On Friday, JetBlue announced that it is doubling down on testing for customers with an expansion of at-home and airport testing. The airline is partnering with XpresCheck in Boston and adding new rapid testing in New York. Simultaneously, more customers will also be able to access at-home testing through JetBlue’s partnership with Vault.
JetBlue expands Boston testing
According to a press release seen by Simple Flying, starting in early January, XPresCheck will open a testing facility in Terminal C at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). The facility will offer both rapid and PCR tests. While appointments are not necessary, JetBlue suggests getting one before coming for a test.
The testing center will be located landside, which means it can be found prior to security screening. Customers who want to, or even need to, get tested before travel, or those who are returning, can receive a test. State officials require travelers returning to Massachusetts to have a negative PCR test that was administered up to 72 hours before arrival. This will exempt passengers from a quarantine.
Those who arrive in Boston can get off their flight, collect their luggage, and obtain a test without visiting a separate medical facility. Once a result comes back negative, passengers can be freed from quarantine obligations.
New York gets rapid testing and a new trial
In New York, JetBlue partners with NYC Test & Trace Corps. At no cost to patients, the partnership will offer patients zero-cost rapid PCR testing. The testing is available at JetBlue’s Terminal 5 (T5) at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The testing facility at T5 will also offer traditional PCR testing.
What is also interesting about the New York expansion is that JetBlue is trialing out a new way to do testing with the Test & Trace Corps. The partnership will see customers receive a test kit if they have domestic itineraries that include a return to New York. Passengers with eligible itineraries can receive a test kit from the Just Ask desk. They hang on to the test kit until they are within 72 hours of their return to New York. Passengers then self-administer their test and mail it in.
This will allow passengers to satisfy the New York state pre-arrival testing requirement. Test results usually arrive within 48 hours.
At LaGuardia Airport (LGA), NYC Test & Trace Corps is also offering both PCR testing and rapid PCR testing at no cost to the patient. This facility is located at the Terminal B parking garage, on level 1.
More at-home testing
For at-home testing, JetBlue partners with Vault. Visitors heading to Grenada and the Turks and Caicos islands can show a negative PCR test from Vault and satisfy entry requirements. Vault initially debuted for flights to Aruba, and Vault tests also satisfy all US state testing requirements for entry and travel.
The Vault testing also works for travelers heading to Puerto Rico. The PCR test allows passengers to avoid a 14-day quarantine in Puerto Rico after arrival.
Airlines view testing as key to restarting travel
With the absence of a national testing standard in the US, airlines are forced to contend with various states and territories’ entry restrictions. This is on top of the testing requirements in other countries.
While spending months first working on preserving liquidity and managing the short-term, in the past few months, airlines started working to find ways to make it easier for people to travel safely and stay in compliance with entry restrictions. Hence the plethora of at-home pre-departure testing partnerships that have come to light in the last few months and airport testing opportunities.
While few governments have been quick to use pre-departure testing to open up travel, airlines are hoping that 2021 will be a turning point with testing and a vaccine, which has started being distributed worldwide.
Are you going to take advantage of any of these JetBlue testing partnerships? Let us know in the comments!