United Airlines on Thursday became the first U.S. airline to launch a COVID-19 testing program for travelers, with a pilot rapid-testing program for passengers out of San Francisco International Airport, the airline said.
Customers traveling on United from SFO to Hawaii will have the option to take a rapid test at the airport or a drive-thru test ahead of their trip and potentially bypass Hawaii's mandatory 14-day quarantine with a negative result, the airline said.
The rapid Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test, administered by GoHealth Urgent Care and their partner Dignity Health, provides results in about 15 minutes, United said. The tests will be available to United customers on the same day as their flight departing from SFO.
The drive-thru test will be administered by Color.
Customers taking the drive-thru test option can schedule an appointment in advance online and should make the appointment for 48-72 hours before their flight departs, United said. Walk-in appointments will not be available.
Once a customer takes the test, they will receive an electronic copy of their results in 24-48 hours. The testing facility is located at United’s San Francisco Maintenance Center parking lot at 800 S. Airport Blvd., a short drive away from the airport.
The airline along with Hawaii officials ensure that any United customer who tests negative, whether they're visitors or Hawaiian residents returning home, will not be subjected to the state's 14-day quarantine requirement, the airline said.
United offers more flights to Hawaii than any other major airline and plans to increase service to the islands starting Thursday.