Hawaiian Air Touts Drive-Through Virus Tests in Answer to United

Hawaiian Airlines will offer customers drive-through coronavirus testing in California to help island-bound travelers avoid a 14-day quarantine rule — its answer to rival United Airlines’ new on-the-spot airport screenings.

The competing testing plans would satisfy Hawaii’s requirement for visitors to show a negative test result within 72 hours of arrival in order to avoid its self-isolation rule, which has discouraged most travelers to the island state.

The popular vacation spot has become a testing ground for U.S. airlines seeking to reassure travelers that flying is safe and meet local government restrictions curbing Covid-19 so that they can revive demand that collapsed during the pandemic. Hawaii’s testing rule goes into effect Oct. 15.

Hawaiian Holdings Inc.’s first drive-through nasal swab testing labs will be located near the Los Angeles and San Francisco international airports and operated by Worksite Labs, based in Long Beach, California. A “day-of-travel” express service will cost $150, which is $100 less than the rapidairport test offered by United. Customers could also pay $90 to get results within 36 hours of travel, the carrier said in a Fridaystatement.

Hawaiian Airlines announced its test options one day after United Airlines Holdings Inc. said it would begin offering Hawaii-bound travelers a $250 test through GoHealth Urgent Care at the San Francisco Airport, which provides results within 15 minutes. United also offers a $80 screening that requires travelers to mail-in or drop-off self-collected samples within 72 hours of their trip.

Hawaiian Air said both its options offer “superior value,” and that it would announce more virus testing locations soon.

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