Published on Friday, September 25, 2020

United first US airline to offer Covid testing program


United Airlines is launching a Covid-19 pre-travel testing program for passengers.

Customers have the option to order a home testing kit or reserve a time slot for a rapid test at the airport prior to departure.

United will become the first US airline to offer the service.

It begins 15 October for flights from San Francisco to Hawaii.

Hawaii's planned pre-testing program kicks off the same day.

"We really see this as a great opportunity to provide access to testing for our customers, to get them back in the air and traveling as safely as possible," said Aaron McMillan, United's Managing Director of Operations Policy and Support.

Travelers flying to Hawaii can avoid a mandatory quarantine with a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Passengers unable to take a test before arriving in Hawaii may take one there but are required to quarantine until a negative result is confirmed.

The home test kit costs $80 plus shipping to a San Francisco lab for processing.

Customers will receive results within 48 hours.

The airline hopes to expand the service to other air hubs in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. 

New York JFK and Newark Airports are collaborating with XpresCheck to offer a rapid Covid-19 testing facility to passengers flying with all airlines.

American Airlines is also looking at providing a testing service to its customers.


Written by Ray Montgomery, US editor

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