For students recruited by the following recruitment organization: American Councils, AMIDEAST, iEarn, and IRIS
The YES staff at American Councils wishes you a safe and pleasant journey home, which it will be if you read all of the information below! Your return e-ticket will be shared with you in the coming weeks.
1. Check your flight date: Most students will leave their host communities for Dulles one day before their international flight for Covid testing, but some students will leave their host communities two days before. Upon receipt of your e-ticket, read it carefully and be sure you go to the airport on the correct day.
THE DAY BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT:
1. Take an at-home Rapid Antigen Test: Call 855-559-3700 if you test positive.
2. QR Code: Prior to your departure, we will send you a QR code to use to pre-register for a Covid test that will be administered to you shortly after your arrival to Dulles. Be sure to complete this pre-registration at the latest the day before leaving your host community.
3. Confirm your flight: Call your airline or check on your airline’s website to see if any flight times have changed.
DAY OF TRAVEL:
1. Bring to the airport:
- Electronic ticket
- Passport or Certificate of Return
- Electronic (and paper if you have it) proof of Covid-19 vaccination
- Food or food money (free food is not provided on domestic U.S. flights).
2. Wear your blue YES T-shirt: This will help American Councils staff identify and assist you in Denver, Chicago, and DC/Dulles airports.
3. Get to the airport early: Plan to arrive TWO hours before your scheduled flight. Check-in and security lines are VERY long, and you may miss your flight.
4. The airline should only check your bags to Dulles (IAD) (or to DCA, if you’re flying from PHL). If they try to send your bags all the way to your home country, explain that you are overnighting near Dulles airport and flying internationally the following day.
5. Go to your gate IMMEDIATELY when you have your boarding pass. Security lines and screening take a LONG time.
6. Stay at your gate and listen for any announcements. If your flight is delayed, STAY there! Delayed flights sometimes leave earlier than expected.
- Your Placement Organization (PO) has included $80 in your last monthly allowance. This $80 is a travel allowance to help you cover travel-related costs at your host airport, on your way to Dulles airport. It is your responsibility to contact your airline(s) before your flight to find out what their checked baggage fees are. Important reminder: Most airlines do NOT take cash at check-in. The program does not reimburse students or host families for overweight, oversized, or third and fourth checked baggage.
- When you arrive in your home country, if you are taking a train or flight from your capital city to your home city, ask your natural parents to find out the latest baggage allowances.
- Visit https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all to find out what you can and CANNOT pack in your carry-on bag and checked baggage. DO NOT pack liquids containing over 3.4 ounces/100mL or anything that is or looks like a weapon in your carry-on bag.
NOTE about students who are departing directly from Dulles Airport
If you are scheduled to depart for your home country directly from Dulles Airport, you will not receive the $80 travel allowance. You need to be at the gateway hotel the DAY BEFORE your international flight, between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM, so that you can undergo Covid testing with the group: Holiday Inn Chantilly-Dulles Expo, 4335 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA 20151.
Avoid the Top 3 Travel Mistakes!
Mistake #1: Forgetting your passport. Check and double-check before you leave the house and when you get in the car!
Mistake #2: Leaving home too late and missing your flight. Even small airports can have long lines and getting caught in one could make you miss your flight. International travelers are often required to have secondary screening, which takes more time. NOTE: If you get to your gate less than 15 minutes before the flight is to leave, the airline will not let you on board. This happens to students every year.
Mistake #3: Missing your flight and LEAVING the airport without getting a new flight. If you have trouble checking in, or if you miss your flight for any reason, please do not leave the airport. We can help you a lot more if you stay at the airport! Call the toll-free YES Travel Emergency phone at 1-855-559-3700 (cell or Viber). This phone number is printed on your electronic ticket and on your t-shirt. American Councils staff need to know if you get rebooked, so that staff at Dulles can meet you upon arrival.
With best wishes,
The YES Team at American Councils