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United Airlines Launches World’s First Free COVID-19 Testing Pilot Program for Transatlantic Guests

The pilot program will offer free rapid COVID-19 testing for passengers traveling on select flights between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and London-Heathrow (LHR) between November 16th and December 11, 2020.

United Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - Courtesy United Airlines

Today (October 29, 2020), United Airlines announced the launch of the world’s first free rapid COVID-19 testing pilot program for transatlantic passengers. Testing will be available for select flights between New York-Newark (EWR) and London-Heathrow (LHR) between November 16th and December 11, 2020. The voluntary rapid tests will be available for all passengers over two years old and crew members on select flights and those wishing not to participate will be placed on another flight, thereby guaranteeing every passenger on the flight has tested negative. In Thursday’s announcement, United Airlines’ Chief Customer Officer, Toby Enqvist, said,

"We believe the ability to provide fast, same-day COVID-19 testing will play a vital role in safely reopening travel around the world and navigating quarantines and travel restrictions, particularly to key international destinations like London. Through this pilot program, we'll guarantee that everyone [except children under two] on board has tested negative for COVID-19, adding another element to our layered approach to safety. United will continue to lead on testing, while at the same time exploring new solutions that contribute to the safest travel experience possible."

Upon completion of the testing pilot program, United Airlines will share customer feedback with governments on both sides of the Atlantic to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program as an alternative to mandatory quarantines or travel restrictions. In collaboration with Premise Health the rapid testing will be conducted on passengers and crew traveling on United flight 14 between EWR and LHR which departs at 7:15 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Customers must make an appointment for their test and United advises guests to schedule their tests at least three hours prior to departure. The onsite testing facility is located at the Newark United Club near Gate C93. Additional information regarding the testing program is available at

Since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, United Airlines has been a leader in U.S. airlines in protecting their guests and team members across their entire journey. United Airlines’ shared purpose is ‘Connecting People. Uniting the World.’ Shares in the company’s parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., are publicly traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol ‘UAL’.

Source: United Airlines


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