United Airlines Starts Customer COVID-19 Testing Program at San Francisco International Airport
All San Francisco- based customers can now choose between a rapid test at the airport or a drive-through option at United's San Francisco Maintenance Center, prior to their flight to Hawaii;
United is a trusted testing partner of the Hawaii Department of Health allowing passengers to bypass quarantine requirements in Hawaii with a negative test result
Oct 15, 2020, 09:00 ET
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, customers traveling on United from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii were the first to experience the airline's COVID-19 pilot testing program, allowing customers who return a negative result to bypass the state's mandatory quarantine requirements and enjoy their time on the islands sooner. In collaboration with San Francisco International Airport, customers now have the option to take a same-day, pre-flight rapid test at the airport or a conveniently-located drive-through test at United's San Francisco Maintenance Center ahead of their trip. United has been approved by the Hawaii Department of Health as a trusted testing and travel partner and was the first U.S. carrier to announce its plans to make COVID-19 tests available to customers.
"There's no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the travel experience, and United is committed to innovating to help customers continue to travel where they want to go in a way that is safe," said Toby Enqvist, Chief Customer Officer at United. "In partnership with the San Francisco Airport, we look forward to helping re-open the Hawaiian economy, and look forward to making testing options more broadly available to our customers so we can continue to connect people and unite the world."
"Protecting the health and safety of our passengers is our highest priority, and we are proud to partner with United Airlines and their health providers to offer onsite rapid and drive-through testing for United's passengers to Hawaii," said SFO Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. "This collaboration of airlines, airports, and health providers truly creates a model for air travel that gives passengers a new level of confidence. My thanks go out to the entire team who helped us to take this important step forward."
Click here for b-roll and still images of COVID-19 testing at SFO
Preflight testing for customers traveling to Hawaii
United, working alongside with San Francisco International Airport, will make two tests available to customers traveling to Hawaii: a rapid test option taken at the airport on the day of travel or a drive-through test conducted at the airport 48-72 hours before departure. Customers who produce a negative test result through either option will be exempt from quarantine requirements in Lihue, Maui and Honolulu. Customers traveling to Kona will be required to take a second complimentary test when they arrive to the island to avoid quarantining.
The rapid Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test – administered by GoHealth Urgent Care and their partner Dignity Health – is available at an onsite testing facility located in SFO's international terminal prior to security. Customers based in San Francisco can schedule their visits online and will receive their results in approximately 15 minutes. The onsite testing facility will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT daily and customers are advised to make an appointment at least three hours before their flight, as no walk-in appointments will be available.
Customers taking the drive-through test option – administered by Color – can schedule an appointment in advance online and should make the appointment for 48-72 hours before their flight departs. 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. Customers must take the test within 72 hours of their flight's departure and will receive their results electronically.
Halfway to Hawaii
As the state of Hawaii begins to reopen, United is also resuming its popular Halfway to Hawaii game. Customers will calculate the point when their flight is midway to the islands and those who guess correctly will receive a Hawaiian-themed amenity kit*. United is bringing the game back today on flights from Chicago O'Hare to Honolulu and on flights from San Francisco to Honolulu, Maui and Kona, and will expand to all other Hawaii bound flights in the coming weeks.
United currently offers more flights to Hawaii than any other carrier including daily service between San Francisco and Honolulu (HNL), Maui (OGG) and Kona (KOA). Today, the airline also resumed service to Lihue (LIH).
Since the start of the pandemic, United has been a leader among U.S. airlines in enacting new policies and innovations designed to keep employees and passengers safer when traveling. It was the first U.S. airline to mandate masks for flight attendants, quickly following with all customers and employees. United was also among the first U.S. carriers to announce it wouldn't permit customers who refused to comply with the airline's mandatory mask policy to fly with them while the face mask policy is in place. United was also the first U.S. airline to roll out touchless check-in for customers with bags, and the first to require passengers take an online health assessment before traveling. Recently, the airline announced it will apply Zoono Microbe Shield, an EPA registered antimicrobial coating that forms a long-lasting bond with surfaces and inhibits the growth of microbes, to its entire mainline and express fleet before the end of the year.
For more details on all the ways United is helping keep customers safe during their journey, please visit united.com/cleanplus.
United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".
About San Francisco International Airport
SFO wants you to Travel Well. SFO works with local, state and federal health officials to protect against COVID-19. Measures include enhanced cleaning protocols, hundreds of hand sanitizer stations, physical barriers, face coverings for everyone and physical distancing. To learn more visit flysfo.com/travel-well.
SFO offers nonstop service to Asia, South Pacific, Europe, Canada, Mexico and across the United States. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com. Follow us on www.twitter.com/flysfo and www.facebook.com/flysfo.
About GoHealth Urgent Care
GoHealth Urgent Care is one of the country's fastest-growing, largest and most technology-forward urgent care companies. At GoHealth Urgent Care, we provide unparalleled experiences that are effortless, personal and connected through partnerships with market-leading health systems and our communities as a whole. GoHealth Urgent Care operates approximately 150 urgent care centers in the greater New York metropolitan area, the Portland, Oregon-Vancouver, Washington metropolitan area, the San Francisco Bay Area, Hartford and South Eastern Connecticut, Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina, St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Northwest Arkansas and Delaware. GoHealth Urgent Care is a TPG Growth portfolio company, the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, which has more than $103 billion of assets under management. To learn more, please visit www.gohealthuc.com.
Color is a leader in distributed healthcare and clinical testing. Color makes population-scale healthcare programs accessible, convenient, and cost-effective for everyone. Color works with health systems, employers, and national health initiatives around the world including the million-person All of Us Research Program by the National Institutes of Health. For more information about Color and its response to COVID-19, visit www.color.com.
*Each flight will have up to six winners for the Halfway to Hawaii contest. Winners will be determined by order of pressing the call button with the correct answer. Prizes will carry a value of up to $10.
SOURCE United Airlines
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