Two Women Ejected From Hawaii, Sent To Los Angeles To Get New Negative Covid-19 Tests

Hawaii requires a negative Covid test presented on arrival, or else you have to go into quarantine. But not any test will do, for instance if you got your test at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic that won’t be accepted because Hawaii only accepts tests on its list of trusted testing partners.

Except that isn’t really true, because you can present a test from CareNow or LetsGetChecked, since those are American Airlines partners and American Airline is a partner – even though it doesn’t say this anywhere in Hawaii’s online guidelines.

So you might forgive two young women who flew from Raleigh to Hawaii with their negative test results in hand – only to discover that the results wouldn’t be accepted because they weren’t from a provider on Hawaii’s list. Sarah Blackwood and Abbey Campbell were taking a graduation trip after finishing East Carolina State University degrees. However,

  • Hawaii doesn’t allow testing on arrival
  • And they don’t allow going into quarantine pending the results of a test

As if the trusted providers list wasn’t absurd enough, not allowing passengers to test on arrival for some premium is stupid as well. These two women either had to quarantine for a week and a half – or return to the mainland, get tested, and come back. They bought new tickets to Los Angeles, flew 5 hours, got tests, and came back to Hawaii. Both women are already vaccinated, by the way.

Their ordeal has already racked up well over a million views on TikTok telling the story of what happened when they flew Raleigh – Atlanta – Honolulu:

@_sarahblackwood

Ignore my red eyes been crying the last 2 hours… 12 more hours on a plane! #honolulu #covid #quarantine #hawaii #fuck #covid19 @abbeycampbell0

♬ original sound – Sarah Blackwood

Imagine the let down finally arriving in Hawaii and learning that Hawaii won’t let you in. You’re vaccinated. You’ve tested negative for Covid-19. But you have the wrong papers. Campbell explains “So basically, you have to have it from certain companies. We didn’t know that. We just had our negative COVID tests.”

And the shock was compounded when they were told to go fly 5 hours to California to get new tests.

@_sarahblackwood

Part 2!!!!! The conclusion to our incredibly expensive mistake, we made it!!!! #greenscreenvideo #oahu #honolulu #travel #fyp @abbeycampbell0

♬ original sound – Sarah Blackwood

They paid $950 to get to LA. And they encountered others along the way who were in the same boat that they were.

“I think we met a total of like six couples that were there for the same reason,” Blackwood said, adding that a newlywed couple and a family from North Carolina were among them.

Blackwood and Campbell spent about six hours at the Los Angeles International Airport before they managed to get their results back and catch a standby flight back to Honolulu. The women said that other travelers and airport staff began recognizing them from their TikTok videos.

@_sarahblackwood

40 hours later WE MADE IT @abbeycampbell0 #hawaii #waimanalo #oahu #bestie #fyp

♬ original sound – Mrunal Panchal

It took 40 hours to get from Raleigh to Honolulu to Los Angeles to Honolulu and on to their accommodations. They’d had six hours of sleep. And the advice they pass on is just to learn the rules – which in my view are something out of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985).

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. I’m not heading to Hawaii anytime soon!. And that’s one of the reasons! Besides these test providers have a monopoly anyway and can basically charge whatever prices they want. That’s just awful!

  2. Starting to get fed up with these places that have significantly diverged from any semblance of following science into just COVID theatre. Way past time for updated rules.

  3. Change your Hawaii reservations to a Caribbean island and tell the Hawaiian tourist office that you are taking your money elsewhere. In fact, tell your hotel, airline, and everyone else there that you can think of. If enough people do this the pressure on the state to act rationally will become overwhelming.

  4. Can’t wait for the idiotic comments to start rolling in that say, “Their fault. Should have known the rules”. Without recognizing the fact that Hawaii’s rules are completely moronic at this point in time.

  5. It’s not like these requirements just came out of nowhere. These graduates need to learn how to read. Claiming ignorance doesn’t work.

