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15-Minute COVID-Tests: United Becomes First U.S. Airline To Pilot Program

From 15 October, United Airlines' customers flying between San Francisco to Hawaii will have the option to take a rapid COVID-19 test - providing results in just 15 minutes - at the airport or before they set off.

From 15 October, United Airlines’ customers flying between San Francisco to Hawaii will have the option to take a rapid COVID-19 test – providing results in just 15 minutes – at the airport or before they set off.

United Airlines has become the first U.S. airline to launch a COVID-19 pilot testing program for travellers that could make it easier for them to manage quarantine requirements and entry conditions of popular destinations around the world.

Starting on October 15, customers travelling on United from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Hawaii will have the option to take a rapid test at the airport or a self-collected, mail-in test ahead of their trip.

The rapid Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test – administered by GoHealth Urgent Care and their partner Dignity Health – provides results in approximately 15 minutes and will be available to United customers on the same day as their flight departing from SFO.

The mail-in test option will be administered by Color and it is recommended that customers initiate testing at least 10 days prior to their trip and provide their sample within 72 hours of their trip.

GoHealth Urgent Care Rapid Test

United Rapid Test

United first partnered with GoHealth Urgent Care in July to test its international flight crews at SFO. United now plans to expand that testing infrastructure to include customers who wish to be tested for COVID-19 pre-flight.

Customers can schedule their visits online in advance for the on-
site testing facility that is located at the international terminal and will receive their results in approximately 15 minutes. GoHealth Urgent Care’s dedicated COVID-19 testing area will be available from 9am to 6pm PT daily.

“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.”

Toby Enqvist, Chief Customer Officer at United

Working with Hawaii

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United Airlines is working closely with Hawaii officials to ensure that any United customer – both visitors and Hawaiian residents returning home – who tests negative on either test would not be subjected to the state’s current 14-day quarantine requirement.

United currently offers more flights to Hawaii than any other major network carrier including daily service between San Francisco and Honolulu (HNL), Maui (OGG), and Kona (KOA).

The carrier plans to increase service to Hawaii on October 15, including the resumption of service between San Francisco and Lihue (LIH) and additional flights between San Francisco and Maui and Kona.

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