Timatic vs. https://klm.traveldoc.aero/ at ATL

Old Sep 9, 20, 12:36 pm
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Timatic vs. https://klm.traveldoc.aero/ at ATL

I, a US citizen with US passport, have been traveling to Portugal from the US for business recently.

Business travel for Americans (third-party nationals) is allowed to Portugal during COVID, per the Portuguese embassy in the US; the US embassy in Portugal; and the Portuguese border control (SEF), among other sources.

I've been travelling to Portugal via TAP, as they are well aware of the exception for business travel, and there have been no issues, with sufficient proof of business travel, either boarding or upon arrival in Portugal travelling for business as an American with a US passport.

I'm hoping to fly either KLM or Air France for an upcoming trip to Portugal, but am hesitant, since Timatic does not and has not listed business travel as an exception for travel to Portugal.

Traveldoc, which KLM's and Air France's website directs its customers to, does include the exception
  • Passengers travelling for work or study,

My question is, that when checking in for the flight in Atlanta, is the gate agent there going to be using Timatic, since that's what Delta uses, and deny boarding based on what Timatic says, or will they defer to what Traveldoc says, since I'd be flying KLM/Air France. And this assumes that transit through Netherlands and France continues to be allowed for US pax bound for a schengen country.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 9, 20, 12:47 pm
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I really doubt you will be allowed to transit and enter the Schengen area in AMS or CDG unless you fall in some very specific and limited allowed cases. Note that Portugal is not supposed to accept US nationals, but this is another debate.
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Old Sep 9, 20, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
I really doubt you will be allowed to transit and enter the Schengen area in AMS or CDG unless you fall in some very specific and limited allowed cases. Note that Portugal is not supposed to accept US nationals, but this is another debate.
Thanks!

It appears as though you're correct about not being able to transit via Netherlands unless you meet the Dutch entry requirements, https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/tra...he-netherlands

But it appears as though transit is OK via France, at least based on what the airport authority says, as long as you stay airside, and as long as it's on a single booking. This French ministry also doesn't list any restrictions on transit, other than the 24 hour limit: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/co...als-in-france/

https://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/pass...ing-from-paris


Anyway, I'm more concerned about which system of record is used in ATL checking in for a KLM/Air France flight. That's the first hurdle.

Incidentally, Timatic for Germany used to specifically disallow non-schengen to schengen transit, but that verbiage is no longer there, FWIW.

Thanks again.

Last edited by jchock1; Sep 9, 20 at 2:38 pm
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Old Sep 9, 20, 2:28 pm
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If you want to be sure, travel on BA via LHR.
Any nationality/origin can enter UK (quarantine does not concern you), and pax arriving from UK are allowed into Portugal.
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Old Sep 9, 20, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by jchock1 View Post
But it appears as though transit is OK via France, at least based on what the airport authority says, as long as you stay airside, and as long as it's on a single booking. This French ministry also doesn't list any restrictions on transit, other than the 24 hour limit:
Unfortunately, this is another case of very poor & inaccurate wording on all those websites. The bolded part above is in fact valid only for non-Schengen to non-schengen connection. Connecting in CDG to Portugal means entering the Schengen area in CDG and American citizens are not allowed to do that.
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Old Sep 9, 20, 3:46 pm
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The problem with the KL/AF portal is that it contemplates nonstop travel between two points, while TIMATIC picks up the restrictions which may be occasioned by a transit. TIMATIC also picks up residency when that differs from nationality (not the case here).

