From blocking the middle seats on airlines to HEPA filters, the best US domestic airlines have taken all measures to enhance safety and cleanliness on their flights. To instill a sense of confidence again in their beloved travelers, domestic airlines in the US are now partnering with Covid-19 testing providers to offer Coronavirus testing to their travelers. Since January, all international travelers flying into the US would be required to present a negative test result for Covid-19. This test should be taken not more than three days before the date of travel.
Almost all of the best US domestic airlines have introduced Covid-19 testing options since then, for its passengers. Many of these passengers are flying to Hawaii and other international destinations. While most of these Covid-19 tests might cost you only a few bucks, the added convenience of these tests and their quick turnaround time make flying during the pandemic easier for travelers. While one can book their Covid-19 test before booking their tickets on the best US domestic airlines, scheduling a test through the airlines’ carrier does end up saving a lot of time, money, and effort.
Alaska Airlines Covid-19 Testing
One of the best US domestic airlines, Alaska airlines has recently partnered with various testing facilities that offer at-home, in-person, and drive-through Covid-19 testing options. All of the testing partner facilities are approved by the State of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program as well.
The at-home testing program by Alaska Airlines, in partnership with Costco Wholesale, offers passengers saliva-based at-home testing kits for travelers above the age of 5. These testing kits can cost $139.99 each and can be delivered overnight via UPS. In addition to this, the test kits can be administered with a video observation appointment and should be dropped off at the UPS before the overnight shipping time cuts off. The results for the same come out in a maximum of 48 hours. Alaska airlines recommend that these tests be purchased at least one to two weeks prior to your traveling date in order to ensure that you also get a confirmed video appointment slot.
The in-person testing by Alaska Airlines, in partnership with Carbon Health and Bartell Drugs, offers the passengers with priority in-person testing for Alaskan flyers. Carbon Health and Bartell Drugs Covid-19 testing can cost anywhere between $135 and $170. People will be required to schedule their appointment in advance.
Passengers can receive results on the same day or the very next day at all of their testing sites, including Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, and San Jose.
Carbon Health and Bartell Drugs also offer priority testing for Alaskan flyers in five different locations in the Greater Seattle metropolitan area, including Des Moines, Greenlake, Bellevue, Renton, and Lynwood. These tests can cost $125, with the results coming out within 72 hours through an email.
American Airlines was one of the first of the best US domestic airlines to include testing as a part of their preflight process. The airline currently offers at-home and in-person testing for all of its passengers. Passengers will be required to upload their test results to VeriFLY, a secure mobile application helping streamline the entire process and other AA preflight travel arrangements and requirements. American Airlines does not need Covid-19 testing for domestic flights, even though the CDC recommends unvaccinated travelers get tested at least one to three days before their traveling date.
If you are still confused about everything and are unvaccinated, simply check out the local Government regulations before you board your flight with American Airlines to determine whether you need a Covid-19 test.
The at-home testing program by one of the best US domestic airlines, American Airlines, initially started on their itineraries to Hawaii. The airlines partnered with Lets Get Checked to administer home-based PCR tests. Currently, passengers flying to Belize, Grenada, Chile, and St. Lucia will get the opportunity to receive the at-home testing kits before their departure date. These test kits will have a 48-hour turnaround time and shall be followed up with a virtual visit with a healthcare professional.
One can easily purchase an at-home Covid-19 test kit for just $129. It is recommended that you purchase your test kits at least five days before your traveling date.
Testing requirements can vary, depending on the location, so you would want to ensure you regularly check the airlines’ website and recommendations of the local Government to the destination you are visiting before you depart. Some locations may require a negative RT-PCR test, while others may require vaccinated people only.
The American Airlines In-Person Covid-19 testing program is available on selected routes with a few preflight testing options. Passengers flying out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, for example, have the facility to get tested before their flights in person.
Passengers can also get tested at select CareNow locations near the airports. Here you will be able to find a rapid Covid-19 testing facility before your travel for just $150.
