American Air Expands Virus Testing in Bid to Boost U.S. Travel

American Airlines Group Inc. is expanding pre-flight coronavirus testing in an effort to boost demand for domestic travel.

At-home tests would enable passengers with negative results to avoid or shorten Covid-19 quarantines and other restrictions at U.S. destinations with travel requirements, American said in a statement Tuesday. Starting Dec. 9, customers will have access to tests provided by LetsGetChecked for flights departing on or after Dec. 12.

American is expanding its test offerings for domestic passengers after earlier implementing similar programs on some international flights. U.S. travel demand has sagged amid a surge in infections across the country and warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stay home over the holidays. Domestic travel is only about a third of what it was a year earlier, with international demand much lower.

Travelers must order the test for $129 and collect a sample with a nasal swab, according to a LetsGetChecked website for American’s customers. The test has an average 48-hour turnaround time. Passengers using the service must also comply with additional requirements imposed by local or state governments such as rules on how close to travel the test must occur.

American already offered more limited pre-flight testing for select destinations. The airline’s customers could get in-person testing at CareNow health clinic locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and rapid on-site testing at DFW International Airport.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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