Hello from Vienna, Austria
This is my first international trip in 19 months and I am almost giddy with excitement to see the world again. The pandemic put international travel on hold but now things in the travel world are ready to rock and roll again. Below are a few observations from my trip so far:
Delta has a very nice business class product – Their Delta One suites provide a great lay-flat bed with a door that shuts to allow great privacy. The service was good and the food was pretty good too. I am flying Swiss Air home so it will be interesting to compare the two airlines.
Facial recognition used for boarding my flights – When I was boarding my flight in Detroit to Amsterdam they used facial recognition software. I didn’t have to show my boarding pass only my passport. I don’t recall ever giving Delta permission to use facial recognition. It felt a little like the twilight zone.
Things seemed almost normal – Other than everyone wearing masks, there was really very little that seemed to change when flying internationally compared to pre-Covid travel. Aside from masks the requirement to be COVID tested before returning home is probably the only major change for international traveling.
Lines were not as long as I expected – I was pleasantly surprised that the lines were not as long as I expected to clear security, board the planes, and checking in. Airport staffing seemed adequate everywhere I looked.
October is my favorite time to travel to Europe – The weather is cool and crisp. Crowds are lighter than the summer and prices are really good.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is an easy airport to connect into Europe – Delta uses KLM Royal Dutch airline as a connector hub airline in Europe. I like this airport and KLM. The crowds are pretty light and it is easy to get around but be prepared to walk long distances for your connecting flights.
Vienna has fewer masks than Lincoln – The biggest surprise for this trip was that there were fewer people wearing masks than in Lincoln, Nebraska. In preparing for coming here, I had read that I should be prepared to wear an N95 mask all the time. Surprisingly, the locals don’t wear masks as often as we do in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Vienna is one of my favorite cities in the world – If you like history, music, great hotels, coffee, friendly people, wonderful shopping, and delightful restaurants serving the best pastries (Sacher torte), then you better put Vienna on your bucket list. Austria is also one of the best countries to drive around in Europe. The little towns and hamlets are almost like a fairytale.