Americans Can Now Travel To Italy, But Only On “Quarantine-Free” Flights

Americans Can Now Travel To Italy, But Only On “Quarantine-Free” Flights

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While the European Union has plans to welcome vaccinated Americans in the near future, we don’t yet have a firm timeline for when that will happen. We have seen individual countries already open to Americans, including Croatia and Greece. You can now add another country to that list, with a major catch.

Italy opens to Americans, but only on select flights

As of today (May 16, 2021), Americans are allowed to visit Italy for any reason, including tourism. This applies to everyone, and not just those who have been vaccinated. There’s one major catch — to be eligible, you must take a “quarantine-free” flight. Currently there are three airlines offering these (other flights, even in these markets, aren’t eligible):

Prior to this change, Americans weren’t allowed to enter Italy for tourism. Those who were allowed to enter Italy from the United States (like European Union passport holders and those traveling for essential reasons) were subjected to a 14-day quarantine, unless they took one of these flights.

With these quarantine-free flights, you have to get tested three times:

  • You need to get a PCR test within three days of departure
  • You need to get a rapid antigen test at the airport prior to departure from the USA
  • You need to get a rapid antigen test at the airport upon arrival in Italy

If you test negative all three times, you don’t need to quarantine.

American and Delta have technically been operating quarantine-free flights for quite a while, but up until this point these flights have been pretty deceiving. While airlines have promoted these flights as allowing you to skip a quarantine, they didn’t emphasize that you needed to actually be eligible to enter Italy to take these. In other words, Americans traveling for vacation couldn’t take these flights up until now.

American is offering quarantine-free flights to Italy

Expect Italy to open up on a widespread basis soon

Many of us who like to maximize miles & points might not love the concept of having to take a specific flight to travel to a destination, in case it doesn’t have award availability or good fares.

Personally I don’t really get the point of these flights. Italy could easily require pre-travel testing and a test on arrival for people on any flight. So is this purely about limiting how many people can travel to Italy, is this about somehow believing that everyone on the flight is “safe” (and therefore can’t spread the virus), or what?

I don’t really get it, and it also seems kind of unfair to give airlines this kind of power, as they can essentially price tickets based on them being able to grant you access to Italy.

If you’re not into the quarantine-free flight concept, the good news is that Italy is expected to open up on a widespread basis soon. The European Union is working towards this overall for vaccinated travelers, but Italy is pushing for a reopening even sooner than that. So hopefully in a matter of weeks Italy will be open to all vaccinated Americans, regardless of whether or not you elect to take one of these flights.

Italy plans to open up to Americans on a widespread basis soon

Bottom line

For the first time in over a year, Italy is open to all American tourists, though you do need to take one of the quarantine-free flights on American, Delta, or Alitalia. Taking these flights requires getting tested twice before departure and once upon arrival.

The good news is that Italy is expected to open on a widespread basis (at least to vaccinated Americans) in the coming weeks, regardless of which flights you choose to take.

Anyone hoping to travel to Italy this summer?

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  1. Edy

    I am traveling to Italy with my husband and we only have one verifly account with me as the companion. Do I need my own verifly account as well to get into Italy?

  2. J.A.D. Needham

    In the last couple of weeks I travelled from JFK to FCO and back (Premium Economy on Alitalia). On the outward flight they paid no attention to testing status, they just wanted the vaccination status. On the return flight, the reverse, not interested in vaccination, just the recent antigen test, performed at FCO.
    The flights were full, the food was terrible, no liquids apart from water - no wine, no coffee, no juice, And...

    In the last couple of weeks I travelled from JFK to FCO and back (Premium Economy on Alitalia). On the outward flight they paid no attention to testing status, they just wanted the vaccination status. On the return flight, the reverse, not interested in vaccination, just the recent antigen test, performed at FCO.
    The flights were full, the food was terrible, no liquids apart from water - no wine, no coffee, no juice, And the cabin crew were miserable to surly. I asked if someone had died or if they were to join with North Korean airlines - no, it is covid problem they said.
    In Italy everyone wants to see the vaccination certificate - trains, museums, restaurants etc etc. Very sensible.

  3. Chris

    Those still asking questions about entry into Italy might want to check out this site: (if transiting UK, be sure to read the whole page)

    https://www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/dettaglioContenutiNuovoCoronavirus.jsp?lingua=english&id=5412&area=nuovoCoronavirus&menu=vuoto

  4. Constance Rasmussen

    I am a US citizen flying to Rome but we have a stop in Frankfurt. Will I have to quarantine
    .

  5. Joel

    HELP - I am a US citizen and need to take an Alitalia flight from London to Rome on July 5th. How do I know if that is a quarantine free flight? Thank you.

  6. Karin

    Yes, same scenario for me, traveling from Phoenix, stopping in London and ending up in Milan. Any thoughts? Thank you.

