Travel insights from Andrea Sedlacek, editor of The Compass

American Airlines Working on Plan to Offer Preflight COVID Testing

Coming this October, American Airlines will be offering preflight COVID-19 tests for customers in a few select markets.

The airline’s initial testing program will be available at Miami International Airport for Jamaican residents flying back to Jamaica. Currently, Jamaican residents flying back home to Jamaica must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival but American’s agreement with Jamaica allows those customers to bypass the quarantine when they arrive back on the island if their test is negative. If this pilot program is successful, American’s plan is to open the testing to all passengers traveling to Jamaica, U.S. citizens included.

American is working on a similar plan with the Bahamas and CARICOM, which stands for The Caribbean Community, a group of 20 Caribbean countries that promotes economic integration and cooperation throughout the region.

Hawaii is the next destination on American’s list. The preflight program, which American developed with the government of Hawaii, will first be offered at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, which is also one of the airline’s hubs. The program is offered in partnership with LetsGetChecked, CareNow and DFW. Testing must be done within 72 hours of the final leg of departure and if a customer’s test comes back negative, they can bypass the state’s current 14-day quarantine.

“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,” said Robert Isom, President of American Airlines.

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