Home News What Travelers Should Know About COVID-19 Testing Before Boarding a Plane

What Travelers Should Know About COVID-19 Testing Before Boarding a Plane

What Travelers Should Know About COVID-19 Testing Before Boarding a Plane
What Travelers Should Know About COVID-19 Testing Before Boarding a Plane

Traveling around the U.S. these days is no longer just a matter of hopping a flight. Because of the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, almost a dozen states now require airline passengers to quarantine for 14 days as soon as they touch down.

To encourage passengers to brave these obstacles — as well as to boost their sagging revenue — major U.S. airlines are offering preflight COVID-19 tests. The tests are voluntary and cost anywhere from $70 to $150. Some tests can be done at home, while others are available at the airport. Results are provided in a few days.

Airlines offering tests still require passengers to wear a mask, observe social distancing rules and practice other safety measures. Each carrier has a slightly different process for administering tests, but all encourage passengers to be tested within 72 hours of boarding. Here’s what you need to know about different airlines’ coronavirus testing services.

American Airlines

American Airlines offers passengers a $129 preflight COVID-19 test for anyone traveling in the U.S. The tests can be ordered online and taken at home. Passengers can send their nasal swap to a lab for testing and have the results within 48 hours, according to American. The service is available for passengers traveling to states with quarantine mandates.

Delta 

For now, Delta’s preflight COVID-19 tests are only for passengers traveling from Atlanta to Amsterdam. Under a trial program that starts December 15, passengers must take and pass three COVID-19 tests in order to avoid the Netherlands’ 10-day quarantine. The first test must be taken and submitted to Delta within five days of taking the flight. The second test must be taken at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport just before boarding. After arriving in the Netherlands, a passenger must take a third COVID-19 test. Delta did not disclose how much it charges passengers for the tests, but told CBS MoneyWatch that the price is included in the airfare.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines offers drive-through COVID-19 testing for passengers flying to Hawaii from Los Angeles and San Francisco airports. The cost for a nasal swab test is $90 for results within 36 hours and $150 for same-day results. The airline said it plans to roll out more drive-through testing sites at other airports soon.

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