  7. Chad G North

    We are flying from DFW to London and changing planes and then flying to Milan in mid July. I am concerned that since we are passing through London for two hours approx, we will have to quarantine once getting to Italy. Does anyone have information on this route? Instead of the direct flights from DFW to Milan?
    Thank You in advance!

  8. Kathleen Donohy

    How much is the rapid antigen test at JFK in terminal 5?

  9. Lilya Prouzinin

    Good morning
    i have tickets to LA to Bari Italy on Lufthansa for August 25 , going to a wedding, any suggestions i am very concern, hopefully Italy will be open by then. Thank you

  10. Mary Pizzichino

    I’m currently scheduled to go to Italy on September 1 and Alitalia continues to tell me to sit tight and not try to move to a Covid free flight i’ve rebooked this trip three times and I’m completely stressed out over it
    I can’t seem to find any valid information that’s going to tell me they’re going to allow all flights into the country without quarantine. Any solid information would be appreciated

  11. Rand Larson

    I too am traveling as a fully vaccinated American on Sept 11 to Venice via Zurich, I cannot afford a 10-day quarantine as I have tickets for Andrea Bocelli outdoors on the 15th of September. So I am confused by all the hype around Covis Free Flights. If everyone on any airline has a PCR or Antigen test within 72 hrs of their flight wouldn't all flights be Covid Free? So what are the rules for me?

  12. Gina Marzucco

    I'm trying to figure out if I fly into Paris can I travel into Italy. My plan is for Sept and I'm fully vaccinated. Any help on where to find this info?

  13. Anna

    I got the vaccine and booked my flights to Greece for 18 days and then fly to Italy . Will I be able to enter italy without quarantine since I would have spent more than 14 days in an EU country? Do I need visa for Greece or italy?

  14. DeNi

    So, from what I am understanding. We need to be on a COVID tested flight to enter Italy AND have a COVID test prior to departure, one at our departing airport, and one after arrival? Second question, can a US passport holder leave Italy and go to Greece for a few days and then return to Italy? Our plan was to break up our trip with Italy on both ends.

  15. Amrita

    Hi just checking to see if there is any update to this. I am traveling from the US with my two kids (fully vaccinated) and have tickets through Frankfurt to Rome on July 8th. Does it look likely that we will be able to go without quarantine?

    1. Naomi

      After many phone calls and hours on hold I found out as of now you must be on a covid free designated flight to be able to skip the quarantine. I had to modify my flights and it cost me additional money. I was told there were plans to allow people who are fully vaccinated to travel freely but it would not start until 70% of people were vaccinated. That could be a while longer. Not sure how true that number is but that is what the delta rep told me.

  16. Naomi

    I booked a flight via telephone to Rome leaving Atlanta in June 19. First I thought I was speaking to a delta airline rep when making the reservation but afterward found out I wasn’t. I specifically asked several times if this was a covid tested flight and was told “yes, you have to have a negative PCR test within 72 hrs prior to leaving”. I have now discovered the flight is not designated as a...

    I booked a flight via telephone to Rome leaving Atlanta in June 19. First I thought I was speaking to a delta airline rep when making the reservation but afterward found out I wasn’t. I specifically asked several times if this was a covid tested flight and was told “yes, you have to have a negative PCR test within 72 hrs prior to leaving”. I have now discovered the flight is not designated as a covid free flight. I have attempted several time to speak with delta to change flights and told it would be triple the cost. My question is if I still get the PCR test and arrive in Atlanta to board my flight that goes to Paris then onto Rome will I be allowed to board? What will happen when I land in Rome?

    1. Rosie Cabrera

      I have the same problem and no one seems to be able to answer.

  17. Chris

    @ Jeff,
    In my experience, the answer is yes. I showed up at JFK with only a PCR test taken 54 hours earlier (which would have been perfect for the Delta flight.) My phone calls with AA had given me the strong impression that I could at least pay for a test at JFK. Having taken the Delta flight 4 weeks earlier, I figured I could always go to terminal 4 and pay at...

    @ Jeff,
    In my experience, the answer is yes. I showed up at JFK with only a PCR test taken 54 hours earlier (which would have been perfect for the Delta flight.) My phone calls with AA had given me the strong impression that I could at least pay for a test at JFK. Having taken the Delta flight 4 weeks earlier, I figured I could always go to terminal 4 and pay at the rapid testing facility Delta uses.

    Upon arrival at terminal 8, an AA rep told me I could get a free test at terminal 5. With plenty of cushion time, that's what I did. Results took about 45 minutes, and were delivered online. The testing facility also has an app you can download. Just a screenshot of my result was good enough at the check-in counter.

    I completed the EU passenger locator form via their app while standing in terminal 8, before checking in. It takes maybe 5 minutes. You should be able to find and complete it in advance, if that's your preference. At the end of the online questionnaire, you get a QR code (which is just a computer-generated bar code) that the AA agent scans before you get in line to check in. AA just wants to ensure you've done it, and the QR code tells them you have.