  6. Yes I agree with the previous comment don’t come to Hawaii go to the Caribbean. There’s a reason why Hawaii has the lowest Covid cases in the nation and has the highest vaccination rate so don’t come here we don’t want you maskholes we have way too many tourists already anyway…stay away from Hawaii, Mahalo!

  7. Traveling during a pandemic is still very much a privilege, doing your research still counts. And yes these rules have been there for awhile so there isn’t really any excuse.

  8. Hawaii got $6 billion from the Fed Govt. They dont need tourist dollars. Hawaii clearly does not want tourists to come visit. So don’t go there.

  9. No sympathy from me. I am flying to Hawaii in July from the UK. So I need one test to be allowed in to the USA and then another authorized Hawaii test the next day because there are no authorized Hawaii testers in England. And I am vaccinated. Pain in the okole but them’s the rules.

  10. awww…. poor thing they didn’t plan correctly…. NEXT story. We all know people are just reading this because they’re hot. If they weren’t no one would truly care.

  11. Thousands of people don’t have a problem with following Hawaii’s reasonable rules. Just do some research and you’re fine.

  12. Given that both girls were fully vaccinated and also had a negative coronavirus test, being refused entry was and remains stupid. Enough is enough.

  13. If you are going to Hawaii now it is kinda like sheep going to slaughter. Just do not go until the testing requirement is gone. As puniishment for such a STUPID IDIOTIC idea to limit which test brands are acceptable, rather than just specific test methods, don’t go in the future.

  14. Boo Hoo. I don’t feel sorry for them at all. Always know the laws of where you are traveling to. I’m glad the Hawaiian government stuck to their rules and backed what they say; This doesn’t happen much in the US. Also, they are probably going to start a GoFundMe page for their “suffering” and end up making money from this.

  15. All those who say rules are rules, what’s next? Wlk with your hands and legs up in the air to get into Hawaii and I’m sure crowds like @Jamieo, @Steve etc would follow it.

  16. The Hawaii rule is nothing more than the waste of time and resources and so is the US requirement of having a negative RPCR Covid test to enter the country. Testing vaccinated folks again and again serves no purpose. I was in Hawaii twice this year and yes, I did follow the rules. But this does not mean that other have to jump the same hoops because I did it.

  17. This is stupid. Some court needs to step in. We allow unlimited immigrants but don’t allow our own citizens to travel freely.

  18. I flew to OGG last month on UA and received a constant barrage of notifications about Hawaii’s process so I don’t feel bad for these ladies at all. The best was that with United we were able to pre-clear at the gate at ORD and it was an awesome process. Same screening as in Hawaii but United does it and they give you a wristband and we got to walk past hundreds of people waiting in line for their screening when we arrived. More importantly though, the couple being screened next to us had the ‘wrong test’ and the United agents were able to catch it, explained the issue and rebooked them over SFO and had them get tested there. The couple was annoyed but really glad they found out in ORD and not OGG.

  19. Governments need to start recognizing vaccinations. That is equally true of Canada. The confusion and chaos surrounding COVID requirements is ridiculous. I had friends refused entry to Barbados because of the way they took their tests. Canada now fines you $4000 if you arrive without a proper date on your test AND still requires a 14 day quarantine as well. This in spite of receiving both vaccinations and negative COVID tests 14 days after those tests. These are all ridiculous “public health” requirements that do not recognize reality. They simply create unnecessary hassles for people who are not sick and are not health problems.

  20. 1) The rule certainly seems stupid and I’ve yet to see a coherent defense.

    2) The rule is very clearly disclosed. One has to follow rules even if they are stupid.

  21. The people saying “rules are rules” can stop sucking the government’s dick already. Breaking news: politicians don’t care about you or your safety, just their money.

    These aren’t rules, they’re a racket. None of this was done for the sake of anyones safety. It is all theater and tons of under-the-table dealings so that everyone gets their kickback. Enough of this nonsense.

