The day after President Trump announced a coming ban on many travelers to the United States, vacationers from Europe and Americans on their way home arrived at Kennedy International Airport in New York, many of them confused and upset.
Andrea Boehm, 62, a nurse who lives in Berlin, said she learned of the ban, which is scheduled to start on Friday, just before her plane took off from Frankfurt for a 10-day vacation in New York City.
She said the ban made her “a little bit angry,” because she knew the precautions being taken in Germany to prepare for and fight the virus. She judged them better than those in the United States.
“It’s crazy, we didn’t understand,” she said. “In Europe we do many things, many people go in shops and buy washing lotion.”
Nourry Benaissa-T, 45, who works in the travel industry in Belgium, and his companion, Delphine D’Hanijns, 26, who works for an internet company, arrived on a flight from Belgium that they said was mostly empty. They even got a cheap upgrade to business class.
Their biggest issue: whether they would be able to return home from the United States.
“They told us we can leave, but they can’t promise we can get home,” Ms. D’Hanijns said. The couple made contingency plans to head to Mexico or Britain if new orders by Mr. Trump complicate their travels.
Jeff Anderson, a banker who lives in London, flew in from Istanbul. He said his flight was packed, with half the people wearing face masks. (The man in front of him had a blanket pulled over his head the whole flight.) Many criticized Mr. Trump, even though travelers from Turkey are not among those who will be restricted.
“It was pretty wild, I have to say,” Mr. Anderson, 35, added.
He said he had heard from several friends whose plans to travel to the United States this month were thwarted.
“They’re basically trapped,” he said.
Marsha Jackson, 40, who lives in San Jose, Calif., spent the last two months in Ghana, and flew to New York via Portugal. She heard about the ban while changing planes and became afraid of getting stranded in Europe.
“If I got stuck there, where would I go next?” she said. “Where am I going to stay? What am I going to eat? What am I going to do?”
She said no official at the airport could explain what exactly was going on: “There was no outreach. None.”