American Airlines introduces pre-flight Covid testing

American Airlines covid

American Airlines has begun to collaborate with foreign governments to offer pre-flight Covid-19 testing for its customers.

Starting with Hawaii, Jamaica, Costa Rica and the Bahamas, the carrier plans to expand the programme to additional markets in the weeks and months ahead.

American Airlines president Robert Isom said: “The pandemic has changed our business in ways we never could have expected, but all the while, the entire American Airlines team has eagerly tackled the challenge of reimagining the way we deliver a safe, healthy and enjoyable travel experience for our customers.

“Our plan for this initial phase of preflight testing reflects the ingenuity and care our team is putting into rebuilding confidence in air travel, and we view this as an important step in our work to accelerate an eventual recovery of demand.”

American has reached agreement with Jamaica to launch an initial testing program at its Miami International Airport (MIA) hub next month. The initial phase of testing will be for Jamaican residents traveling to their home country. If a passenger tests negative for Covid-19 ahead of flying with American, the 14-day quarantine currently in place for returning Jamaican residents would be waived. Following a successful pilot program, the objective is to open this testing protocol for all passengers traveling to Jamaica, including US citizens.

American also has started working with the Bahamas and CARICOM, a grouping of 20 Caribbean countries, to launch similar testing programs that would allow travel to the region.

In addition to its efforts in opening international markets to travel, American has been working with the government of Hawaii to develop a series of options that fit the Hawaiian requirements for travel to the state.

Starting 15 October, the American Airlines will begin a preflight Covid-19 testing program at its Dallas Fort Worth International Airport hub for customers traveling to Hawaii, in partnership with LetsGetCheckedCareNow and the DFW Airport.

Also starting on the same date, customers traveling from Dallas Fort Worth to Costa Rica will have access to the airline’s preflight Covid-19 testing program. Customers will be responsible for testing costs.

American will offer three options for preflight testing to customers with flights from DFW to Costa Rica:

  • 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.

Customers traveling from MIA to Costa Rica will initially have one option for preflight testing, with more options becoming available after the program launches at the hub.

  • At-home test from LetsGetChecked, observed by a medical professional via virtual visit, with results expected in 48 hours on average.

Testing must be completed within 72 hours of the final leg of departure. Tourists and Costa Rican residents who test negative will be exempt from the country’s 14-day quarantine. Negative test results must be uploaded to the country’s Health Pass.

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