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American Airlines to offer $129 preflight COVID-19 test

The program will start Wednesday for travel beginning Saturday

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Photo (c) Paul Biris - Getty Images
To boost customer bookings, American Airlines has announced that it will offer customers $129 at-home COVID-19 tests. 

The tests, which will be provided by LetsGetChecked, are intended to help travelers avoid quarantines in the places they are going. Some states -- including New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts -- require incoming travelers to quarantine for up to two weeks upon arrival. 

LetsGetChecked offers at-home nasal swab tests that promise results in under 48 hours. The program will go live starting Wednesday for flights leaving Saturday. American Airlines said the pre-flight coronavirus test it’s offering focuses on domestic travel. 

Airlines have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumer demand for flights has remained far below normal levels due to travelers’ fears about contracting the virus, as well as quarantine requirements in the U.S. and abroad. 

Airlines and airports offering testing

In October, United Airlines started offering COVID-19 tests to consumers traveling to Hawaii destinations. The airline’s CEO said at the time that United is “committed to innovating to help customers continue to travel where they want to go in a way that is safe.” 

A number of airports currently have testing requirements in place to mitigate the spread of the virus. In the coming weeks, the following airports are also expected to start offering COVID-19 testing: 

  • California. San Diego International Airport (SAN)

  • Colorado. Denver International Airport (DEN) 

  • Florida. Fort Lauderdale; Hollywood International Airport (FLL) 

  • Illinois. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD); Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) 

  • Maryland. Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) 

  • New York. Albany International Airport (ALB)

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