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American Airlines Expands Pre-flight Testing

In addition to Jamaica, the Bahamas and Hawaii, new destinations include Belize, Grenada and St. Lucia

November 9, 2020

American Airlines is rolling out its pre-flight testing program to new destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America in addition the current program for Jamaica, the Bahamas and Hawaii.

The PCR test uses a nasal swab that is analyzed by a lab, together with a virtual visit with a medical professional. Results are expected within 48 hours on average, the airline says.

The airline first introduced pre-flight testing for travel to Jamaica and the Bahamas in October. Now the carrier says it is expanding its partnership with at-home health testing company LetsGetChecked to include passengers flying to Belize, Grenada and St Lucia.

The pre-flight testing protocol for customers traveling to Hawaii launched last month at Dallas Fort Worth International. The carrier has announced it is expanding the service for travel from Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX) airports.

Testing for Hawaii-bound travelers must be completed within 72 hours of the final leg of departure, and passengers who present a negative test upon arrival in Hawaii will be exempt from the state-imposed 14-day quarantine. (Although certain restrictions county-by-county may still apply. See here for up to date information).

Beginning Nov. 16, American’s pre-flight testing program will also apply to travel to Belize (BZE), Grenada (GND) and St Lucia (UVF). However requirements differ for each country:

• Belize: travelers over the age of six must complete PCR testing within 72 hours prior to departure

• Grenada: testing must be completed within seven days prior to departure

• St Lucia: travelers 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 three countries currently have service from American’s Miami hub, but a service to St Lucia from Chicago is scheduled to start later this month.

The carrier is also increasing its flights to all three countries in December, adding services from Belize to Charlotte (CLT) and Dallas Fort Worth (DWF); from Grenada to Charlotte (CLT); and from St Lucia to Charlotte (CLT) and Philadelphia (PHL), in addition to the Chicago service.

American Airlines has announced a trial program to test mobile ID verification at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The new mobile ID technology uses customers’ mobile device to verify identities when they drop their bag off with an agent.