I think that it's clear that OP cannot transit either AMS or CDG.
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Old Sep 10, 20, 6:51 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
I really doubt you will be allowed to transit and enter the Schengen area in AMS or CDG unless you fall in some very specific and limited allowed cases. Note that Portugal is not supposed to accept US nationals, but this is another debate.
+1. The individual countries are allowed to make their own rules on immigration, as the EU rule is technically for guidance. But for NL and F, they wouldn't allow a US citizen to transit to a destination within the Schengen zone. As a quick data point, when I checked in at ATL for the flight to AMS, they requested to see my residence permit and entered some info from it before I could get the boarding pass.
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Old Sep 10, 20, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Unfortunately, this is another case of very poor & inaccurate wording on all those websites. The bolded part above is in fact valid only for non-Schengen to non-schengen connection. Connecting in CDG to Portugal means entering the Schengen area in CDG and American citizens are not allowed to do that.
Out of curiosity, what's the source of information that Americans aren't allowed to transit schengen to schengen, even if they are allowed in the destination country.

Is that transit through any schengen country?

I thought it was a country by country decision?

For example, according to Timatic, Austria also permits business travelers. So a business traveler isn't allowed to transit another schengen country to get to Austria?

And if the wording is inaccurate on the French ministry website, who has accurate wording? Because this EU information doesn't differentiate between transit passengers, either: https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc...20-INIT/en/pdf It simply states that "Passengers in transit" are considered as "travellers with an essential function or need"

In any event, looks like I'll just stick to TAP to make things easier.....
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Old Sep 10, 20, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by jchock1 View Post
Out of curiosity, what's the source of information that Americans aren't allowed to transit schengen to schengen, even if they are allowed in the destination country.

Is that transit through any schengen country?

I thought it was a country by country decision?

For example, according to Timatic, Austria also permits business travelers. So a business traveler isn't allowed to transit another schengen country to get to Austria?

And if the wording is inaccurate on the French ministry website, who has accurate wording? Because this EU information doesn't differentiate between transit passengers, either: https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc...20-INIT/en/pdf It simply states that "Passengers in transit" are considered as "travellers with an essential function or need"

In any event, looks like I'll just stick to TAP to make things easier.....
If Portugal lets you in, then stick with that point of entry.

It's the rules of the first point of entry into the Schengen zone that matter in reality.
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Old Sep 10, 20, 4:44 pm
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OP is not asking about entering Portugal from the US. Rather, from France or the Netherlands. Totally different fact pattern and therefore, rules.
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Old Sep 11, 20, 11:40 am
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In the current situation go with a direct US to Portugal flight and nothing else. The situation is very messy as EU can't agree on single rules within Schengen zone and I doubt the check-in agents will let you board the flight.
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Old Sep 12, 20, 5:13 am
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
If you want to be sure, travel on BA via LHR.
Or more obviously - travel direct on TAP, as you have been doing already!!
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Old Sep 12, 20, 5:19 am
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Originally Posted by jchock1 View Post
Because this EU information doesn't differentiate between transit passengers, either: https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc...20-INIT/en/pdf It simply states that "Passengers in transit" are considered as "travellers with an essential function or need"
I think you're being a bit lenient in your interpretation there; I saw this on other threads, too, where people though this meant that they could get around an entry ban to, say, France, simply by transiting in Germany, or the Netherlands, or wherever, on the way to the country they "otherwise" would not be allowed to enter.

However, that is clearly not the case, nor the intention.

For as long as the "transit passenger" is heading to a third country (i.e. outside Schengen) then yes, the passenger will clearly be allowed to travel.

But if the passenger is en-route to a Schengen state from outside Schengen/EEA/UK/CH then the lenient interpretation given above no longer applies. So: US-EU-India - fine; US-EU-EU - not so fine.

Originally Posted by jchock1 View Post
In any event, looks like I'll just stick to TAP to make things easier.....
This would be highly advisable!
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Old Sep 13, 20, 2:42 pm
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For what it is worth, from September 21st the Netherlands will allow anybody in from any country, as long as they are traveling on business.

Professional athletes will be welcome from the 14th, and a whole bunch of other categories (researchers, journalists, etc.) from a date yet to be announced.

All these travelers will also be exempt from any and all quarantine requirements.

Source (in Dutch)

Johan
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Old Sep 13, 20, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
All these travelers will also be exempt from any and all quarantine requirements.
I suppose COVID is polite enough not to infect during business meeting?
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