  22. One other thing – show with all your paperwork. Hawaii requires you to get your COVID within. 72 hours. Because of problems beyond our control our flight was delayed a day. This created an unnecessary hassle at the airport but to Hawaii’s credit after an hour of argument and much paper shuffling we were finally let in but governments need to wake up and accept the fact the double vaccinated people are health assets not health problems.

  23. Rules, Racket, Stupid, Smart, Theater, etc.
    You don’t HAVE to go to Hawaii. But if you want to go, you have to play by their rules. Pretty simple.

  24. Whatever about the asurdity of the rules, they’re very clear and accepted providers are laid out in black and white on the Safe Travels website. This is 100% on the two ladies (& anyone else who travels without making sure they’re in compliance). I have no sympathy here.

  25. Governments are hugely undervaluing and underrewarding vaccinations. As long as they maintain stupid months-out-of-date rules that don’t account for vaccination, lots of people who are young, and healthy or confused by conspiracy theories are going to hold out and prolong the catastrophe.

    I think in the case of Hawaii they just don’t want tourism and don’t much care if visitors actually pose any risk or not.

  26. Hawaii is being idiotic. NO reason why COVID testing should have to be at specific labs. This is crazy. Many cities and municipalities are offering COVID tests for free. It doesn’t make sense not to honor it and it doesn’t make sense requiring it for fully vaccinated people.

    I agree Hawaii doesn’t want tourists. They are flush with taxpayer money with bailouts. It is sad to see there is no real genuine “Aloha”. It was all an act by the locals all these years.

  27. They chose not to do the proper research before going to the destination. Their strategy did not work. I don’t feel bad for anyone who chooses not to research and follow the rules laid out then complains about it as a “poor me…”.

    Hawaii may or may not have good policies, but there are other places to go.

  28. Hey Gary: YOU need to do a better job editing the “Comments” section. Reasonable comments from one side or the other should be allowed but all the angry, hate-filled garbage you allow just junks up the column. And that’ s sad because between the trolls, sometimes people offer good advice or suggestions. But at this point, i pass on the comments and am thinking about passing on your column. There are alternatives.

  29. @Steve: Them, hot? Get out of here. You are lowering the blog’s appearance standards.

  30. Well 10,167 great people from North Carolina visited HI from Jan – Apr (Hawaii Tourism Authority). How did they get it right, whilst these 2 COLLEGE GRADUATES failed? Is it on HI or these Tik Tokians? Show me da money @ GLeff (the anti HI guy)

  31. What a misleading and completely BS article. nobody gets “ejected” from hawaii, if you dont have the approved covid test then you have to quarantine for 10 days. They left hawaii to go get an approved test because they didn’t want to quarantine.

    Hawaii lists the requirements very clearly on their website. Its the girls’ own damn fault for not doing research. Thousands of people fly into hawaii daily and can follow the rules just fine, these two girls aren’t special. Stop making a big deal out of absolutely nothing. for a seasoned traveler, you obviously do research on entry requirements to other places you go to, so don’t act like you wouldn’t have thought to do research on visiting hawaii. Stop excusing stupidity, these kinds of articles diminish whatever credibility or quality your blog had.

  32. It is happening more than people realize because only the people who report it on social media are seen. Woman I know was refused entry to Hawaii because test was not from an Hawaii approved tester. Airline put her on the next return flight and she was back home in 24 hours. She said she will never go to Hawaii again and will go to the Caribbean instead.

  33. Last time I checked Hawaii was still the 50th state admitted to the United States. It’s a slippery slope when the Federal Government allows individual states to usurp the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 provisions and laws the other 49 states are required to adhere to. If individual state governments don’t want to abide by CFR’s, then there should be repercussions. Interstate air commerce will not function with 50 completely autonomous rules and regulations.

  34. Rumor has it that the well-to-do retiree community is largely behind these rules and the local Hawaiians are the ones paying the economic price.

  35. @JetAway part time Hawaiian snow birds set up the COVID quarantine scheme? Where did you see that “news” – asking here from Hawai’i.