Suppose you look forward to waiting until the day of your flight departure. In that case, CareNow also offers rapid on-site testing facilities at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport at Gate D40 for just $249. Here you can get your test results within 15 minutes.
Since January 2021, passengers on flights to London on American Airlines must present a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours before departure. One can simply book a test through Lets Get Checked via American Airlines and fly away!
Hawaii is one of the only states requiring mandatory negative Covid-19 test results to bypass the 14-day quarantine. Therefore, Hawaiian Airlines has partnered with different organizations to ensure feasible test facilities, approved by Hawaii’s “Safe Travels” Program.
Rated as one of the best US domestic airlines, Hawaiian has recently partnered with Vault Health to offer FDA-authorized saliva-based Covid-19 tests for $119 per person. Vault Health provides expedited processing for Hawaiian Airlines passengers with as low as 24 hours turnaround time for results.
Hawaiian Airlines has partnered with Worksite Labs to provide drive-through testing appointments in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. These testing facilities offer people opportunities to make nasal swab appointments in the facilities located near the airports. Every test will cost $90 for a person, and the results shall come out within 36 hours of getting tested.
Travelers coming from Portland and Seattle can schedule their testing appointments with US BioTek Laboratories. The test results coming out in under 36 hours can cost anywhere from $90 to $105 per person. Test results coming out in less than 24 hours can cost anywhere from $150 to $165 per person. Both saliva-based testing and nasal-swab testing are available in these labs.
Travelers flying out from Las Vegas can get a nasal or throat swab test done at Southern Nevada University Medical Center. These Covid-19 tests can cost $130 for a person to get their results within 36 hours.
JetBlue Airways Covid-19 Testing
JetBlue, one of the best US domestic airlines, has also partnered with Vault Health to offer its passengers at-home saliva-based Covid-19 testing facilities. This is especially important for people traveling to Aruba. Every kit costs around $119, the results of which can be delivered within 72 hours. Vault Health, in partnership with JetBlue Airlines, encourages most of the passengers to get tested as soon as possible and not wait more than a week prior to their travel dates to get tested.
At JetBlue’s terminal located at the JFK International Airport, one can find the kiosk where you can simply walk in and get tested for Covid-19 for free. The hours of operation for the same would be 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
United Airlines Covid-19 Testing
Being one of the best US domestic airlines, United flies to multiple locations, domestically and internationally. The airline requires a negative Covid-19 test result upon arrival. In fact, United is the only airline in the country that currently pilots an essential rapid test before boarding, free of charge for all of its passengers.
United’s flights to the Caribbean and Latin America are partnered with ADL Health. This partnership promises to offer the passengers at-home PCR test kits for specific flyers. Since December 2020, United Airlines passengers traveling from Houston Intercontinental Airport can easily order this at-home PCR kit if they are flying to any of the following destinations:
- El Salvador
Eligible flyers will also receive information about testing and purchase links on their email addresses approximately 14 days before their departure date. Travelers will be required to mail their tests back at least 72 hours prior to their traveling date. Passengers can also receive their test results through email within the first 48 hours before their flight. Every test will cost a passenger $119.
United Airlines has recently partnered with two major organizations for all its passengers traveling on flights from San Francisco to Hawaii. Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care and Color offers drive-through Covid-19 testing facilities for passengers traveling on this route. United, being one of the best US domestic airlines, also recommends its passengers to schedule their appointments as soon as they receive their links on their emails.
As far as drive-through testing is concerned, all eligible passengers will get the necessary information and a sign-up link on their emails a week before their departure date. These tests can cost $105 and shall be conducted by Color at the Technical Operations Parking Lot in San Francisco International Airport. Travelers are requested to book their test appointments at least 72 hours before their flight timings. The results of these tests usually come out within 48 hours of testing.
