As airlines look for more ways to lure back passengers and gain the trust of the general public and governments, some have begun offering COVID-19 testing for passengers. By offering rapid tests, several US carriers are hoping that confidence can be restored, and the recovery of the industry can be expedited. Here are the US airlines offering COVID-19 testing for passengers.
JetBlue has partnered with medical company Vault Health to offer a test to airline passengers for a discounted rate. While tests through Vault Health normally go for $150, airline passengers with an upcoming flight can order a test for $143.
“Vault Health and JetBlue have teamed up to offer travelers an FDA-authorized, at-home, supervised, saliva-based test for COVID-19 that gives you results in 48-72 hours—so you can make better and more confident decisions for yourself and fellow travelers.” -JetBlue
The process is as follows:
- A test is ordered, and the test kit is shipped to the traveler.
- Using a Zoom video call, the subject is supervised and guided through testing by a professional.
- The sample is shipped (expedited) to a lab, and within 48 to 72 hours, a result is given.
2. American Airlines
The country’s largest carrier, American Airlines, has partnered with two health providers: LetsGetChecked and CareNow.
“As we schedule flights to Hawaii, the Caribbean and our international markets, we’re prioritizing your safety and peace of mind. That’s why we’ve partnered with LetsGetChecked and CareNow, plus several international governments, to offer you special rates on COVID-19 testing. If you test negative for COVID-19, you’ll be exempt from a 14-day quarantine at select destinations.” -American Airlines
CareNow offers testing for travelers with select flights from DFW International Airport. Two options are available:
- In-person testing at designated CareNow urgent care locations, open every day and after-hours ($150)
- On-site rapid testing administered by CareNow at DFW International Airport results expected in 15 minutes on average on the day of the flight ($249).
Meanwhile, LetsGetChecked has a list of five destinations that allow passengers to order tests before flying – three are in Hawaii, and two are in Costa Rica. Tests for travelers heading to Hawaiian destinations cost $129, while those headed to Costa Rica will pay $109.
The procedure is similar to the one listed above for JetBlue, which consists of a kit being shipped and a sample collected under professional supervision.
3. Hawaiian Airlines
The first is via a drive-through appointment at San Francisco and Los Angeles international airports. This method will guarantee a result within 36 hours and cost $90. However, it’s $150 for those traveling on the same day.
Secondly, like JetBlue, the airline is also a partner with Vault Health, and home test kits can be ordered online. Unlike JetBlue, there is no discount rate.
4. United Airlines
United offers testing for passengers flying from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii. There are two options available: a rapid test at the airport or via appointment for a drive-through testing site.
Administered by GoHealth, the first option will deliver results in just 15 minutes and cost $250. The more economical option costs $110 and will provide results in 20 to 30 minutes. This, however, will require drive-through testing at a United facility near SFO.
5. Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines passengers in Seattle will have access to a pop-up COVID testing clinic that promises test results within two hours. This is specifically for passengers heading to Hawaii who, again, wish to skip the 14-day quarantine.
Alaska Airlines has teamed up with Carbon Health. Located in downtown Seattle at 6th Avenue North, the service provider will offer priority testing for all Alaska Airlines passengers at a cost of $135 per person. Appointments for tests are available during business hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The inclusion of these testing services will allow travelers to skip the 14-day quarantine for those going to Hawaii – which will be particularly important for those wanting to go on vacation and don’t have the time to wait. The cost of testing would certainly be well worth it when compared to the cost of two additional weeks of hotel accommodations.
What do you think of airlines offering COVID-19 testing? Should more carriers be doing this? Let us know in the comments.