American Airlines Will Roll Out Covid Testing For Hawaii and Caribbean

Following announcements by United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, offering airport testing for passengers on flights to Hawaii, American Airlines today announced they, too, will offer airport testing for Dallas Fort Worth – Honolulu and Maui, and also for Miami – Jamaica. They ‘expect’ to launch testing for Bahamas flights next month, and then expand the program for flights across the Caribbean.

For testing to open up destinations – whether a negative test is required to enter a destination, or use it to avoid quarantine – the destination needs to,

  1. Accept a negative test in lieu of restrictions
  2. Accept the type of test than a provider offers (e.g. 15 minute rapid test versus lab confirmed)

This is furthest along with Hawaii where other airlines were first movers in advance of the state accepting tests (and rapid tests) instead of 14-day quarantine starting October 15. American will offer 3 testing options to passengers on its Dallas – Honolulu and Maui flights beginning that that.

  • Home test with 48 hour average turnaround, overseen by a virtual visit with a medical professional and overnighting of test sample

  • Arranged in-person testing at an urgent care location (which doesn’t seem to add much to current options)

  • Airport rapid testing at DFW

For Jamaica a program will be available in starting in October for Jamaican residents traveling home, allowing them to avoid quarantine on arrival. However at some future time it’s hoped this will expand to U.S. citizens as well.

And they will launch with the Bahamas as well, ‘expected’ next month though details aren’t as firm. And they hope that this will expand “Caribbean markets” as well.

Light on details, presumably rushed out because other airlines had gotten ahead of them here, but good to see there’s active engagement with other countries to use testing as a tool to open travel, even if so far American’s only announcing discussions in the Caribbean.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “…Accept the type of test than a provider offers (e.g. 15 minute rapid test versus lab confirmed)”

    The distinction that matters here is not whether it is a 15-minute rapid test or not…it’s whether it is a PCR based test or not.

    Some rapid-tests are PCR based. Some are antigen based. People need to not confuse or conflate the two. Because – at least currently – most travel restrictions/policies/quarantines have to do with getting a PCR test.

  2. Whatevs with Jamaica…Dominican Republic provides emergency care insurance stipend and no test requirement.

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