    The other paperwork task is the Italian health declaration. I'm pretty sure you can find this online too and have it printed and ready, but I've just filled it out on the fly. With Delta, you need to fill it out before checking in. With AA, they give it to you on board. You can also pick it up after landing, but I would advise you to fill it out ahead of time. Otherwise, you risk being at the back of line to clear the Italian health screening part of the arrival process (which is before immigration.)

    1. Jeff

      Brilliant, thank you for all the help Chris! It is much appreciated.

  18. Jeff

    @Angela @Chris thank you both for sharing your research/experiences with flying AA on these COVID tested flights, it has been a huge help! We are grateful. My wife and I just re-routed our travel plans from Greece to Italy based on this news from Delta/AA. Our original booking was with AA so we had to use them, even though Delta is way more organized. We are flying on 6/10 flight AA 236. We are traveling...

    @Angela @Chris thank you both for sharing your research/experiences with flying AA on these COVID tested flights, it has been a huge help! We are grateful. My wife and I just re-routed our travel plans from Greece to Italy based on this news from Delta/AA. Our original booking was with AA so we had to use them, even though Delta is way more organized. We are flying on 6/10 flight AA 236. We are traveling for leisure.

    Here is what I have gathered from you:
    - AA requires a test 48h prior to departure.
    - The test can be from anywhere, not just their partners.
    - It can be a rapid OR a PCR test.
    - There are rapid tests available at JFK Terminal 5 for free, but it's a little chaotic.

    To anyone else reading, I also called AA support and they verified any test, rapid or PCR, taken beforehand will work. To use the support rep's words "All we want to see if a negative test". It doesn't matter what brand or whatever it is. But it does need to be taken within the last 48h prior to boarding your flight. The rep also referred me to apply.joinsherpa.com for any Italy-required paperwork. Lastly, the rep informed me that flight AA 236 is indeed a COVID-tested flight - useful to verify since they don't actually spell flight numbers out like Delta does.

    Here are my questions for @Angela and/or @Chris:
    1. If my wife and I showed up to JFK without any prior testing (we're both fully vaccinated), could we hypothetically get everything we need at the airport or on the flight? E.g. rapid test, all paperwork such as the EU locator form, one of you mentioned a QR code...what is the QR code?
    2. @Chris, how long did the rapid test at JFK take you?

    Apologies for any redundancy - just don't want to get turned away at the gate for our flight!

  19. Carmelina

    Any chance Italy will make all flights originating from the US with a connection in London before Venice Covid free flights? We are scheduled for September 1st, STL-Chicago-London-Venice.

  20. Marco

    Things change frequently for different reasons. Italy intends to open up to UK and US tourists. It did so with Covid tested flights. Unfortunately, in the last few days some things have happened that have complicated the reopening. First, the European Union made a plan to reopen to the US and it was approved by the members. The EU expected reciprocity from the US and took a door in the face. Now the EU is...

    Things change frequently for different reasons. Italy intends to open up to UK and US tourists. It did so with Covid tested flights. Unfortunately, in the last few days some things have happened that have complicated the reopening. First, the European Union made a plan to reopen to the US and it was approved by the members. The EU expected reciprocity from the US and took a door in the face. Now the EU is putting pressure on Italy, Greece and Spain not to open up to American and British tourists.
    Second, the Italian government is afraid of public opinion, Italians cannot come to the US, not even for work or to find relatives, even if vaccinated. This disparity is creating a lot of uncertainty in decisions. From rumors I believe they will leave things unfinished for a while by keeping only the entrance with covid tested flights.

  21. Angela

    @William Walker - read my reply to Renee Smith right above your comment. Read those local Italian websites, they stay on top of what is coming out of Italy and the EU. You should be fine on July 10th but as I said above, Italy changes what they say day to day and the EU had said their green pass or covid pass would be ready by mid-June, now they say July. I do know...

    @William Walker - read my reply to Renee Smith right above your comment. Read those local Italian websites, they stay on top of what is coming out of Italy and the EU. You should be fine on July 10th but as I said above, Italy changes what they say day to day and the EU had said their green pass or covid pass would be ready by mid-June, now they say July. I do know Italy authorized the Covid tested flights through October but that does not mean that they won't end it early once the other comes into play.

  22. William Walker

    Hey Ben,

    Thanks for this info, it is much appreciated and well written.

    I booked a non-refundable flight (for tourism) Chicago to Rome on July 10 with TAP (via Lisbon), and was not given any info about potential restrictions. Completely my fault for not doing much restriction research beforehand (I figured the EU 'all clear' was enough).

    Now I'm freaking out that we won't be able to travel and I'll lose my booking fee....

    Hey Ben,

    Thanks for this info, it is much appreciated and well written.

    I booked a non-refundable flight (for tourism) Chicago to Rome on July 10 with TAP (via Lisbon), and was not given any info about potential restrictions. Completely my fault for not doing much restriction research beforehand (I figured the EU 'all clear' was enough).