  36. I think we should leave both the holier than thou attitudes and rank speculation to one side. Right now Hawaii Tourism is booming and people are very happy there that it is. The biggest problem now are rental car prices. As for knowing everything before you travel – yes, but that’s sometimes difficult in this COVID world (we aren’t post COVID yet). States and countries can have confusing and changing requirements. Add to that delays from an airline industry stretched thin and average 48 hour wait for test results taken within 72 hours by some of these trusted partners and you can get a confusing mix. For instance COSTCO is a trusted partner but because they use UPS you can’t test there on Sunday because UPS won’t ship and their approved vendor requires a minimum 48 hour turnaround time. Unless you really looked into the footnotes here (as I did) you wouldn’t know that. I do agree with the comment that these girls probably didn’t want to quarantine though Hawaii has relaxed that now to 3 days if you take a test at the airport and it comes in negative. You can get a test at the airport for $250. I still hope vaccine passports come in soon and get supported overall by industry, government etc. Vaccinations should be recognized. United has made an interesting move here with their wrist bands in providing a quick, convenient method of checking to insure customers are compliant and allowing them easier entry as a result. However we need to move towards a more universalized system that insures both compliance and convenience.

  37. Adding to the idiocy . . . new case rate in Hawaii is higher than California right now.

  38. Hawaii is one of the most Democratic (political party) states in the nation. Would you expect anything else? Democrats love laws and rules more than anyone else – even if they make no sense. Remove a law or rule and they lose some authority.

  39. Its so stupid that individual states are allowed to set rules for Americans in America, especially while we allow all those who cross the borders without valid visa’s or any type of documents and sometime even carrying COVID with them.

    People are indoctrinated to feel guilty for being American. I immigrated legally from a 3rd world country and do not hesitate to call a spade, a spade.

  40. @BallardFlyer-they didn’t set it up. Instead, they have strongly (and loudly) supported its continuation. And it’s not snowbirds but full time, tax-paying retirees.

  41. Hawaii resident here, keep your non vaccinated, tRumptard, filthy stank arses outta here. We don’t want you and don’t need you. Go spread Covid in Mexico, you lowlifes. And keep crying your manly tears. Lol.

  42. Hawaii, please tax the hell out of your California tourists so you can educate your dumb-ass population!

  43. Kind of hard to believe that is a state in the union. I’m perfectly willing to let Hawaii seceed. I haven’t spend ten cents there since 2012 and plan for that be permanent. They’re all a bunch racists anyway and I’d love nothing more than to witness them fail.

  44. @Mike. Hawaii’s being Democratic has nothing to do with the standards in place. Its the due to the historic experience of hundreds of thousands of Hawaiians dying due to Pandemics whites brought to our islands. Those memories are still there. I’m not saying it hasn’t become bureaucratic and slightly outdated but its origins kept Hawaii with the lowest rates of Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths due to COVID in the US and yes CA has improved a lot, its still behind in overall rates of hospitalizations and deaths. But Hawaii like other places needs to accept what vaccines have brought and stop simply relying on COVID tests.

  45. Well, bless your heart but as the famous philosopher Bruno Mars would say:
    “‘Cause you make me feel like
    I’ve been locked out of heaven
    For too long, for too long
    Yeah”

  46. So @Chris would you like to see the Chinese come in. What a racist, ignorant little screed you wrote here. White America is racist not Hapa Hawaii with its multicultural mixture of people.

  47. So the Hawaiian state government saying if you’ve had both of your Covid-19 vaccines – you STILL have to get a negative test before we can visit your state? Ridiculous.

    The ones who have had both vaccines are considered no longer carrying the virus and are very unlikely to catch it or spread it.

    Does Hawaii not follow the CDC guidelines??
    Last time I checked – Hawaii was a part of the United States.

    We’ll just stay home and not visit ANYWHERE until this thing is finally dead and buried for good !

    With the costs of everything going up (on an almost daily basis) we should draw a line in the sand and say “we’re not going to pay your ridiculous prices.”

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