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Golf Travel Update: New ways to popular golf in Europe & ETIAS Visa’s delayed until 2025

November 7, 2023

Planning the trip to play golf in Europe is just part of the challenge. Finding airfare that gets you to golf meccas without multiple layovers or cutting into the pub money stash isn’t always easy. While Premier Golf doesn’t handle air transportation, we are always looking for ways to help our clients reach their destinations. With recent announcements from two US carriers, there are more and more options to get across the Atlantic next year.

Jet Blue expands Transatlantic presence

The lower-cost domestic carrier began to explore international routes earlier in 2023. Driving off that success, the airline is adding flights to Dublin and Edinburgh – the two biggest gateways to the UK and Ireland for golf – from Boston (BOS) and New York (JFK) for Summer 2024. The seasonal routes will run through the end of September. There are some good deals to be had if you can follow the terms, starting at just over $400 roundtrip in economy. The route will be serviced by an Airbus 321Neo, which means fewer seats and only one aisle on the aircraft, but the price makes it attractive.

Aer Lingus ups the ante

Not to be outdone, the Irish national carrier, added routes to the lineup to two new US markets. Starting next summer, passengers can fly from Denver and Minneapolis nonstop to the Emerald Isle. These routes are two of 18 total the carrier has established for North America next year, giving travelers more options to get to Ireland. Fares will begin around $700 roundtrip in economy and will be on a limited, seasonal basis.

Forging a new route

Portugal is an increasingly popular golf destination, with beautiful courses like Dunas, leading the charge in the traveler-friendly country. Getting to the southern portion of the country has been a challenge, with most travelers flying into Lisbon and transferring from there. United is changing the game by offering nonstop service from Newark to Faro, the major hub in the Algarve. This seasonal, limited schedule is the only one available from the US and will make travel to the popular southern region of Portugal easier.

ETIAS delayed, again

For the past several years, the European Union has been poised to launch a new system to help monitor entry and exit of travels into the 30-country block through the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). Initial reports indicated it would become active in 2024, but concerns about system issues ahead of the 2024 Olympics to be held in Paris, the EU has delayed the launch until early 2025.

While United States citizens will continue to enjoy visa-less travel to Europe, everyone will be required to apply for ETIAS once it becomes active. For a nominal fee, the system will allow you to travel to and from Europe for three years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. There are some age exemptions but until applications begin to be accepted, speculations on those exceptions is only guesswork.

The United Kingdom has already implemented a similar system. Since Brexit, the UK is no longer under the purview of the EU, so if you are planning on travel to a UK territory – even to just transition to another country – you will need a separate authorization. Currently, only citizens of Qatar are required to apply. In February 2024, six additional countries will be added to the list. More countries, including the U.S., will be added sometime in 2025, most likely.

Premier Golf monitors requirements for travel all around the world for our clients and will let you know when you will need to apply for these new programs.

For all golf travel inquiries please call: 866 260 4409, Email: [email protected] or complete a Contact Form and one of our Golf Travel Specialists will be in touch.