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UA to Pilot Pre-flight COVID Testing for SFO-Hawai'i

UA to Pilot Pre-flight COVID Testing for SFO-Hawai'i

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Old Nov 17, 20, 11:05 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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For general discussion of the Hawai'i test-out program and /or discussion of non-UA partners (CVS, Walgreens, your local provider, ....), please use COVID-19 - 14-Day Trans-Pac Arrivals Quarantine/Oct. 15 [Target] Pre-Arrival Test-Out

United Airlines Becomes First U.S. Carrier to Make COVID-19 Tests Available to Customers
1) Day of Travel Rapid Test option
GoHealth Urgent Care will offer at airport COVID testing for UA passengers traveling to Hawaii starting Oct 15 photos

Appointments ??? Hawaii SFO COVID-19 Testing ??? (unverified)

Originally Posted by bluedemon211 View Post
I watched an interview with a representative from the testing company on Fox News today. The takeaways I got were:

- Test will be administered land side, not airside
- Part of the "agreement" is that a positive test will be shared with the local health authority and you will be unable to get through security, let alone board a plane
- The results are NOT shared with UA (or subsequently any other airline partner).
-A positive test will get you sent home if you are local or into local quarantine if not
- The test and paperwork take less than 20 minutes to process and get a result
- The intent is to expand to other airports and other airlines once the pilot is successfully rolled out
- There was no discussion of cost
- Connecting passengers would need to go landside for the test. If the test is positive UA would be notified to offload bags if necessary. That is the only "involvement" with UA

Those were the salient points that I remember. Others who saw the interview please add anything I missed.
2) Advance of Travel Option (The latest word is Hawai'i will not accept the mail-in option at this time -- change of mind?)
  • 10 days in advance request a physician-ordered Self-Collection Test from Color and return no earlier than 72 hours of travel (arrival to Hawai'i?) via overnight mail or to a dropbox at SFO.
  • Color then processes those tests at their local, CLIA-certified COVID-19 testing laboratory and returns results via text and/or email within 24-48 hours.
  • Present cost is $80 (paid to the tester - Color)
Update
3) Drive thru test at SFO in advance of travel
Color has opened an (qualifying) in-person drive-thru testing site in a United Airlines parking lot right outside of SFO. $105
United Airlines COVID-19 testing program

United Airlines is partnering with Color to enable fast, reliable test results for people traveling directly out of San Francisco International Airport to Hawai’i starting October 15, 2020.

If you are traveling to Hawai’i on a direct United flight out of SFO, you should expect an email from United seven (7) days before your scheduled flight. Please contact United for more information at 1-800-864-8331 (1-800-UNITED-1).
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.
appointment link


For more non-airline specific info on Hawaii's test-out and quarantine programs, see
COVID-19 - 14-Day Trans-Pac Arrivals Quarantine/Oct. 15 [Target] Pre-Arrival Test-Out

Other carrier options
Hawaiian to offer drive-through testing at sites near SFO and LAX - $90 for results w/i 36 hours, $150 day of travel.

Oakland Airport will offer free COVID-19 tests for Hawaii-bound travelers (Oct. 15th)
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Old Sep 24, 20, 7:22 am
  #1  
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UA to Pilot Pre-flight COVID Testing for SFO-Hawai'i

United Airlines Becomes First U.S. Carrier to Make COVID-19 Tests Available to Customers

United teams up with GoHealth Urgent Care and Color to make COVID-19 testing easy to obtain for customers traveling from San Francisco International to Hawaii

Airline worked alongside Hawaii government to align tests to meet state requirements, so customers who return a negative result are not required to quarantine

Testing will be available starting October 15


Full story
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Old Sep 24, 20, 7:32 am
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Hopefully, they will expand this to all Hawaii bound flights. But wonder what their capacity to test several hundred people and produce the results at SFO. Typically there is a flight to each of the islands departing around 9am. So conceivably 800 people could seek rapid tests around 7:30 every morning.
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Old Sep 24, 20, 8:08 am
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It would be nice if they could add it to EWR so that they can start their new EWR-OGG route on time! It would also be beneficial for EWR-HNL as well.
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Old Sep 24, 20, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by BlueZebra View Post
Hopefully, they will expand this to all Hawaii bound flights. But wonder what their capacity to test several hundred people and produce the results at SFO. Typically there is a flight to each of the islands departing around 9am. So conceivably 800 people could seek rapid tests around 7:30 every morning.
“GoHealth Urgent Care's dedicated COVID-19 testing area will be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT daily.”

