As we all know travelling internationally at the moment (Summer 2021) is likely to mean additional paperwork and testing, and so as a family with 2 teenager girls in tow we weren’t sure whether it would be ‘worth it’.
I thought it might be useful to share our travel experience to add context for those who are considering hopping on a plane.
At the time of travelling (9th July 2021) the requirements for Mallorca were Under 18’s needed to show proof of negative (PCR/LAMP) test within 48 hours of the arrival time in Palma. As such we booked the Collinson LAMP test drive-through test centre just outside Manchester Airport the morning of our flight – the service was quick, efficient and the girls results were emailed through to us as promised within 90 minutes.
All paperwork checked at Manchester by the airline check in staff including the girls tests, our QR double vaccinated NHS app codes, and our Spanish Govt tracking QR code.
Flight; everyone wore masks – no issues, cabin service including drinks/food as usual but no onboard menus you had to download the Easyjet menu app before you fly or just simply ask the cabin crew what they have!
Arrival in to Palma was slick, we had our temperature checked and had to show the girls negative results and our NHS QR code again. For context; from landing to collecting our bags and getting a taxi was a mere 30 minutes – far quicker than I’ve previously experienced in Palma. The airport was relatively busy but not chaotic by any means.
Palma – as usual delivered what we needed for a short break, great weather, welcoming locals, lovely food, quirky shopping and a much needed change of scenery.
Whilst we were there we needed to organise Antigen tests for all of us prior to our flight home to the UK, we organised this using a local clinic details provided by our hotel. Booked 4 slots via mallorcatestcenter.com (many of the clinics are open from 0800-2000), the clinic was a 10 minute walk from our hotel the Hotel Victoria Gran Melia. Again very efficient; tests taken and results back immediately via email within 30 minutes – then off to dinner!
The return check in process was similar to our outbound experience, prior to check-in at the desk there was a lady checking that we had all our paperwork, eg UK Passenger Locator Form (PLF), and emails with negative antigen test results, boarding passes and then dropped luggage off and headed through to departure lounge. No lengthy queues anywhere in Palma.
Return flight was around three quarters full, and uneventful!
Arrival in to Manchester was smooth, e-gates are in use as normal, no further border checks as the passenger locator form completed is linked to your passport we were told. From landing to collecting our bags, getting in to our car at T1 multi-story was around 40 minutes – I was timing specifically because recent headlines had said wait times could be hours.
Everyone’s experience will be different, but ours whilst initially off-putting when considering the additional admin and testing was well worth the effort and far less overwhelming than originally thought.