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American Airlines Begins Rollout of Preflight COVID-19 Testing for International Flights

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

American Airlines will take the first steps to open international markets with preflight COVID-19 testing, starting with flight from Miami International Airport to Jamaica next month. The company also plans to expand the program to the Bahamas, Caribbean and Hawaii.

American Airlines Boeing 737NG - Courtesy American Airlines

On Tuesday (September 29, 2020), American Airlines announced that they will begin rolling out preflight COVID-19 testing to help open international markets for travelers. The carrier will begin the testing program next month at Miami International Airport (MIA) for flights to Jamaica and then expand for passengers traveling to the Bahamas and the rest of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The CARICOM is composed of 15 Member States and five Associate Members. Soon, American Airlines also plans on offering preflight testing for guests traveling from Dallas-Fort Worth to Hawaii. The airline continues to collaborate with foreign governments with the goal of expanding the program to protect passenger health and safety, while inspiring confidence in air travel. In Tuesday’s announcement, American Airlines’ President, Robert Isom, said,

“The pandemic has changed our business in ways we never could have expected, but all the while, the entire American Airlines team has eagerly tackled the challenge of reimagining the way we deliver a safe, healthy and enjoyable travel experience for our customers. Our plan for this initial phase of preflight testing reflects the ingenuity and care our team is putting into rebuilding confidence in air travel, and we view this as an important step in our work to accelerate an eventual recovery of demand.”

In an agreement with the Government of Jamaica, the initial phase of the program at MIA will provide testing for repatriating Jamaican residents. Those customers who test negative for COVID-19 will be exempt from Jamaica’s current mandatory 14-day quarantine. Once the pilot testing program is proven effective, the program will then be open to all other passengers, including U.S. citizens, traveling to Jamaica. The airline is also working with the Bahamian authorities and CARICOM members to expand the program for travel throughout the Caribbean.

Additionally, starting October 15, 2020, American will begin a preflight COVID-19 testing program at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) for customers wishing to travel to Honolulu (HNL) or Maui (OGG) in Hawaii. Customers will have the option of taking an at-home test in collaboration with LetsGetChecked, in-person at CareNow urgent care locations, or onsite by CareNow at DFW. American Airlines’ guests must be tested within 72 hours of the final leg of departure and those testing negative for COVID-19 will be exempt from the State of Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Update: October 2, 2020

Today, American Airlines announced an expansion of their preflight COVID-19 testing program to include guests traveling to Costa Rica from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Miami (MIA).

Source: American Airlines


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