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American Airlines was the first of the US carriers to launch coronavirus testing on routes to the Caribbean and now the airline says that it’s ready to offer tests for customers traveling to Chile as well as to the US Virgin Islands. The airline will also offer customers access to a new mobile app designed to help travelers understand coronavirus documentation requirements and enable them to securely store and display their test results digitally.
American Expands LetsGetChecked Testing
Among other options, American Airlines offers an at-home test from LetsGetChecked for travelers on select routes to destinations such as Hawaii, Grenada, and Costa Rica and now it is set to offer the same option to customers traveling to Chile and the US Virgin Islands.
Customers traveling to Chile will have access to preflight COVID-19 testing on flights beginning 7 December 2020. All tests must be carried out within 72 hours of departure.
For travel beginning 9 December 2020, American Airlines customers traveling from the United States to the US Virgin Islands will have access to the testing program on the following flights.
- Flights to Cyril E. King Airport (STT) in St. Thomas from:
- Charlotte (CLT)
- Chicago (ORD)
- Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
- Miami (MIA)
- Philadelphia (PHL).
- Flights to Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX) in St. Croix from:
- Charlotte (CLT)
- Miami (MIA)
Testing for the US Virgin Islands must be completed within five days of departure.
The LetsgetChecked test costs $129 and although it’s an “at-home” test it requires travelers to have their test observed by a medical professional via virtual visit – test results are expected in 48 hours on average.
The procedure for testing seems straightforward:
- Order your kit (5+ days before flight departure is recommended)
- Schedule a UPS pickup for your sample
- Activate your test online
- Join an observation call with a LetsGetChecked care professional
- Collect your sample (within 3 days of your flight)
- Return your sample for testing
- Receive your results on your secure online account
You’ll find more specifics about the LetsGetChecked test on this webpage.
Although American’s latest press release doesn’t mention this, it looks like it should be possible for customers flying out of Dallas Fort Worth to make use of the onsite rapid testing that’s available at the airport. This American Airlines webpage says that if your trip starts in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) you may use the onsite CareNow facility (at a cost of $249) and doesn’t mention any exclusions, so I don’t see why travelers heading to Chile and the USVI shouldn’t be able to choose this option if that’s what they would prefer to do (but check with the airline before you decide to rely on this option).
American Expands VeriFly App Usage
Back in November, American Airlines announced a partnership with a mobile app called VeriFly and which is designed to “help travelers easily understand coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and documentation requirements for their destination and streamline airport check-in through a digital verification to ensure that customers have completed the requirements”.
Essentially, this appears to be a mobile wallet in which travelers can store their COVID-19 test results and check that they have complied with all the entry requirements of their chosen destination.
At the time of the original announcement, American was limiting app usage to customers traveling from Miami to Jamaica but, from 7 December, customers traveling between Miami and Chile will have access to the app too. At the time of writing, access to VeriFly is free of charge to eligible American Airlines customers.
For travel commencing 7 and 9 December respectively, American Airlines will offer customers traveling to Chile and the US Virgin Islands access to pre-flight coronavirus testing. Also from 7 December, customers traveling between Miami and Chile will be given access to the VeriFly app.