This is from the Hub post. Not sure they are contemplating testing for a morning bank of flights.
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Old Sep 24, 20, 8:46 am
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And here I thought United was making all pilots take a Covid-19 test, pre-flight!

....need a third cup of coffee!
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Old Sep 24, 20, 10:03 am
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Frankly, this would be a very positive step forward to do this for ALL flights! Without doubt it would yield superior results when compared to face masks which have very limited effectiveness.
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Old Sep 24, 20, 10:11 am
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They're going to charge $250 per test. File this under "how to generate ancillary revenue from a pandemic."
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Old Sep 24, 20, 10:11 am
  #8  
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The Abbott rapid test is an antigen test. I thought Hawaii was going to require a PCR test, which I didn't think the Abbott test was one. But hopefully United has worked this out with the Hawaiian government. Good news if indeed true.
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Old Sep 24, 20, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by nnn View Post
The Abbott rapid test is an antigen test. I thought Hawaii was going to require a PCR test, which I didn't think the Abbott test was one. But hopefully United has worked this out with the Hawaiian government. Good news if indeed true.
From the Abbott website:

WHAT IS THE ID NOW COVID-19 TEST?

The ID NOW COVID-19 test is a rapid, molecular point-of-care test that detects COVID-19 in 13 minutes or less.
https://www.abbott.com/IDNOW/IDNOW-COVID-19-FAQ.html
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Old Sep 24, 20, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by nnn View Post
The Abbott rapid test is an antigen test. I thought Hawaii was going to require a PCR test, which I didn't think the Abbott test was one. But hopefully United has worked this out with the Hawaiian government. Good news if indeed true.
Not sorted yet; they are working on it currently.

Originally Posted by bloomberg
United said Thursday it will launch a pilot program on the Hawaii route starting Oct. 15, adding that it’s working with officials in the state to ensure that customers who test negative can skip a 14-day quarantine requirement.

(link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-unlock-travel)
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Old Sep 24, 20, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by slippahs View Post
“GoHealth Urgent Care's dedicated COVID-19 testing area will be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT daily.”

This is from the Hub post. Not sure they are contemplating testing for a morning bank of flights.
Yeah, sounds like one would have to take two trips to airport for morning departures - one for testing in the 2nd or 3rd day before flight and a second for the flight. Works for SF area originators, not for connecting passengers. Afternoon flights probably OK with longer connections, or the mail option. $250? The Lt. Governor was talking $160 for one of the tests. Family of 4 - $1000. Ouch.
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Old Sep 24, 20, 10:47 am
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I'm curious if this could be worked out for Canadians (we will likely still be quarantining on the way home, unless our government works something out with rapid testing here too, but you still need some quarantine as many false negatives apparently so a second test maybe) so we could fly to SFO direct then have a stopover of some length (a day perhaps, whatever), get tested, then continue on to Hawaii.

It'll be the invasion of maple leafs I would bet if so.
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Old Sep 24, 20, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by sfoeuroflyer View Post
Frankly, this would be a very positive step forward to do this for ALL flights! Without doubt it would yield superior results when compared to face masks which have very limited effectiveness.
Exactly! I'd be happy to take a test before a flight and be allowed to not wear a mask. That would be the right approach.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 24, 20 at 11:39 am Reason: OT content removed -- see Moderator note
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Old Sep 24, 20, 10:57 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
They're going to charge $250 per test. File this under "how to generate ancillary revenue from a pandemic."
That's on the low side of most costs that other private parties are offering for quick response testing
such as https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32602122-post345.html
and https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/coro...ng-travel.html

Suspect the price will drop with time and more competition

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 24, 20 at 11:03 am
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Old Sep 24, 20, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by FriscoHeavy View Post
Exactly! I'd be happy to take a test before a flight and be allowed to not wear a mask. That would be the right approach.
Masks will still be required.
1) Some will opt to not pay for tests and self-quarantine on arrival (mainly returning residents)
2) Others will take be taking the non-quick result tests and will be getting results after arrival.
3) United (or any other airline) is not going to police who or who has not taken the airport test w/ negative result
4) The testing protocol addresses solely the quarantine issue on arrival, not the mask requirement.

What's a "normal" life? Taking a vacation in Hawaii with the minor inconvenience of wearing a mask, or sitting at home because one refuses to? Hawaii (and United) will welcome the former. You still are required to wear masks in hotels, airports, stores, etc in Hawaii (regardless of a negative test result).

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Sep 24, 20 at 12:33 pm Reason: remove period
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