American airline United are launching a pilot program involving free Covid-19 testing for some transatlantic flight passengers, starting 16 November and continuing through to 11 December.
1. How will it work?
The new scheme will run on select flights from Newark Liberty International to London Heathrow and will involve free rapid tests for every passenger who is over two years old, therefore guaranteeing that everyone onboard will be tested, including flight crew. United is working with Premise Health, who will be conducting the tests for flights departing from Newark at 19:15 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Appointments for the tests will be mandatory and United advises customers to schedule their tests at least three hours before their flight, at the on-site testing facility located at the Newark United Club. Passengers who do not wish to be tested will have be able to opt out and will be accommodated on other flights.
We’re launching the world’s first free transatlantic COVID-19 testing program.— United Airlines (@united) October 29, 2020
Offered 11/16 – 12/11 on select flights from New York/Newark – London, this pilot program guarantees all customers over 2 and crew on board test negative before departure. https://t.co/lYZocxd357 pic.twitter.com/z4FTDw9T8m
2. United hopes to help reopen travel
The airline announced, ‘Through this pilot program, we will guarantee that everyone on board has tested negative for Covid-19, adding another element to our layered approach to safety’. Adding that, ‘United will continue to lead on testing, while at the same time exploring new solutions that contribute to the safest travel experience possible’.
United Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist stated, ‘We believe the ability to provide fast, same-day Covid-19 testing will play a vital role in safely reopening travel around the world and navigating quarantines and travel restrictions’.