United Airlines to offer COVID-19 tests for customers

Coronavirus

SAN FRANCISCO — United Airlines announced Thursday it’s offering COVID-19 tests for customers.

The airline will provide tests beginning Oct. 15 for people traveling from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii.

The test is taken at the airport, and people can get results in 15 minutes. Customers can also buy a mail-in test kit that can be sent in advance of the trip.

“Our new COVID testing program is another way we are helping customers meet their
destinations’ entry requirements, safely and conveniently,” said Toby Enqvist, Chief Customer Officer at United. “We’ll look to quickly expand customer testing to other destinations and U.S. airports later this year to complement our state-of-the-art cleaning and safety measures that include a mandatory mask policy, antimicrobial and electrostatic spraying and our hospital-grade HEPA air filtration systems.”

United says it’s working with Hawaii to make sure travelers who pass the test will not be subject to quarantine.

The airline says it wants to expand testing to Chicago, but did not say when.

The pandemic has had a profound impact on air travel. Commercial flights are down 46 percent in the United States, according to a recent survey.

People have been reluctant to travel because they see risks to their own health and hassles of quarantine rules once they arrive at their different destination.

With United’s program, passengers will be able to do a rapid test or mail-in a swab test.

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