Airlines Offering COVID-19 Testing
Airlines are looking for new ways to bring passengers back. Travel has been slowly rebounding but remains far off last year’s pace. With some rare exceptions, travel volume on most days still hovers around 40% of last year’s numbers.
So now airlines have started offering COVID-19 testing to make it easier for passengers to meet requirements. Most destinations require negative tests nowadays, and some will let you bypass the 14 days quarantine. Even some U.S. states require proof of of a negative test. So let’s see which airlines provide testing options for their passengers so far.
American Airlines started offering passengers preflight COVID-19 tests earlier this month. Tests will be provided by LetsGetChecked and will cost $129. The company says that travelers should order their tests at least five days before their flight. If your flight is due to depart within 48 hours, do not order a test, the company says. Instead, you can see other testing options at aa.com. The service is available for passengers traveling to states with quarantine mandates.
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines doesn’t offer testing nationwide but has announced two travel corridors for two destination in Europe that will bypass quarantine requirements.
Starting December 15, Delta rolled out the Netherlands COVID-Tested Flight Trial from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Passengers must take a PCR test five days prior to travel, as well as a rapid antigen test just before boarding their flight, and come up negative on both. A second PCR test will need to be taken upon arrival at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for visitors to bypass quarantine.
The second route, which begins December 19, is from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, New York’s JFK or New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport to Rome using the same criteria.
Hawaiian Airlines now offers drive-through COVID-19 testing for passengers traveling to Hawaii from Los Angeles and San Francisco airports. Hawaii is one of the more strict states when it comes to COVID-19 requirements. Testing for Hawaiian Airlines is provided by Worksite Labs.
You need to pay $90 to get your results within 36 hours and $150 for same-day results. The airline said it plans to roll out more drive-through testing sites at other airports soon.
JetBlue customers have access to Vault’s easy at-home, saliva-based COVID-19 test, with video-supervised sample collection and results in 48-72 hours. The test costs $143 and for an extra $7, customers can have their test sample overnighted to a lab for results.
Starting Wednesday, Spirit is offering on-site rapid antigen and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) diagnostic tests for COVID-19 at a dozen major airports, including Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Seattle. The rapid antigen test costs $69 and delivers results in 30 minutes; the PCR test is $99 with results within 48 hours.
United Airlines is offering drive-through virus tests for passengers traveling from San Francisco to Hawaii for $105. Passengers flying from Houston to Latin American countries including Peru and Panama have the option to take a mail-in COVID-19 test for $119. Those tests must be mailed 72 hours before boarding.
United has also been offering free rapid COVID-19 tests to all passengers over age 2 who are traveling from Newark to London under a trial program that ends Friday.