Traveling by air during a pandemic can be a stressful, if not harrowing, experience to prepare for. Those who must travel are contending with day-to-day travel restriction changes like new entry requirements and variable local regulations.
Delta Air Lines created a tool to make trip planning easier during COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know about the Delta map search tool to improve your travel planning.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
Delta launches interactive travel requirements map
The airline released an interactive map tool on the Delta.com booking page that provides easy-to-read travel restriction data for all of its flight destinations around the world. The map lets travelers easily see which countries are open to visitors, open with restrictions or have restricted entry.
It also provides key information about requirements and restrictions in a chosen country. If flying domestically, a U.S.-based Delta interactive route map is available with the same type of travel restriction information.
The map search tool, which is powered by Smartvel, aggregates data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and federal and local government agencies. Although Delta is offering this tool, you don’t need to have an active booking to use it.
How Delta’s interactive route map works
Whether you’re using it as an enhanced Delta award map search tool to fully prepare for an upcoming award flight or simply want to stay on top of moving travel restrictions, the interactive travel map can help.
Step 1: Visit Delta.com
The map search tool is currently only available on Delta.com; however, according to the airline, it’s working on getting the tool accessible through the Fly Delta App. Click on “travel restrictions” within the banner at the very top of the screen. You also can access the page directly at this link.
An interactive world map with a legend that shows which countries are open to visitors or have restrictions in place will display. Hover the cursor over a country to see the country name.
Step 2: Select a destination
Click on the country for a snapshot of travel requirements. A pop-up box will appear showing the date the information was last reviewed and updated. The destination’s requirements regarding quarantine, a negative COVID-19 test result and forms/applications will appear.
To read detailed information about travel restrictions and requirements upon arrival, click on “see more info.” Alternatively, you can click "see schedule" to find out which months flights are available and continue the booking process if you want.
You can also search for domestic information by clicking on the U.S. When the pop-up box appears, click on the red button that reads, “See domestic restrictions.” This will take you to the U.S. interactive travel requirements map where you can find specific state restrictions. A list view — which is located on the booking page, below the map — is also available.
Nerdy tip: You can also use the tool from a different view. If you’d like to see the travel information as a page text rather than a pop-up window, use the “Search by Origin/Destination” function, located below the map. Enter your origin location and the destination for your search, and then click “see requirements.” The information will display below the search fields.
» Learn more: The best airlines to fly during COVID-19
Step 3: Read the travel restrictions for your destination
After clicking to see more information, the Delta interactive route map shows you various categories related to travel to the selected destination. The list includes information about:
Negative COVID-19 test result requirements.
Forms or applications needed.
Face covering rules.
Social distancing practices.
Local health advice.
Each item on the list has a dropdown arrow to expand the section and learn details about that topic or requirement. The search tool also provides additional resources for each category, like links to official resources or paperwork in preparation for a trip.
» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now
Having all of this key travel information consolidated into a user-friendly tool can make travel planning less of a burden. A mandatory quarantine upon arrival is still far from a pre-pandemic travel experience, but being able to anticipate these restrictions can lessen frustrating surprises along your journey.
Although it’s a helpful tool during a difficult time, the interactive map should only be used for supplemental research for your trip. It might not have been updated with real-time travel restriction changes. Travel rules shift day to day as new information surfaces; always refer to real-time travel updates for your destination, directly from its governing body.
The bottom line
If you’re anticipating upcoming travel, but are worried about staying on top of various travel restrictions, Delta’s interactive travel restriction search tool is a handy start. The best part is that you don’t have to be a Delta passenger to view different travel regulations around the world.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card