United Airlines is to become the first US carrier to offer “rapid” 15-minute Covid-19 tests to passengers in a bid to help passengers avoid quarantine restrictions.
The pilot Covid testing programme will begin on 15 October for travellers flying with United from San Francisco International to Hawaii.
Passengers will be given the option of taking a rapid test at the airport or they can choose to send in a “self-collected” test within 72 hours of their trip.
The airport test, which will be administered by GoHealth Urgent Care and Dignity Health, will provide results within 15 minutes and will be available for United passengers on the same day as their flight from San Francisco to Hawaii.
Under the plan, passengers who test negative for Covid would not have to quarantine for 14 days when they reach Hawaii.
Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United Airlines, said: “Our new Covid testing programme is another way we are helping customers meet their destinations’ entry requirements, safely and conveniently.
“We’ll look to quickly expand customer testing to other destinations and US 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."