American Airlines expands testing programme

6 Nov 2020 by Hannah Brandler
American Airlines A321XLR

American Airlines has announced that it will roll out its current preflight testing programme to new destinations in the Caribbean, Latin America and Hawaii.

The airline initially introduced the service for travel to Jamaica and the Bahamas in October, and claims that the programme will now cover more destinations that any other US carrier.

The carrier is expanding its partnership with at-home health testing company LetsGetChecked to open up travel to more destinations. The Covid-19 test incorporates a nasal swab and PCR lab analysis, with observation from a medical professional via a virtual visit. Results are expected within 48 hours on average, according to the carrier.


The airline launched preflight testing last month at its Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) hub for customers travelling to Hawaii, and is now expanding its partnership for travel from Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX) airports.

Testing must be completed within 72 hours of the final leg of departure, and travellers who present a negative test upon arrival in Hawaii will be exempt from the state-imposed 14-day quarantine (though certain country restrictions may still apply).

Belize, Grenada and St Lucia

Additionally, the preflight testing programme will also apply to travel to Belize (BZE), Grenada (GND) and St Lucia (UVF) from November 16. The requirements, however, differ for each country – see below:

  • Belize: travellers over the age of six must complete PCR testing within 72 hours of departure
  • Grenada: testing must be completed within seven days prior to departure
  • St Lucia: travellers over the age of five must complete testing within seven days of departure. Customers cannot board flights to St Lucia without presenting a negative test result

The airline is currently flying to the three countries from its Miami (MIA) hub, but is set to launch a service to St Lucia from Chicago (ORD) later this month.

The carrier will also increase its flights to all three countries in December, with services from Belize to Miami (MIA), Charlotte (CLT) and Dallas Fort Worth (DWF); from Grenada to Miami (MIA) and Charlotte (CLT); and from St Lucia to Miami (MIA), Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD) and Philadelphia (PHL).

Robert Isom, President of American Airlines, commented:

“Our initial preflight testing has performed remarkably well, including terrific customer feedback about the ease and availability of testing options.

“This next phase is an invigorating step forward in American’s relentless pursuit of reopening international travel and driving industry recovery while delivering a safe and positive travel experience.”

The carrier recently announced that it is also trialling mobile ID verification as a means of reducing physical contact during the travel experience.

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