United Airlines plans to launch COVID-19 testing trial

Published on : Saturday, October 31, 2020

United Airlines has recently started planning for transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot program for customers, starting November 16 through to December 11. The airline has decided to offer completely free rapid tests to every passenger over two years old and crew members on board select flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to London Heathrow (LHR).

Individuals who do not wish to be tested will be placed on another flight, with the guarantee that everyone on board, other than children under two, will have tested negative before departure. United will share customer feedback of the pilot with governments on both sides of the Atlantic to further demonstrate the effectiveness of the programs as an alternative to mandatory quarantines and travel restrictions.

The airline has seen a positive impact on travel demand and significant increases in customer load factors and revenue when testing options are available. It will also join hands with Premise Health, who will administer the rapid testing pilot program for the EWR-LHR flight. The test will be given to passengers travelling on United Flight 14, departing at 19:15, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Appointments for the test will be required, and customers have been advised to schedule their tests at least three hours before their flight. An on-site testing facility will be located at the Newark United Club, near Gate C93.

Toby Enqvist, Chief Customer Officer, United said in a statement that the company believes that 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. He mentioned that with the help of the pilot program, the airline will guarantee that everyone on board has tested negative for COVID-19. He also stated that United will continue to lead on testing, while at the same time exploring new solutions that contribute to the safest travel experience possible.

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