    Now I'm freaking out that we won't be able to travel and I'll lose my booking fee. However, your article has calmed me down by saying the rules will become even looser in the next few weeks. Is there any other info you can provide on the next round of loosening measures? Do you think I will be fine with my flight as is? Both of us travellers are fully vaxxed by the way.

  23. Renee Smith

    Thank you so much, Angela!

  24. Angela

    @Renee Smith - I read some Italian blogs and online newspapers every day. As it stands right now, the answer is you have to be on a COVID-tested flight or you can not enter without quarantining but that SHOULD change by July. Having said that, I have learned that in Italy nothing happens as it should or on schedule. The Eu's green pass should be available by then, so you should be fine. Ansa.it and...

    @Renee Smith - I read some Italian blogs and online newspapers every day. As it stands right now, the answer is you have to be on a COVID-tested flight or you can not enter without quarantining but that SHOULD change by July. Having said that, I have learned that in Italy nothing happens as it should or on schedule. The Eu's green pass should be available by then, so you should be fine. Ansa.it and thelocal.it try to stay on top of the changes going on, so you may want to read them each day (thelocal.it has a membership fee to read over two articles a month). There should be more of a news release about this tomorrow from the EU.

  25. Angela

    @Chris - Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know, I sure appreciate it! Hope your trip is good!

  26. Chris

    @Angela, if it wasn’t clear, I was on the plane when I wrote my last note.

    My arrival with AA was pretty easy. They made an announcement as we were deplaning. I got to the testing facility before most other passengers because I knew the drill. Just follow the pink signs to the testing facility. From the baggage claim, you have to walk most of the length of the airport on the lower level....

    @Angela, if it wasn’t clear, I was on the plane when I wrote my last note.

    My arrival with AA was pretty easy. They made an announcement as we were deplaning. I got to the testing facility before most other passengers because I knew the drill. Just follow the pink signs to the testing facility. From the baggage claim, you have to walk most of the length of the airport on the lower level.

    There is no cost for the test, which was a much quicker process than the one in terminal 5 at JFK.

    Also, be sure to fill out your Italian health declaration form before you land. There’s a line for that hurdle before you go through immigration.

    Good luck.

  27. Renee Smith

    Hello, I was wondering if somebody on this thread could help a confused American out. My husband and I are flying to Naples via Newark ---> Munich on Lufthansa airlines in July. We are both fully vaccinated. At the moment, can we not enter Italy as this is not a "Covid-free" flight, despite the EU's announcement about allowing vaccinated tourists yesterday?

  28. Angela

    @Chris - Again, Thanks! If they just gave some clear information and direction, we wouldn't be left with all of these questions! Hope it was a good flight. So far it looks like about 50 people are on our flight but it is 2 weeks out.

  29. Chris

    @Angela, I'll update you after I land but the testing upon arrival process was fairly simple on my 2nd of 2 Delta flights, (both JFK-MXP.) My first flight of two was the inaugural flight, and no one told me to get tested at MXP. That changed by late April, at which point it was better organized. Be sure to get to the testing facility as fast as you can, since the line gets long pretty...

    @Angela, I'll update you after I land but the testing upon arrival process was fairly simple on my 2nd of 2 Delta flights, (both JFK-MXP.) My first flight of two was the inaugural flight, and no one told me to get tested at MXP. That changed by late April, at which point it was better organized. Be sure to get to the testing facility as fast as you can, since the line gets long pretty quick. Hopefully, it's clear with AA, but I'll just go to the testing facility in any case.

    As for paperwork, I had to fill out the EU locator form online and show a QR code. I imaging they will give me the Italian health declaration form during the flight. (Delta gives it to you before boarding.)

  30. Angela

    @Chris - Also, did they give you the paperwork to fill out or did you print it at home and fill it out? Of course, they don't just have easy access to finding it.. but I found it. I do see the Italian government says the airline is supposed to provide you with it, except the Digital Passenger Locator Form.

  31. Angela

    @Chris - Thanks! I have spent time on the phone going round and round with these people at AA trying to figure out what they want. Finally was told I could get tested anywhere, not just with their partners. How frustrating that they don't spell it out like Delta does!

    How was it in Milan, did that take long? AA doesn't even tell you if that test is free of charge, like Delta does. I...

    @Chris - Thanks! I have spent time on the phone going round and round with these people at AA trying to figure out what they want. Finally was told I could get tested anywhere, not just with their partners. How frustrating that they don't spell it out like Delta does!

    How was it in Milan, did that take long? AA doesn't even tell you if that test is free of charge, like Delta does. I hope these restrictions get lifted with the news from the EU today (for vaccinated passengers)

  32. Chris

    @Angela, @Al Dente -
    I just did this drill on AA, JFK-MXP, and while it's more difficult/unclear than with Delta in most ways, at least you don't need a PCR test (and 2 tests are better than 3). The AA requirement is one molecular or antigen test within 48 hours of boarding. How you get the test seems to be up to you. One decent but time-consuming option is to go to the free...

