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American Airlines has announced that it is ready to roll out pre-flight Covid-19 testing on more of its routes as it looks to get travel restarted in key areas of its network. The airline has also confirmed that November will see its pre-flight testing expanded beyond Miami and Dallas Fort Worth as it seeks to help more of its customers comply with the entry regulations set down by a variety of destinations that it currently serves.
The Story So Far
At the end of September, American Airlines announced that it was introducing pre-flight Covid-19 testing for flights between Dallas and Hawaii (following in United’s footsteps), and the airline also set out its intention to offer testing on a number of its Caribbean routes originating in Miami. A few days later, Costa Rica became the first American Airlines destination for which preflight Covid-19 testing is available out of more than one departure city.
More Testing On Hawaii Routes
Since 15 October, passengers traveling to Hawaii who can provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken a maximum of 72 hours before the final leg of their journey have been allowed to bypass the state’s quarantine regulations.
Up until now, American Airlines has only been offering Covid-19 testing for passengers traveling to Hawaii from Dallas Fort Worth but, as of yesterday (2 November), passengers traveling to Hawaii from Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), and Phoenix (PHX) can now use American’s testing partner, LetsGetChecked, to get a Covid-19 test before they embark on their journeys.
More Testing On Caribbean & Latin American Routes
From 16 November 2020, American Airlines will expand its preflight Covid-19 testing program to include all passengers traveling to Belize, Grenada, and St. Lucia as it seeks to help passengers comply with the entry regulations these three destinations have imposed.
Per American Airlines, the current testing requirements include:
- Belize: Travelers 6 years old and up must complete a PCR testing within 72 hours of departure.
- Grenada: Testing must be completed within 7 days prior to departure.
- St. Lucia: Travelers 5 years and older must complete testing within 7 days of departure. Customers cannot board flights to St. Lucia without presenting a negative test result. Pre-arrival registration is mandatory; customers should visit stlucia.org for the latest information on travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.
As things stand, all of American’s flights to these three destinations originate in Miami but, as of later this month, American Airlines will start to offer service between Chicago (ORD) and St Lucia and, from December, Belize will get service from Dallas Fort Worth and Charlotte, Grenada will get service from Charlotte, and St Lucia will get service from Charlotte, Chicago (ORD), and Philadelphia. Preflight Covid-19 testing will be on offer for all of these routes.
For departures from American’s home at Dallas Fort Worth, the airline offers a range of testing options…
- At-home test from LetsGetChecked, observed by a medical professional via virtual visit, with results expected in 48 hours on average (cost: $119 per the LetsGetChecked website)
- In-person testing at a CareNow urgent care location (cost: $250 if you’re not covered by insurance per the CareNow website)
- Onsite rapid testing, administered by CareNow, at DFW (cost: not stated)
…but for all other departure points the airline is only offering passengers the option of an at-home test from LetsGetChecked.
Note: At the time of writing it is unclear if the passengers traveling out of Dallas Fort Worth to Belize will have access to the in-person testing by CareNow or the onsite testing at the airport. These may only be offered to travelers heading to Hawaii.
American Airlines now offers preflight Covid-19 testing on all of its routes between the mainland and Hawaii and starting later this month, the airline will also begin to offer preflight testing on all of its routes to Belize, Grenada, and St Lucia. The testing is at the customer’s expense and results are typically returned within 48 hours of a sample being submitted.