American Airlines has announced that it plans to offer pre-flight COVID-19 testing for passengers traveling to Jamaica, Hawaii and the Bahamas.
“Our plan for this initial phase of preflight testing reflects the ingenuity and care our team is putting into rebuilding confidence in air travel,” American Airlines President Robert Isom said in a statement.
The testing will be provided as a convenience to travelers. The airline is not making them mandatory and there will be a charge for the service.
American Airlines is in talks with the Government of Jamaica to first launch a test period for Jamaicans returning home from Miami Airport next month. The testing would allow people to skip the 14 day quarantine.
Following a successful test period, the testing would then be rolled out to all passengers including U.S citizens.
American been also in discussion with the Bahamas to launch a pre-flight testing program next month in Miami.
“We are so pleased that American Airlines has included The Bahamas in their preflight testing program and for their continued commitment to mitigating the spread of coronavirus,” said Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation for the Bahamas. “Miami is a major gateway to our islands, and we believe predeparture testing will create important efficiencies, while ensuring the health and safety of both our visitors and residents.”
American is also in talks with CARICOM which is a group of 20 Caribbean countries, about expanding the program to additional Caribbean markets.
In addition to the launch of the Bahamas and Jamaica pre testing program, American Airlines is in talks with the government of Hawaii. Starting October 15th, Dallas-Fort Worth International airport will begin offering preflight COVID-19 testing.
American will offer 3 options for customers with flights from DFW to Honolulu (HNL) and Maui (OGG):
- At-home test from LetsGetChecked, observed by a medical professional via virtual visit, with results expected in 48 hours on average.
- In-person testing at a CareNow urgent care location.
- Onsite rapid testing, administered by CareNow, at DFW.
Testing must be completed within 72 hours of the final leg of departure in line with Hawaii's COVID-19 entry requirements. Travelers who test negative will be exempt from the state’s 14-day quarantine.
With the announcement, American Airlines joins United and Hawaiian Airlines in offering preflight testing for passengers traveling to Hawaii.
The cost of the testing has varied between different airlines. United is charging $250 at the airport or $80 for an at-home test.
Hawaiian's test is $90 for the test in advance or $150 for day-of-travel express service.
JetBlue is charging $143, including the price of shipping.
American hasn't yet disclosed pricing.
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