    @Angela, @Al Dente -
    I just did this drill on AA, JFK-MXP, and while it's more difficult/unclear than with Delta in most ways, at least you don't need a PCR test (and 2 tests are better than 3). The AA requirement is one molecular or antigen test within 48 hours of boarding. How you get the test seems to be up to you. One decent but time-consuming option is to go to the free public testing facility in Terminal 5. Just follow the signs to COVID-19 testing when you get off the Air Train.

    I got to the airport (prepared to pay) 4 hours early and had time to spare. Of course, these flights will likely get more crowded in the coming days, so factor that into your schedule.

    It's crazy that the requirements are different for the two airlines. On something like this, you'd think the Italian government would aim for consistent requirements...OH, wait. Never mind. :)

  33. Chris

    @Linda, in my experience he should just need a COVID test and and his visa, but I would also check with the airline. They should be following US entry requirements

  34. Linda

    I need assistance my husband to be is an Italian citizen here on a valid work visa. He was told he needs a document to re enter the USA after our 3 week holiday. What documents does he need to present

  35. Ali

    This shows again and again that the current COVID-19 rules have nothing ro do with Public safety.
    From Dubai (UAE), I am not allowed to enter Italy, unless I’m a EU National. Regardless of vaccination or testing.
    This is great, I’ll fly Emirates to JFK then connect to Italy on one of these flights. Even if I had to backtrack and waste time.
    Smart for them.

  36. Angela

    @Chris - I meant to tag you in the above post but accidental thought it was Al Dente.

  37. Angela

    @Al Dente - I am also scheduled on an AA flight. AA says you have to have the test within 48 hours of departure, not 72. It appears they have dropped the test at the departing airport and you only test upon landing in Milan. I have used Twitter support and phone yesterday to figure out the testing and I still am not clear on it. The phone rep told me we can test anywhere...

    @Al Dente - I am also scheduled on an AA flight. AA says you have to have the test within 48 hours of departure, not 72. It appears they have dropped the test at the departing airport and you only test upon landing in Milan. I have used Twitter support and phone yesterday to figure out the testing and I still am not clear on it. The phone rep told me we can test anywhere and bring our results to the airport. Their website does not state that and their partner GoHealth Urgent Care does not have a facility near part of my family. You can't use VeriFly for Italy and LetsGetChecked doesn't come in within 48 hours of departure. I am still confused. To fill up the planes, they are gonna have to simplify the process or at least clarify things, because their customer service rep's have no idea what is going on.

  38. Ralph4878

    @Al Dente - the virus has an incubation period of 2-to-14 days, so everyone could, theoretically, test negative to get on the plane but, over the course of the flight, be exposed to the virus is a passenger starts shedding it onboard. Hence the mask wearing requirement. Plus, these rapid tests are not foolproof by any means - they are not as reliable as the PCR tests, and those take at least 24 hours for results because they have to go to a lab.

  39. Chris

    @ Al Dente, I've done this COVID corridor flight twice already on Delta (JFK-MXP) and the rules for getting the 3 tests were pretty clear. The process was mostly easy. (I'm a EU resident and returned to the U.S. to get vaccinated.)

    But I have an upcoming flight on AA, also JFK-MXP, and have a few questions. The AA webpage is vague. I'm hoping your experience might help:

    If I have a PCR test...

    @ Al Dente, I've done this COVID corridor flight twice already on Delta (JFK-MXP) and the rules for getting the 3 tests were pretty clear. The process was mostly easy. (I'm a EU resident and returned to the U.S. to get vaccinated.)

    But I have an upcoming flight on AA, also JFK-MXP, and have a few questions. The AA webpage is vague. I'm hoping your experience might help:

    If I have a PCR test taken within 72 hours of scheduled departure, do I still need to do a rapid test at JFK? Is there a rapid test facility at JFK that you get access to with your AA ticket? (That's how it worked on Delta.)
    thanks, Chris

  40. SeeSharp

    Forgot to add: in general, I have found that the best source of information on entry rules & restrictions (and to a lesser extent any quarantine requirements) is the website traveldoc DOT aero. It seems to confirm my suspicion by the way.

  41. SeeSharp

    Sadly, I think that this article is not correct (I am agreeing with @Travis). The guidelines appear to state that travel to Italy from the U.S. is still only allowed for essential purposes (EU citizens/residents exempted). The guidelines further state that all arriving passengers, even from most EU countries, are required to quarantine. Arriving on a COVID-tested flight removes this requirement to quarantine, but it does not in itself allow one to enter Italy.

  42. Al Dente

    Just flew one of these flights from NY to Milan and back on American. The plane was empty both ways ( 25 passengers on a 777)
    We also had to take a rapid covid test coming back. What I didn't understand is we were all tested minutes before boarding and still had to wear a mask except for when eating

  43. Andrea

    @Ben, I would correct the part of the article where you mention "Personally I don’t really get the point of these flights". The reason is very simple and you should mention it, I guess.

