As U.S. coronavirus cases surge, travelers are faced with a tough decision on whether to travel for the holidays.
If you do decide to take a trip, a COVID-19 test could help ease your mind – and may be required, depending on your destination.
Hawaiian Airlines, which last month rolled out drive-through COVID-19 testing for Hawaii-bound passengers from some California destinations, announced last week it would allow its U.S. loyalty program members to redeem airline miles for a mail-in test kit.
“We remain dedicated to making testing for our guests as convenient and accessible as possible,” Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines, said in a statement.
The test kit will be mailed to passengers to collect their own saliva sample with help from a testing supervisor over video. The sample will then be shipped express to a lab and analyzed within 24 hours of the sample being received. Hawaiian estimates the overall turnaround time will be under 72 hours.
It’s free to join HawaiianMiles, the loyalty program for the Hawaii-based airline, which offers one redeemable mile for every mile flown. A round-trip flight from Las Vegas to Honolulu, for instance, would earn a passenger more than 5,500 miles. Hwaiian’s mail-in COVID-19 test by Vault Health can be procured for 14,000 miles. Without miles, the RT-qPCR test costs $119.
Beginning last month, Hawaii began allowing travelers arriving from out of state to bypass its 14-day quarantine requirement if they provide an approved negative test for COVID-19. Tests have to be taken no more than 72 hours before flight departure time.
Other airlines, including American, United and JetBlue also have COVID-19 testing programs – most are limited by location and have an associated cost.
Contributing: Jayme Deerwester, David Oliver
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