Story at a glance

  • United Airlines will be the first to deploy COVID-19 tests among its passengers.
  • The airline and travel industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus-induced recession.

With the air travel industry in disarray amid continued COVID-19 travel restrictions, United Airlines will be offering select passengers headed to Hawaii rapid-response COVID-19 tests.

CNBC reports that beginning on Oct. 15 the airline will offer tests to passengers booked at its San Francisco airport hub who are traveling to Hawaii. United will be the first airline to offer such accommodations.

For passengers who test negative, they will be allowed to bypass Hawaii’s strict 14-day quarantine requirement for all inbound travelers.


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United will distribute COVID-19 tests on the 15th since it is the projected date Hawaii will begin to allow travelers into the islands without a quarantine if they test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of arriving. Prices for tests are still being negotiated, but will initially cost passengers $250.

The results, delivered in partnership with GoHealth Urgent Care and Dignity Health, will take about 15 minutes.

"We are very interested in opening this up to other destinations," Janet Lamkin, United's California president, told CNBC reporters.

This follows airline industry leaders descending on Washington to ask for increased financial aid, as they will have to start cutting tens of thousands of jobs due to travel slowdowns.

Airlines are reportedly requesting a new aid package with a $25 billion injection to prevent layoffs until April of 2021.


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Published on Sep 24, 2020