American Airlines continues to streamline its COVID-19 era flight experience. The airline is now offering 15-minute self-administered at-home testing via a healthcare partner. The results can be uploaded to the VeriFLY app on the passenger’s smartphone, allowing for faster movement through an airport. American Airlines says they are trying to offer passengers an easier travel experience.
American Airlines teams up with eMed
American Airlines has joined forces with telehealth provider eMed. The company is a digital healthcare provider and a CDC-accepted administrator of rapid antigen tests. They’ll now provide American Airlines passengers with a self-administered COVID-19 test supervised virtually by an approved eMed employee.
The test is scheduled 72 hours before the American Airlines passenger flies back to the United States. The passenger receives electronic documentation for re-entry to the U.S. with a (hopefully) negative test result. The passenger can then upload the test result to VeriFLY.
Travelers arriving into the United States now needed to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or recovery from the virus. Current advice on the CDC website states;
‘If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than three days before you travel by air into the United States and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).”
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COVID-19 test results back in 15 minutes
American Airlines wants to sell more tickets on its international flights. Passenger loads on international flights in and out of the United States remain far lower than on United States domestic flights. To help stimulate demand for international travel, airlines need to make travel as frictionless as possible for passengers. Simplifying the COVID-19 testing process is one step in that direction.
“Deploying eMed services for international travel marries reliable COVID-19 testing with a convenient digital-point-of-care platform to create a safe and more seamless travel experience,” said Dr Patrice Harris, eMed Co-Founder and CEO.
The eMed tests are not free. It costs US$150 for a pack of six COVID-19 tests. That includes the cost of virtual supervision. Test results should be available in about 15 minutes. Passengers can order test kits from the eMed website.
On-site COVID-19 testing options also available across the United States
Like the United States, many countries now require proof of COVID-19 status as part of their entry requirements. If would-be passengers in the United States prefer not to self administer the test, American Airlines has also teamed up with CareNow. CareNow has physical clinics around the United States where prospective passengers can book an appointment and go in and get tested. Like the digital eMed product, the CareNow COVID-19 test result comes back swiftly and can be uploaded onto VeriFLY.
“We want customers to focus on planning their trip to reconnect with family or unwind after more than a year at home, without the added stress of figuring out where and how they will get the right test,” says American’s Julie Rath.
American Airlines advises the international travel environment remains dynamic and prospective passengers should make themselves fully aware of a country’s entry requirements, including COVID-19 test requirements, before traveling.