    Italy is part of the EU and Schengen area, which is not officially open to Americans. The only way Italy can allow American tourists is to have them fly direct so that it can apply its own rules. If you fly...

    @Ben, I would correct the part of the article where you mention "Personally I don’t really get the point of these flights". The reason is very simple and you should mention it, I guess.

    Italy is part of the EU and Schengen area, which is not officially open to Americans. The only way Italy can allow American tourists is to have them fly direct so that it can apply its own rules. If you fly on Air France via Paris or Lufthansa via Frankfurt, they will go by the general rule that the EU is not open for tourism and Americans are not allowed.

    If somebody wanted to visit France for tourism by booking a Delta+Alitalia flight via Rome on these covid-tested flights, that won't work as the general rule of the EU will prevail when trying to check in for the flights in the same booking.

    If somebody wanted to visit France for tourism, they would have to book the covid-tested flight to go to Italy and at least pretend of wanting to visit Italy. Then book separately an Italy-France flight as the EU/Schengen is mostly open within its own borders.

  44. Bill

    Not sure why they don't just say fully vaccinated people only. Would be the simplest solution.

  45. Angela

    @Lucky - American Airlines need to do some clarifying and quickly add to their testing partners for these Italy flights. We purchased these tickets and now I am finding that the only test we can take is the one rapid test they offer through a partner GoHealth Urgent Care. We are traveling with family and there is not a location anywhere near them (3 1/2 hour drive away). I have messaged them on Twitter today...

    @Lucky - American Airlines need to do some clarifying and quickly add to their testing partners for these Italy flights. We purchased these tickets and now I am finding that the only test we can take is the one rapid test they offer through a partner GoHealth Urgent Care. We are traveling with family and there is not a location anywhere near them (3 1/2 hour drive away). I have messaged them on Twitter today and just got a response that maybe they need to fly into NYC earlier and go get tested there somewhere. That is not an option. There is no way for you to know this when booking unless you spedt a day researching it beforehand. Our flight is in a little over 2 weeks. Their VeriFly testing isn't available for Italy and LetsGetChecked doesn't come back in time as AA Italy flights require you to test within 48 hours, instead of 72 like Delta. Delta lets you test anywhere and bring your results but that doesn't help, as these are basic economy tickets but they should have disclosed this information upfront.

  46. Debra Cisneros, HHP

    BE FOREWARNED!
    My stepfather lives in Southern Italy and runs a small biological farm there. At around 83, with a slight health issue, he still maintains the daily workings alone.
    Just before the pandemic hit the US last year my sister bought a ticket online (from one of those cheaper tickets websites) for an extended trip to help our dad from late spring through the summer months. She was supposed to leave April...

    BE FOREWARNED!
    My stepfather lives in Southern Italy and runs a small biological farm there. At around 83, with a slight health issue, he still maintains the daily workings alone.
    Just before the pandemic hit the US last year my sister bought a ticket online (from one of those cheaper tickets websites) for an extended trip to help our dad from late spring through the summer months. She was supposed to leave April 1st but was pushed back by the airline to May 8th with changes to itinerary.
    She left from Oregon, I believe on AA, spent the better part of a day travelling to NY (2 stopovers) then on to London, arriving at Heathrow on May 10th.
    She was supposed to leave on Alitalia to Rome, then on to a small airport in Southern Italy, where our father was to meet her.
    Instead, Alitalia refused her boarding the flight stating she needed proof of 'essential' travel into the country. She ended up being stranded at the airport for 3 days: no cell phone access where she was, she had to beg and plead in order to convince a rep from Alitalia to call me in Southern CA, so he could tell me what was required for them to allow entrance into the country__I told him to email the specifics they needed so I could forward it to our dad, so my sister could arrive to her final destination as soon as possible; it took a day to get the necessary notarized papers from his doctor stating he needed help on the farm because of his health situation then, to the proper authority at Alitalia.
    After all that, they still denied my sister stating it wasn't a "good enough" reason.
    She, then, had to deal with the hassle of a return flight home, which took another 2 days because of extended layovers. The whole ordeal at Heathrow was a 'royal pain', as well. No access to food or water because all the shops were closed, do to the pandemic, and other troublesome situations during that time.
    Since my sister's return, she has fought with the airline companies for, at the least, a portion of a refund__not only due to her not reaching her destination through Alitalia, but because NONE of the airlines were restricting her travel plans from the beginning, until she reached London, and there were no accomodations available! Of course, she wasn't the only stranded passenger, there were a few others.
    She eventually received a partial refund from AA, however, Alitalia refuses to refund their portion of her plans, as they say they are not responsible!
    To note, my sister had contacted the Italian Consulate in the US prior to her trip and there were no restrictions to enter the country. Neither, were there any through the online ticket purchasing website!
    My take on all this is, the airlines have been working it all so as not to lose money through tickets already purchased and to convince people to continue purchasing for future flights, even when they have no clue as to when that would be feasable.
    At the same time recently, my father told me Italy was opening up, yet the media was saying Italy was not allowing travel from the US into Rome__again, BE FOREWARNED!

  47. Todd

    @Ben
    It’s actually three tests you need, not two. The first one is the 72 hour PCR (you’re on your own for that). Then on day of departure there is a rapid antigen test at the airport, and then a rapid antigen test on arrival in either MXP or FCO. With Delta, you must first go to a special testing area at JFK where the agent checks your passport and 72 hour PCR test...

    @Ben
    It’s actually three tests you need, not two. The first one is the 72 hour PCR (you’re on your own for that). Then on day of departure there is a rapid antigen test at the airport, and then a rapid antigen test on arrival in either MXP or FCO. With Delta, you must first go to a special testing area at JFK where the agent checks your passport and 72 hour PCR test etc and then you go for your rapid antgen test (which you don’t have to pay for). If all clear, then you can check your bags and get your boarding pass. The crews for these flights also have to be tested on at departure and arrival point as well. For connecting pax, you get the rapid antigen test done airside before your MXP or FCO flight.

    I have done the MXP Delta flight from JFK and it’s all quite organized and well-publicized (so most Delta folks know what you’re talking about when you inquire with them). However I have heard from some others that AA doesn’t seem to be that organized (I.e., nobody knows what the rules are except for a few agents working at JFK); calling AA for more info is quite useless and they usually have to get in touch with an agent at JFK to find out what the rules are!

  48. US-Nay

    I have to admit I’m enjoying having Europe largely free from American tourists. Shame good things come to an end.

  49. Marco Bossi

    Some European countries are finding temporary solutions to reopen to American tourists, such as Italy and Greece. The situation will extend to all of european countries when even the American administration deigns to communicate its willingness to accept vaccinated European citizens.

  50. Luke

    I suspect it’s just a logistical issue with respect to the “quarantine-free flight” labeling. American, Delta, and Alitalia are probably the three biggest operators in these markets. They’d be the best equipped – and probably most willing – to take some of the initiative themselves to liaise with the government and airport authorities, to coordinate and staff out the on-site testing service, to manage the arriving passenger flows to present a streamlined experience for passengers.

    I suspect it’s just a logistical issue with respect to the “quarantine-free flight” labeling. American, Delta, and Alitalia are probably the three biggest operators in these markets. They’d be the best equipped – and probably most willing – to take some of the initiative themselves to liaise with the government and airport authorities, to coordinate and staff out the on-site testing service, to manage the arriving passenger flows to present a streamlined experience for passengers.

  51. Travis

    Also, I think the AA press release you mentioned is inaccurate. I have friends wanting to visit me here, and when I saw this news yesterday, I rushed to tell them, but upon research couldn't find anything official from any other source that confirmed that leisure travel has resumed. Digging through the applicable decreto, it looked like it simply approved more quarantine-free flights, without overturning the actual requirements (travel only for essential business, family, etc.)...

    Also, I think the AA press release you mentioned is inaccurate. I have friends wanting to visit me here, and when I saw this news yesterday, I rushed to tell them, but upon research couldn't find anything official from any other source that confirmed that leisure travel has resumed. Digging through the applicable decreto, it looked like it simply approved more quarantine-free flights, without overturning the actual requirements (travel only for essential business, family, etc.) Sadly, until I see something more official from the US State Dept or the Italian government, I'm left thinking this AA announcement is incorrect, and that if you fly on one of these flights from them, you may still be turned away in Italy. My experience, however, flying in September of last year (my partner is European) was that the strictest check was at the departure gate in the US, so if you make it to the Italian immigration side, they might be more relaxed.

  52. Travis

    My thoughts about the reason they're using special flights instead of just turning people away at the border is the burden of responsibility. I was nearly turned away from entering Ireland one time, and it was explained that Ireland would be responsible for deporting me back to where I flew in from. I imagine if someone ineligible to enter Italy does arrive, Italy has to go through the legal channels and pay to have them...

    My thoughts about the reason they're using special flights instead of just turning people away at the border is the burden of responsibility. I was nearly turned away from entering Ireland one time, and it was explained that Ireland would be responsible for deporting me back to where I flew in from. I imagine if someone ineligible to enter Italy does arrive, Italy has to go through the legal channels and pay to have them deported. It's cheaper and easier bureaucratically (which is a nightmare here in Italy!) to simply stop them at the departure airport instead.

  53. Carmelina Mattera

    So, all of this is pretty confusing and changes frequently. We rescheduled our May 2020 Italy trip for September 2021. We have to fly through London to get to Venice. What are the chances that we will be able to go since this isn’t one of the special flights! I am hoping that the country will accept all flights by September but we are hesitant to make any plans on the ground.

