Even as travelers navigate the shaky situation surrounding COVID-19, potential vacationers seem to be willing to take the chance once they don’t have to face restrictive quarantines, and are more than willing to get tested if it is easily available. Airlines and countries have heard these calls, and have adjusted to make travel more seamless. For instance, The Bahamas ditched quarantines in favor of pre-testing and regular monitoring.
In an attempt to get travelers on its airplanes again, American Airlines has extended its partnership with LetsGetsChecked to offer potential travelers an easier option of getting tested. With current medical care centers either being under strain or not offering the type of testing required for entry into many countries, the airline teamed up with the healthcare agency to help fill the gap.
After a successful first run with flights to Hawaii, the airline will soon be offering the option to a few more destinations.
“Our initial preflight testing has performed remarkably well, including terrific customer feedback about the ease and availability of testing options,” said Robert Isom, President of American Airlines. “This next phase is an invigorating step forward in American’s relentless pursuit of reopening international travel and driving industry recovery while delivering a safe and positive travel experience.”
Caribbean and Latin America
From November 16, 2020, American will be offering testing via LetsGetTested for those flying out of Miami (MIA) to Belize (BZE), Grenada (GND) and St. Lucia (UVF). LetsGetChecked offers an at-home Coronavirus test kit which is less invasive than hospital tests, as users only have to swab the inside of their nose rather than sticking the swap deeper into their nasal passage. Test results are usually available with 24-72 hours once sent to the lab.
- Belize: Travelers 5 years old and up must complete 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.
The airline also plans to expand service from December, adding flights from Charlotte and Dallas/Fort Worth to Belize. Grenada will see additional service from Charlotte, while St. Lucia will benefit from added flights from Philadelphia (PHL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Charlotte, all of which will have LetsGetChecked options.
As it stands, flights to Hawaii already benefit from testing offered by LetsGetChecked, as well as CareNow clinics and airport testing sites. The airline is now expanding its partnership with LetsGetChecked to offers testing to those flying out of O’Hare, Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX). Unless circumstances change, these tests will allow travelers to be exempted from the 14-day state quarantine.
[Featured Photo: John Taggart/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)]