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Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines have all joined United Airlines and have waived the change fee for flights within the United States

USA Today

United Airlines said it will launch a new COVID-19 test program for passengers starting October 15, the Chicago-based airline announced on Thursday.

First, the test is only applicable to passengers traveling to Hawaii from San Francisco International Airport. Why Hawaii? The airline is the first airline in the United States to provide rapid testing, and has more flights to the state than any other American airline, and the new test requirements in Aloha start on the same day as United Airlines.

Passengers can choose to conduct a quick test from the Abbott laboratory at the airport on the day of the flight and get the results within 15 minutes, or they can choose to conduct a mail test at home before traveling. Those who choose to test at home are advised to request a test kit 10 days before the trip and submit samples within 72 hours after the flight.

Passengers must be tested within 72 hours before the flight arrives on the island to bypass the state’s strict 14-day quarantine. Both tests will enable travelers to meet the 72-hour service hours required by Hawaii’s new test program.

If all goes well, Manchester United hopes to extend the test to other cities before the end of the year.

Toby Enqvist, the airline’s chief customer officer, said in a press release: “Our new COVID testing program is another way for us to help customers meet destination entry requirements safely and conveniently.” We hope to quickly expand customer testing to other destinations and US airports later this year.”

Since this summer, airlines and trade organizations have been calling on the federal government to develop a federal testing program and require passengers to wear masks. Now, all major US airlines have their own mask policies.

Co-CEO Scott Kirby was one of the signatories of a July 21 letter calling on government officials in the United States and the European Union to establish a joint COVID-19 testing program to promote international The return of air travel is a lucrative industry in the tourism economy.

“Considering that transatlantic air travel is undoubtedly important to the global economy and the economic recovery of our companies, we believe that finding a way to reopen air services between the United States and Europe is crucial,” the leader of the airline group wrote Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the US COVID-19 Working Group, and Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Interior Affairs. “The long-term closure of this corridor essential for global aviation will not benefit anyone.”

Earlier this month, the American Travel Association trade team praised the airlines for helping lead the testing.

Tori Emerson Barnes, a spokesperson for the American Travel Association, said at the beginning of this month: “We appreciate American Airlines’ efforts to advance this issue, and we will continue to advocate for the federal government for more To participate in COVID-19 testing.”

Barnes pointed out: “For a long time, we have always believed that testing is the key to ensuring safe travel and reopening the economy.” “Faster and more effective testing can open up the travel economy more widely and enable organizations to move faster Recover lost jobs and re-employ staff. Importantly, a strong testing program will enable the United States to welcome international tourists, which is part of travel that has effectively disappeared since the pandemic began.”

Since President Trump enacted the travel ban in March, air travel from Europe and the United Kingdom has been idle. Although the European Union began to reopen its borders in early July, the high COVID-19 infection rate in the United States keeps it on the restricted list.

The death rate in the United States exceeded 200,000 on Wednesday and was close to 202,000 by Thursday. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 6.9 million positive cases in this country.

Lufthansa also announced on Thursday that it will test the practice of providing live coronavirus tests before boarding intercontinental flights. Testing of some of the US routes that have yet to be determined will begin in October, depending on government approval.

Contributor: Associated Press

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