The worldwide coronavirus pandemic put travel at a standstill for a time. Even now, a year later, many locations around the world are not allowing incoming or outgoing travel. Others require one or more of COVID testing, quarantines, vaccines, mask usage and social distancing if travelers want to visit…or get back home. And that’s not even including the required precautions when you’re going to take a plane.
For those who respect the ways that countries, local governments and travel companies are trying to stop the spread of what can be a deadly virus, the lack of travel, or at least changed travel, has been understandable, albeit frustrating. However, there are some who disagree.
A certain percentage of people around the world think that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is a hoax, or at least is greatly overdramatized. They believe it either doesn’t exist, or is no worse than having a cold. They’re convinced that all of the hullabaloo surrounding COVID is, at best, a waste of time and, at worst, a control grab from Big Brother (and/or Bill Gates). And they definitely don’t think they should have to be tested, vaccinated or quarantined in order to travel, and once they get to their destination, they don’t want to have to mask up, socially distance, wash their hands or do anything else in the name of health or public safety.
They just want to live their lives without what they think are silly inconveniences.
Welp, I just found out there’s a travel company for those who want to maintain their freedom when traveling. It’s called “Freedom Airway & Freedom Travel Alliance.” Or “FAFTA” for short. From their website:
Who We Are
…our areas of focus are helping you find the best in freedom travel in the hospitality and tourism arenas, in addition to policy work within governments and providing education for our members. Being a member brings you into the effort to assure that your family’s natural health rights while traveling are protected from injurious regulation and discriminatory policy.
FAFTA is being built by five founding partners in three countries on two continents. Dolores Cahill is our Irish founder, Susan Sweetin/ Kevin Jenkins/Tara Thorton are our three American founders and Susan Standfield is our Canadian founder. FAFTA is set to be registered in the UK and USA as a British American joint venture with founding members in 40 countries so far including Thailand, Estonia, France, Portugal, Denmark, Bulgaria, Canada, the USA, Ireland, and Australia.
FAFTA will provide a unified voice of advocacy for travelers around the world.
The FAFTA community is, as per their website, “a group of passionate trailblazers defending freedoms and rights to travel the world. We will protect people’s right to travel freely, embracing cultures, wildlife, and the environment while creating shared economic opportunities.”
According to their website, they are membership-based and are, “curating a collection of monthly travel packages for their Natural Health FREEDOM MEMBERS in popular hubs around the globe to partner with accommodations, transport, spa, meeting and faith leaders.”
I’m still trying to figure out what “Natural Health” is and how it differs from, you know, “health,” but based on the quotes above, it appears that FAFTA plans on selling their members trips to locations where COVID safety isn’t an issue.
That being said, they have 3 trips planned so far:
- Florida in Feb. 2021 – “Join us as we head to the FREE sunshine state in February for our Freedom Fest! With workshops, movies & the Beach- we will celebrate and breathe freely!” (from $499)
Their Facebook page gives a little more info (cut and pasted):FAFTA DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT:TAMPA, FLORIDA FOR BUILDING NATURAL IMMUNITYNeed some sun? Invest in your natural health with one of FAFTA’s first flights in the works, flying into TAMPA possibly from Newark New Jersey so here’s some juicy content about this great city!It’s halfway down the West Coast/Gulf side of the panhandle, 4 million residents. Tampa sits at the head of Tampa Bay where St Petersburg and Clearwater also sit so 3 great waterfront cities to visit in one trip. Super open, no forced masking, people on beaches and sitting close together in restaurants. Florida is the spot to fly into this winter to live free and build your natural immunity up on it’s world famous beaches and sunny climate!
- Ireland in spring 2021 – “Ready to celebrate Freedom & Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland? Nothing is more Irish than this trip hosting by our very own Freedom Fighter, Dr. Dolores Cahill!” (from $750)
- Brazil in spring/summer 2021 – “April is an ideal time of year to visit Brazil. Mild weather makes this period excellent for enjoying hiking, city adventures, sightseeing, culture, & art.” (from $999).
There’s no mention of specific dates, prices or itineraries, but they do offer you the opportunity to reserve your spot.
Of course, flights on any commercial U.S. airline, as well as most airlines in other countries would include mask usage. However FAFTA’s small print mentions: “FAFTA does not own or operate any aircraft. FAFTA will work with travel and other services providers as an advisor of the FAFTA membership program and as an advisor of its membership. All flights arranged by FAFTA for its members are performed by independent, third-party FAA-licensed and DOT-registered air carriers.” So I guess they’d be getting privately-owned charter planes. That’s all well and good, but if their prices for the Tampa trip start at $499 per person and that includes flights, I’m thinking they have no idea of how much chartered flights actually cost.
FAFTA doesn’t say how they would get around the required COVID testing for entering Ireland or Brazil, or the mandatory 4-day quarantine if you travel to Ireland, OR the required COVID testing if you return to the U.S. from another country. Those would probably be important to include on their website.
FAFTA also has a Facebook presence. Their page goes for, shall we say, the hodgepodge approach, with news (i.e., the delay of the Canadian government’s upcoming mandatory traveler quarantine, Cathay Pacific’s mask exemption for those in business class, etc.), “destination spotlights” on locations that have minimal to no COVID requirements, on top of places the authors happened to have visited in the past, potential future merchandise that isn’t available for purchase at this time, warnings about trolls, etc.
One of FAFTA’s founders was a guest of a podcast hosted by James Corbett. Here’s more info about the host; it’s….rather interesting (and – heads up – has a bit of adult language). Note: Corbett has been “dinged” on YouTube on at least one occasion. If this video is no longer viewable, that may be why.
Our thoughts on this
If you’ve read Your Mileage May Vary for any period of time (or heck, just read the hashtags at the bottom of most of our posts), you’ll know that Joe and I are very much on #teamscience, #teammedicine and #teamCOVIDsafety. Happily (IMHO & Your Mileage May Vary), so are most people.
As we see it, the coronavirus pandemic (or “plandemic,” as FAFTA fans call it) and our current level of response to it will not last forever (or even, I suspect, a whole lot longer). Until then, we’re happy to do our part to slow the spread.
Others, obviously, don’t feel the same way about safety precautions for themselves or others, but still want to travel. FAFTA, conveniently, is willing to plan trips where peoples’ “freedoms” and “Natural Health” won’t be “infringed upon.” For a price, of course.
I don’t fault FAFTA for their plan – in fact, I think it’s a good, innovative idea. It’s simply a company searching out a niche audience, like the one that books The Big Nude Boat Cruise. It’s more so that, well, I’ve seen lots of travel planning companies in my time, and right now, FAFTA appears to be pretty disorganized. I mean, besides the fact that their website and FB page are fraught with typos and grammatical errors, they don’t even reveal a whole lot of information. Case in point, their trip to Tampa is supposed to be in February, but February is half over, and they don’t even give dates of the trip (people have to put in vacation requests from work, right?). They sure are willing to take your $100 membership, though! 😉
But who knows, maybe they’ll pull it all together and if it works out for them, we wish them all the best. If it doesn’t, hopefully all their members will not have lost very much money in the process.
Feature Photo: Pixabay
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post. Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 17,000+ members and we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary