Photo Credit: Courtesy of Teela
Traveler Story: 'The Borders Were Closing & I Almost Got Stuck In Paris'
Charlotte-based traveler Teela flew to Paris, France with her fiancé in early March. The trip had been scheduled for some time and the couple made the journey before the COVID-19 outbreak caused abrupt shutdowns.
The weeklong trip was everything the couple could have expected and more. But, things quickly took a turn when it was time to head to the airport to make their way back to the States.
“The trip went well until I got the airport to go home,” Teela told Travel Noire. “The itinerary I received from the airline was suddenly revised and I didn’t get the update until hours later. I was supposed to fly to Munich, Germany from Paris then back to Charlotte. When I went to check-in, they told me they didn’t have any flights going to Germany and that I needed to check with another airline.”
Like most travelers, once she was told that her flight no longer existed, panic began to set in. Teela recalls having to wait another two hours just to check with another airline about being able to fly out. Airline kiosks at Charles de Gaulle only open up when they have a flight departing and at that time, no other airlines were going to Germany for her to catch her flight to Charlotte.
“When I finally was able to speak to someone, that’s when I was notified that my flight was rerouted to fly direct into the U.S. In hindsight, I appreciated that because they wanted to avoid flying into other countries to reduce the risk and contact.”
Teela remembers her emotions being all over the place from the thought of not being able to get back home to her children. The sudden changes in her itinerary and lack of info on the update caused her to become a nervous wreck. Once she landed back home, she saw that borders all over the world were shutting down. It was at the point that she personally realized the severity of the virus.
However, one thing that stuck out to her once she landed in Charlotte was that no one asked for information on possible COVID-19 exposure or even checked her temperature. She was simply allowed to proceed through customs as she would any other time.
Looking back, Teela is extremely grateful to have been able to fly home that day. She is looking forward to everything getting back to “normal” so that she can make new travel memories.
To catch more of Teela’s travels, you can find her on Instagram at: @momsjuswannahavefun.