Hawaiian Airlines will offer COVID tests to passengers from L.A.

Andrew Cummings
September 28, 2020

Hawaiian Airlines announced it will offer drive-through COVID-19 tests in select USA mainland gateways that will allow guests to bypass the state of Hawai'i quarantine and begin enjoying the islands from the moment they arrive. A "day-of-travel" express service will cost $150, which is $100 less than the rapid airport test offered by United.

United Airlines has announced plans to start offering COVID-19 tests to certain passengers, becoming the first USA airline to do so, CNN reports. This marks the beginning of a new state protocol when travelers who test negative within 72 hours of departure will be exempt from Hawaii's 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Customers can schedule their visits online in advance for the on-site testing facility that is located at the global terminal and will receive their results in approximately 15 minutes, according to the airline.

Under the Hawaiian Airlines plan, it will team with Long Beach-based Worksite Labs to offer drive-through Droplet Digital Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) shallow nasal swab testing, which meets Hawaii's requirements. The airline, which as been operating a reduced schedule since March, will also continue to leave 70% cabin capacity through October to allow for onboard distancing. The airport tests will be Abbott ID NOW molecular tests, administered by GoHealth Urgent Care and partner Dignity Health at a site inside the SFO global terminal, with results promised in "approximately 15 minutes". Previously, this testing was offered to flight crews only, but the airline is now expanding it to customers as well. United has previously worked with GoHealth to test its global flight crews.

United customers will have two options when it comes to testing: a rapid test on the day of travel or a self-collected mail-in test completed prior to travel. For the mail-in test from Color, passengers will be able to return it through mail or a drop box and get the results back in between 24 and 48 hours. Insider tips on the best of our beaches, trails, parks, deserts, forests and mountains.

Although the Canada-U.S. border will remain closed until at least October 21, the option to bypass Hawaii's mandatory quarantine will certainly be appealing to Canadians when they are finally able to travel south of the border.

To try to boost business, airlines and travel trade groups have been calling on the USA government to establish a federal coronavirus testing program.

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