United Airlines has partnered with Walmart and Albertson Companies to make it easier for passengers to get COVID-19 tests when traveling. With integration with the airline’s mobile app and website, passengers will be able to access their test results easily and tie them to their bookings.
COVID-19 testing is slowly becoming a regular part of post-pandemic travel. However, the rules are still a real patchwork depending on the origin and destination. For instance, just earlier today, Simple Flying revealed that quarantine-free travel from Germany to Singapore requires approval and four PCR tests. The same in the other direction requires nothing special related to COVID-19.
United Airlines’ new partnership
From today onwards, United Airlines is partnering with Walmart and Albertson Companies locations across the United States to make COVID-19 test appointments more accessible to its passengers. The partnership is an enhancement of a feature added to the airline’s digital infrastructure back in April.
Through the United Airlines app or website, passengers will be able to book an appointment at more than 3,800 test sites easily. Once the appointment is complete, test results are sent directly to the United Airlines app, where they are available within four to 48 hours of the test-taking place.
According to United Airlines, it is the only airline that provides customers with the travel requirements of their destination and lets them complete and upload any relevant paperwork directly in its app and on its website. American Airlines, for example, is using the third-party app VeriFLY. So far, United has handled almost 3.3 million vaccinations, test results, and passenger locator forms through its app and website.
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Commenting on the new offer, Linda Jojo, United’s executive vice president for technology and Chief Digital Officer, said,
“United continues to deliver solutions that make it simple for customers to understand and meet all testing and vaccination requirements… This enhancement to our mobile app and website will give our customers confidence and peace-of mind knowing they have access to all of the information and services they need…”
Ahead of the curve
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, United Airlines has been trying to place itself ahead of the curve when it comes to testing. The airline first launched COVID-19 tests for passengers on a limited basis between San Francisco and Hawaii on September 24th. According to the airline, this made it the first on the route to offer such a service.
The airline was also the first to start offering a self-test that could be taken abroad and met the CDC requirements for travel back to the United States. While some destinations will now accept complete vaccination instead of testing, it looks as though COVID-19 tests are here to stay for the foreseeable future on many routes.
What do you make of United Airlines’ new testing partnership? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.