It goes without saying that the last 19-plus months has been very trying on everyone who lives on Planet Earth. COVID has affected so many in so many ways, and Inland NW Honor Flight has felt its effects significantly. All of 2020 was suspended for travel by the Honor Flight Network and flights were on hold until August 15th, 2021, at which time flights would possibly resume. As of April 29th of this year, notice was given by Honor Flight that all travelers would be required to have the COVID vaccine to fly in addition to strict masking requirements. It was also stated at that time that these restrictions would be lifted for 2022. As of an INWHF board meeting on May 19th, it was mutually decided that we were not prepared to deny anyone an Honor Flight nor were we prepared to deal with the logistics of planning a restricted trip and that we would cancel our planned October 2021 flight and we would wait until 2022 to fly again. Prior to June 4th, notice was given that Honor Flight changed its policy to vaccines being “strongly recommended” and that a negative COVID test would be required for the unvaccinated 72 hours prior to a flight. Several Honor Flights resumed travel after August 15th with mixed reports on how COVID has affected them. At this time we are confident we made the right decision for 2021 and are indeed hoping that 2022 will make traveling much easier.
SO, we are looking to 2022 with optimism. However, we will not know what protocols will be in place from Honor Flight for traveling until early 2022. We have a flight planned for April 25-26. The vets and guardians who should have been on our April 2020 flight will be again called and invited on this pending flight. If vets who are called are not comfortable flying due to whatever COVID issues there may be at that time, they will be given the option of postponing to a future flight or having their name removed from the waiting list if they wish.
We are beyond anxious to resume our mission, as are the over 700 veterans currently on our waiting list. Your continued support and spreading the word of our mission is greatly appreciated.
Director, Inland NW Honor Flight