American Airlines Takes First Steps to Open International Markets to Travel with Preflight COVID- 19 Testing

American Airlines

FORT WORTH, Texas ― As part of an ongoing effort to help protect customer health and safety, inspire confidence in air travel and advance the industry’s recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, American Airlines is collaborating with several foreign governments to begin offering preflight COVID-19 testing for customers traveling to international destinations, starting with Jamaica and the Bahamas. The carrier plans to expand the program to additional markets in the weeks and months ahead.

Testing can further aid customer health and safety while helping to reopen markets to tourism

  • Initial testing program for Jamaica to begin at Miami (MIA) next month.
  • American is engaged with the Bahamas and CARICOM (The Caribbean Community) to expand the program across the Caribbean.
  • Preflight testing will also soon be available for travel from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Hawaii.

“The pandemic has changed our business in ways we never could have expected, but all the while, the entire American Airlines team has eagerly tackled the challenge of reimagining the way we deliver a safe, healthy and enjoyable travel experience for our customers,” said Robert Isom, President of American Airlines. “Our plan for this initial phase of preflight testing reflects the ingenuity and care our team is putting into rebuilding confidence in air travel, and we view this as an important step in our work to accelerate an eventual recovery of demand.”

Jamaica

American has reached agreement with Jamaica to launch an initial testing program at its Miami International Airport (MIA) hub next month. The initial phase of testing will be for Jamaican residents traveling to their home country. If a passenger tests negative for COVID-19 ahead of flying with American, the 14-day quarantine currently in place for returning Jamaican residents would be waived. Following a successful pilot program, the objective is to open this testing protocol for all passengers traveling to Jamaica, including U.S. citizens. The timing of such a potential announcement is to be determined.

“I thank American Airlines for initiating these efforts to ensure safety and confidence for travelers from the United States, and for leading with Jamaica as a pilot for its COVID-19 testing program,” said Audrey Marks, Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States. “This is timely, given the government’s ongoing review in cooperation with the Global Initiative for Health and Safety group of the current protocols governing travel to the island, and it could be a game-changer, not just for tourism, but also for other key sectors of the economy that have been negatively impacted by the ongoing pandemic.”

The Bahamas and CARICOM

American also has started working with the Bahamas and CARICOM to launch similar testing programs that would allow travel to the region. American’s next international program will be with the Bahamas and is expected to launch next month. Details on the protocols for that country will follow.

“We are so pleased that American Airlines has included The Bahamas in their preflight testing program and for their continued commitment to mitigating the spread of coronavirus,” said Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation for the Bahamas. “Miami is a major gateway to our islands, and we believe pre-departure testing will create important efficiencies while ensuring the health and safety of both our visitors and residents.”

As its initial preflight testing programs begin to launch, American is also actively engaged with CARICOM, an integrated grouping of 20 Caribbean countries, about expanding the program to additional Caribbean markets.

“We are pleased that American Airlines has taken the lead to initiate this exciting COVID-19 pre-departure testing program,” said Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Chairman of CARICOM. “The Caribbean Community welcomes this important progress to re-open markets with the health and safety of our citizens being of paramount importance, and we’ll be monitoring this program very closely as it ramps up in our region.”

Preflight Testing for Travel to Hawaii 

In addition to its efforts in opening international markets to travel, American has been working with the government of Hawaii to develop a series of options that t the Hawaiian requirements for travel to the state. Starting Oct. 15, the airline will begin a preflight COVID-19 testing program at its Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) hub for customers traveling to Hawaii, in partnership with LetsGetChecked, CareNow and the DFW Airport.

Beginning next month, American will offer three options for preflight testing to customers with flights from DFW to Honolulu (HNL) and Maui (OGG):

  • At-home test from LetsGetChecked, observed by a medical professional via virtual visit, with results expected in 48 hours on average.
  • In-person testing at a CareNow urgent care location.
  • Onsite rapid testing, administered by CareNow, at DFW.

Testing must be completed within 72 hours of the final leg of departure. Travelers who test negative will be exempt from the state’s 14-day quarantine.

American’s Clean Commitment

American’s preflight testing program will serve as a key element of the airline’s Clean Commitment, a multifaceted approach to giving customers peace of mind when they travel. American has also launched a travel tool, powered by Sherpa, to make travel planning easier for customers who are eager to reconnect with the people and places that matter most. 

About LetsGetChecked

LetsGetChecked is a direct-to-consumer at-home health testing and insights company. Offering an end-to-end model, LetsGetChecked’s Sure-track Test offers consumers an FDA EUA-authorized Coronavirus at-home testing solution. The at-home Coronavirus (COVID-19) test incorporates a nasal swab and PCR lab analysis, offering convenient and secure results on average 48 hours upon receipt in the lab.

About CareNow®

Since 1993, CareNow has been committed to providing high-quality family care, urgent care and occupational medicine services in the North Texas area. Open seven days a week and weeknights until 9 p.m., CareNow has over 40 North Texas locations providing convenient, quality and cost-effective urgent care and is accredited by AAAHC and UCA. CareNow is affiliated with Medical City Healthcare. Medical City Healthcare has 46 urgent care centers in North Texas: CareNow (42) and Medical City Children’s Urgent Care (4).

About CARICOM

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a grouping of twenty countries: fifteen Member States and ve Associate Members. It is home to approximately sixteen million citizens, 60% of whom are under the age of 30, and from the main ethnic groups of Indigenous Peoples, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese, Portuguese and Javanese. The Community is multi-lingual; with English as the major language complemented by French and Dutch and variations of these, as well as African and Asian expressions.

About American Airlines Group

American’s purpose is to care for people on life’s journey. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what’s happening at American by visiting news.aa.com and connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.