I’m writing this post from the lobby of the rather lovely Sheraton Beach Resort in Samoa (of which there will be a full review in due course). I was due to take the 45 minute flight from here over the international dateline to American Samoa this morning.
Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, they have imposed a mandatory 14 day waiting period for any travel to American Samoa i.e. I’d have to be in Samoa for 14 days prior to travel.
The only place that I can find this documented publicly is an oblique reference on the CDC website mentioning travel from Hawaii (but not Samoa).
Getting into Samoa itself was a challenge. The day before I travelled I got a text from Air New Zealand explaining that the Samoan government now required a doctor’s certificate showing you were free of COVID-19 before you could travel. Somewhat hungover after Sydney Mardi Gras, I managed to find a G.P. there and after AUD100 later, he wrote me a note.
Upon arrival into Apia, Samoa, the note was inspected, passengers temperatures were taken and there was a detailed travel history taken. With a full 787-9 from Auckland that took quite some time.
What’s also rather annoying is that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice website has not been updated with information on either country. Indeed the one for American Samoa just points you to the general USA travel advice site.
My itinerary was meant to continue on from American Samoa, up to Hawaii, to continue an Avios ticket home to London, via Los Angeles and New York.
I’m now a little stuck, trying to work out a route from here, ideally to Hawaii, but as a fall-back plan to Los Angeles.
My options don’t look good currently. On Friday, there is a Fiji Airways flight from Apia up to Hawaii, however it’s completely full and I’m on a waitlist.
That leads me with the option of backtracking, either on Air New Zealand or Samoan Airways to either Australia or New Zealand and from there, up to Hawaii, or even all the way over the Pacific to the West Coast of the US.
Plus then I’ve got the hassle of claiming back my Samoan Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines flights back from travel insurance.
So I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end, but even being as prepared as you can be, the unexpected will happen.
I guess there are worse places to be stuck!