For older more experienced travelers than I, have Europe (Amsterdam) to the US (New York) flights ever completely stopped in the past?

I am currently on a Fulbright in the Netherlands and have been planning to stay for the remainder of my (originally intended) grant period, until around July. But I've become increasingly worried by the rhetoric of the State Department and the Fulbright commission that if I don't leave now, and the virus gets worse, there may be no option to leave when I planned.

My city and host university here have been incredibly helpful and said they will help me extend my residence permit/visa if I need to stay much longer, so staying is not an issue in that regard. However I will (if the virus does not de-rail the fall semester) be starting my PhD back in the US in August/September. If the virus does indeed effect fall semester, I can of course participate in the online semester here in the Netherlands (knock on wood).

  • 4
    My crystal ball is no better than yours. We never have had a situation like it is now, the last time there was a pandemic that was as widespread and considered deathly as the one we have now, 1918/1919, there was no passenger air travel. If you feel you can live your life while in the Netherlands I would finish the year and hope for a better travel situation in the summer, but that is my opinion, not based on fact.
    – Willeke
    Mar 21, 2020 at 13:13
  • My thoughts exactly shrug Travel and the necessary checkpoints in the US seem like a nightmare as well.
    – Lopey Tall
    Mar 21, 2020 at 13:14
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    I would consider contacting the PhD programs you've been accepted to (assuming you haven't committed yet) and see if they offer deferred admission for a year. Many programs did so routinely, even before this crisis. Mar 21, 2020 at 13:25
  • @MichaelSeifert good idea, but not really an option as I essentially took a gap year in formal education this year while I'm here doing research. I would like to finish my PhD ASAP to stop living off <2000 a month stipends and move up to 4000 a month in academia ;) hahah
    – Lopey Tall
    Mar 21, 2020 at 16:29


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