  54. David Katz

    My wife and I are already booked on United Polaris departing EWR on June 29 and arriving MXP on June 30 using business saver award miles with plans to drive to Lugano, Switzerland immediately upon landing. We are both vaccinated. Anyone want to handicap whether we will be able to enter Italy on this flight by then? Backup plan is to stay in Italy if we aren't permitted to enter Switzerland yet.

  55. Nicolas

    Are these flights only for Americans, or could a person coming from Latin America or Canada connect at JFK to them?

  56. Johan

    A few words of clarification from an EU resident - as long as you've entered Schengen Zone, be it via Italy, Greece or Iceland you're free to roam it and to move on to other Schengen countries.

    You only need to keep in mind that some of them are closed (Finland, Hungary) and some might require a test (Germany, France, Spain, etc.).

  57. Ryan

    Johnolo, you're being pretty disingenuous. So because *some* countries partially opened to the US, the US not immediately welcoming everyone from Europe is somehow hypocritical...?

  58. Johnolo

    When will the US reopen its border to Europe? It’s safe for Americans to travel to Europe but not safe for Europeans to travel to the US?

  59. CP

    AA website is still stating all JFK to MXP and FCO flights from today and through the next few weeks are restricted to essential travelers only. Delta website has a whole section explaining the new policies for all tourists but this is completely absent from AA site. Have they put out anything official confirming this?

    1. Ben

      @ CP -- It's very odd, I couldn't find a page either. However, the press release claims these flights are open to everyone as of today:
      https://news.aa.com/news/news-details/2021/American-Airlines-Welcomes-All-Customers-on-Quarantine-Free-Flights-to-Italy-OPS-DIS-05/default.aspx

      You'd think American would have more info out there in a consolidated place.

  60. Chris

    Ben, I’m about to fly JFK-MXP for the third time in the last few months and these flights have not been expensive. Very good fares for Premium Economy one way.

  61. Reaper

    We’ve got Lake Como reservations in June!

    LET’S GO!

    Both Delta & AA pricing on our dates are reasonable at this time.

  62. Dan

    1. If an American arrives in Italy through one of these flights, can they then roam other areas of Schengen?

    2. Can Americans enter Italy through other areas of Schengen outside of taking these flights (such as flying from Greece)?

    1. Ben

      @ Dan -- Rules are really complicated nowadays, eh? My understanding is that you couldn't enter another Schengen country (at least technically) with this agreement, and as of now you couldn't enter Italy through another Schengen country. I could be mistaken -- someone correct me if I'm wrong, please.

      Hopefully in the coming weeks European opens up on a more widespread and uniform basis, so that this is no longer such a headache.

  63. Lloyd

    @ben small typo in the first section, Delta has quarantine free flights from JFK to Milan and Rome and from Atlanta I suppose? Now it states 2x New York-Rome

  64. michelle

    so i can't fly the emirates fifth freedom route to milan for tourism?

    1. Ben

      @ michelle -- That's correct as of now, though hopefully that changes soon.

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Chris

@ Jeff, In my experience, the answer is yes. I showed up at JFK with only a PCR test taken 54 hours earlier (which would have been perfect for the Delta flight.) My phone calls with AA had given me the strong impression that I could at least pay for a test at JFK. Having taken the Delta flight 4 weeks earlier, I figured I could always go to terminal 4 and pay at the rapid testing facility Delta uses. Upon arrival at terminal 8, an AA rep told me I could get a free test at terminal 5. With plenty of cushion time, that's what I did. Results took about 45 minutes, and were delivered online. The testing facility also has an app you can download. Just a screenshot of my result was good enough at the check-in counter. I completed the EU passenger locator form via their app while standing in terminal 8, before checking in. It takes maybe 5 minutes. You should be able to find and complete it in advance, if that's your preference. At the end of the online questionnaire, you get a QR code (which is just a computer-generated bar code) that the AA agent scans before you get in line to check in. AA just wants to ensure you've done it, and the QR code tells them you have. The other paperwork task is the Italian health declaration. I'm pretty sure you can find this online too and have it printed and ready, but I've just filled it out on the fly. With Delta, you need to fill it out before checking in. With AA, they give it to you on board. You can also pick it up after landing, but I would advise you to fill it out ahead of time. Otherwise, you risk being at the back of line to clear the Italian health screening part of the arrival process (which is before immigration.)

Angela

@Renee Smith - I read some Italian blogs and online newspapers every day. As it stands right now, the answer is you have to be on a COVID-tested flight or you can not enter without quarantining but that SHOULD change by July. Having said that, I have learned that in Italy nothing happens as it should or on schedule. The Eu's green pass should be available by then, so you should be fine. Ansa.it and thelocal.it try to stay on top of the changes going on, so you may want to read them each day (thelocal.it has a membership fee to read over two articles a month). There should be more of a news release about this tomorrow from the EU.

Edy

I am traveling to Italy with my husband and we only have one verifly account with me as the companion. Do I need my own verifly account as well to get into Italy?

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