    Enjoy! Everything is such a chore these days, but you made it, so now relax and have a blast!!
    ​Laura from NH/Divi Village

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  9. #9
    Senior Member schexc's Avatar
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    Nice to see you guys back so soon!

    When we travel to the island, I carry one carry on, a personal item and a medical bag. Usually someone at the gate stops me and says that I have to check one of them. As soon as I tell that one is medical, they hush. I mean it's red and has a tag that states medical, hello... My supplies are diabetic too, insulin on ice, always a question on whether it will still be cold 12 hours later, as many CGMs that I can fit in the bag, along with the testing supplies. The CGMs aren't approved for X-ray or full body scanners, so that's always a discussion with TSA. I opt for a pat down and hand check and usually get a few sneers. Most will argue the point, so I whip out the manufacturer's warning docs and then they comply. They really are clueless sometimes. I thought about moving the non-refrigerated items into the other carry on but can you imagine what would happen if I asked them to hand check two bags. Maybe I just need to get one giant medical bag that will qualify for carry on and more ice. Once, the TSA agent asked me to move to the side and pointed to an area to wait for an available agent, then they forgot me. Then another agent approaches and tells me I can't stand there. I reply that I was told to wait there and am waiting for a hand check. Her response...you can't wait there, not go over here or let me help you. I thought they were going to call the police. Even with the harassments, I'm still not ready to check my medical supplies.

    Agree, for the hassle, it's not worth it for a two or three week stint.

    We can't wait to hear about your trip.
    Last edited by schexc; 09-05-2021 at 04:48 PM.







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  10. #10
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Have an awesome time. I wish I was there.






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