On the day of testing, one can easily visit the International Terminal at Courtyard A. Passengers are required to reserve an appointment in a pre-reserved time slot. These tests can cost $250 for a person, the results of which can come out within 15 minutes.
Travelers on flights from Denver to Hawaii are required to be tested before boarding. The passengers also have an opportunity to get tested at Concourse B at XpresCheck, located in Denver International Airport.
Eligible United flyers will also get information about signing up via emails at least a week before their trip. There will be no walk-in appointments, so travelers will be required to pre-register to reserve their time slots. The test results will be delivered in the first 30 minutes and shall cost a person $200.
The United flights from London to the US require their passengers to present a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours before their travel date and time.
Alternatively, one can even order a mail-in Covid-19 test administered by ADL Health. The test must be mailed back at least 72 hours before your traveling date. You can receive your result within 24-48 hours of your travel. The mail-in Covid-19 test by United will cost around $119, which also includes shipping.
All international travelers, including US citizens, must present proof of a negative Covid-19 test result before boarding their flights. One should take the test no more than three days before their departure date.
In an update from May 2021, CDC announced that at-home tests and self-tests are also sufficient for travelers coming into the US from international locations. This eases the level of difficulty to get tested for millions of people around the world.
However, the only exception to this particular rule is for people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past three months. If that’s the case with any traveler, one would need to display proof of their previous positive Covid-19 test results along with a letter from their healthcare provider or any public health official that clears them for travel.
As far as people who have been vaccinated are concerned, they will still be required to present a negative Covid-19 test result before flying into the US.
Do you need a Covid-19 test to fly domestically?
CDC recommends vaccinated travelers flying domestically not get tested before their departure dates. However, the unvaccinated travelers flying domestically must get tested one to three days before their traveling dates.
Before traveling, you should also check out the local Government regulations to the destination you are traveling to, even if it is a domestic location an hour away.
Getting a Covid-19 test for travel
There are more testing options available today than there were ever before. So, getting tested for Covid-19 before flying is easy and accessible. Most of the best US domestic airlines have now made it pretty easy to find a test facility before traveling. Since more and more destinations require proof of a negative Covid-19 test result either upon arrival or before boarding your flight, it is important to know the following information:
You can schedule your Covid-19 testing either with one of the best US domestic airlines or any testing facility outside the partnership realm of your airlines. Most drug stores, urgent care facilities, and hospitals offer Covid-19 testing, most of which are free of charge. You can end up saving a lot of money by coordinating your own Covid-19 tests, especially if you're traveling in a large group or with your entire family.
Multiple factors need to be considered while scheduling your Covid-19 test:
Check the age requirements, especially when you are traveling with children. Children are usually exempted from getting tested for Covid-19. You should check and confirm the minimum age requirements to take a Covid-19 test.
Know when the test results will arrive, especially when you have last-minute traveling plans and time is of the essence. There are specific timelines that need to be considered to ensure your traveling goes on smoothly.
Ensure your travel destination approves the test you are undertaking. There are many types of Covid-19 tests today, RT-PCR, Saliva-based, etc. You should ensure your travel destination approves the type of test you are going to take, otherwise, you might have to undergo troubles in your travel plans. A 7-14 days mandatory quarantine is one of such trouble people have to undergo.
Confirm all travel restrictions before departure. Most destinations will not accept any international travelers without a mandatory quarantine. Ensure that you are presenting an authentic, negative Covid-19 negative test result to enter the destination of your choice without any problems.
Schedule your testing appointment as early as you can. While testing options are not as limited as they were before, slots and appointments, however, can be sometimes limited. You would want to schedule your appointment as soon as you have booked your travel plans to ensure a smooth process to get tested before departure.
So, there you go! You have all the necessary information to travel around on the best US domestic airlines. Keep checking the official CDC website, official Local Government's website, and even your travel destination’s tourism board websites to get the latest and accurate information and other necessary resources that might come in handy for you.
Happy safe vacationing to you!