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Southwest Airlines Offering Discounted At Home Test Kits For All Passengers

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Discounted COVID-19 Tests For Southwest Airlines Passengers

Testing is the biggest hurdle for all travelers right now. If you’ve traveled abroad in the last year, you’ll understand the testing mandate for all travelers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken one day before flying back to the United States. 

But there’s one problem. 

In certain countries, it’s become challenging to obtain a COVID-19 test because of the Omicron surge and shorter testing window to enter the United States. Additionally, finding tests overseas can be costly; you’re talking anything from $30 to $200 depending on the country. 

Southwest Airlines, however, have decided on an excellent idea: Mailing a COVID-19 testing kit to your doorstep at a discounted rate. 

The New Testing Option From Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines will offer all passengers the option of mailing a discounted COVID-19 test straight to their doorstep. The Dallas-based airline announced it’s partnering with CityHealth to mail out COVID-19 tests to international passengers. 

The CDC has approved the tests (which is most important), and the airline has discounted the kits from the usual price of $75 to $50 per test. Subsequently, this can save Southwest Airlines passengers so much stress and money trying to find tests in foreign countries. 

Sean Park, the CEO of CityHealth said, “We’re thrilled to be working with Southwest Airlines to offer their passengers an easy, accurate, affordable, and convenient way to return home safely. The quick return of results will help Southwest passengers stay in compliance with the new one-day testing rule.”

Since it was launched, the RapidReturn kit has been one of our most popular [COVID-19] testing options,” he added. 

How To Get The Southwest Airlines Testing Kit 

Southwest Airlines passengers can order their RapidReturn kit through the CityHealth website. The company will send the testing kits between 8 am and 3 pm PST from Monday to Friday.

But if you order your test after 3 pm PST on Friday, the company will send your test on the following Monday. That’s crucial to know if you have a flight early in the next week. 

The company states that travelers can pack their test kits before they travel and use a secure portal when it’s time for them to test. Travelers will find the test results in an online portal.

Currently, the CDC only accepts a handful of at-home tests for use by inbound passengers. These include Abbot’s BinaxNow COVID-19 Home Test or Qured’s video-supervised rapid antigen test.

So there are other options for COVID-19 tests if you’re traveling overseas, but if you’re flying via Southwest Airlines, they’re making your life considerably easier. 

southwest plane

But Why Do I Need A COVID-19 Test? 

Starting from December 6—largely because of the emergence of Omicron—the U.S. government stated all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, must submit documentation of a negative viral test result taken within one day of their flight’s departure to the United States. This test can be an antigen test. 

This rule applies to all U.S. citizens, international visitors, and permanent residents. However, travelers who’ve recently recovered from COVID-19 can use proof of recovery from COVID-19 instead of testing. But travelers will need to show proof of a positive COVID-19 test result taken no more than 90 days before their flight to the United States. 

In Summary 

Testing requirements are a nuisance for travelers. They’re preventing millions of people from traveling overseas at the moment. 

This news is welcome news for all passengers flying via Southwest Airlines. 

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Thursday 13th of January 2022

That's an expensive kit! Optum and eMed sell these FDA Authorized kits for approx. $35/kit (2 kits minimum purchase); the larger the quantity, the bigger the discount, too ($25/kit for quantity of 6 kits). Shipping and tax are additional. These kits are the ones that tour operators are recommending passengers take with them to international countries for U.S. return.