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UA's Hawaii preclearance at all UA hubs: questions, experiences, ... New Process DEN?

Old Jan 27, 2021, 10:38 am
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The Hawaii "Safe Travels" program ends on March 25, 2022. For more information, please see: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hawaii/2044877-state-hawaii-safe-travels-program-ends-march-25-2022-a.html

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United Makes Hawaii Travel Easier with Expanded COVID Testing and Pre-Clearance Program

Customers traveling to the islands can save time by showing proof of negative tests at United's hub airports and skip document screening process in Hawaii

CHICAGO, Jan. 27, 2021
Beginning February 1, United customers traveling to Hawaii who have a valid negative COVID-19 test can show their results before boarding to save time and skip document screening lines upon arrival. The new pre-clearance process will be in place for customers traveling on 110 of United's weekly flights to Hawaii.

United is also making it easier to get the right tests to avoid Hawaii's 14-day quarantine by making approved COVID-19 tests available to all customers traveling to the islands no matter where in the U.S. their travel begins.

"We're making it easier for customers traveling to Hawaii to spend more time enjoying their trip and less time waiting in lines," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United. "Testing is the key to opening domestic and international travel so we'll continue to lead the way in rolling out solutions that are simple and safe so our customers have what they need when they take their next trip with us."

To begin the pre-clearance program, customers will enroll in Hawaii's Safe Travels program and complete Hawaii's COVID-19 questionnaire within 24 hours from departure. Next, customers will use the Safe Travels website to upload their negative test results from one of Hawaii's trusted testing partners which must be taken within 72 hours of their departure. At the airport, customers will see a United team member at the gate for their flight to Hawaii where they will receive a wristband if they qualify to bypass airport screening in Hawaii. Customers who have been pre-cleared will be able to skip test screenings in Hawaii and begin their trip as soon as they land.

For images of United's pre-clearance program click here.
COVID-19 testing for United travelers








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UA's Hawaii preclearance at all UA hubs: questions, experiences, ... New Process DEN?

Old Jan 26, 2021, 1:50 pm
  #1  
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UA's Hawaii preclearance at all UA hubs: questions, experiences, ... New Process DEN?

In December AS launched a "preclearance" program for travel to Hawaii, whereby a traveler's test results were verified prior to boarding and they received a bracelet that allowed them to skip the inspection line upon arrival. I'm now seeing from glasman19's trip report that UA has quietly introduced a similar program in place at SFO, with a consolidated preclearance station for all Hawaii flights at gate F16. Have folks seen this at other UA hubs? Specifically looking for LAX, but other data points would also be welcome.
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Old Jan 26, 2021, 2:04 pm
  #2  
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Yes UA is offering Hawaii pre-clearance at SFO -- probably not getting an invite unless you are on an eligible flight
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...l#post32989527

The debate is if this really offers much advantage
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Old Jan 26, 2021, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Yes UA is offering Hawaii pre-clearance at SFO -- probably not getting an invite unless you are on an eligible flight
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...l#post32989527

The debate is if this really offers much advantage
Nice to have, certainly not needed at LAX. 20 people in economy on today's inflight 777-200, they couldn't even fill first class with non-rev's. That mirrors my flight a week ago.
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Old Jan 26, 2021, 2:25 pm
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I've heard reports of folks waiting over an hour at OGG, but maybe now that the holidays are over maybe the wait times are down. FWIW the F cabin on my LAX-OGG flight is currently booked 21/24 just under two weeks out--maybe it's the pre-Presidents' Day holiday crowd.
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Old Jan 26, 2021, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by dkc192
I've heard reports of folks waiting over an hour at OGG, but maybe now that the holidays are over maybe the wait times are down. FWIW the F cabin on my LAX-OGG flight is currently booked 21/24 just under two weeks out--maybe it's the pre-Presidents' Day holiday crowd.
Fair enough for OGG - I do expect a small bump in Maui for President's Day - we need it here. I don't know the process at OGG, but at HNL they have the clearance process well staffed - if you have the QR code ready, they scan with an iPad, scroll down to verify for negative test - and wave you on very quickly.

I do think if you are in F, you'll be thru very quickly.

Have a great vacation
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Old Jan 26, 2021, 2:55 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by dkc192
I've heard reports of folks waiting over an hour at OGG, but maybe now that the holidays are over maybe the wait times are down...
Length of wait at OGG has usually been dependent on how close arrivals are. If one arrives 15 minutes after another arriving flight opens the door, the wait could be long. Pre-clearance at originating airports (such as with UA at SFO) to be having an effect on potential for long lines. Most passengers on my UA flight yesterday seemed to be sporting the new United pre-board clearance wrist-band.

My experience at HNL has been different - they have separate processors (at least for the few UA flights I've been on)for each arriving flight. OGG has been using a first come-first serve for multiple flights - one set for makai wing arrivals and another set up in main lobby for town-side wing.
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Old Jan 26, 2021, 3:23 pm
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Gotcha, thanks for the insights. To confirm, interisland flights are also subject to the same screening procedure upon arrival at OGG as mainland flights, correct? Debating between the direct 753 from LAX or the (so far wide empty) 777 via HNL for flat beds, albeit with a three hour later arrival into OGG.
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Old Jan 27, 2021, 10:37 am
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United Makes Hawaii Travel Easier with Expanded COVID Testing and Pre-Clearance Program
Customers traveling to the islands can save time by showing proof of negative tests at United's hub airports and skip document screening process in Hawaii

CHICAGO, Jan. 27, 2021
Beginning February 1, United customers traveling to Hawaii who have a valid negative COVID-19 test can show their results before boarding to save time and skip document screening lines upon arrival. The new pre-clearance process will be in place for customers traveling on 110 of United's weekly flights to Hawaii.

United is also making it easier to get the right tests to avoid Hawaii's 14-day quarantine by making approved COVID-19 tests available to all customers traveling to the islands no matter where in the U.S. their travel begins.

"We're making it easier for customers traveling to Hawaii to spend more time enjoying their trip and less time waiting in lines," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United. "Testing is the key to opening domestic and international travel so we'll continue to lead the way in rolling out solutions that are simple and safe so our customers have what they need when they take their next trip with us."

To begin the pre-clearance program, customers will enroll in Hawaii's Safe Travels program and complete Hawaii's COVID-19 questionnaire within 24 hours from departure. Next, customers will use the Safe Travels website to upload their negative test results from one of Hawaii's trusted testing partners which must be taken within 72 hours of their departure. At the airport, customers will see a United team member at the gate for their flight to Hawaii where they will receive a wristband if they qualify to bypass airport screening in Hawaii. Customers who have been pre-cleared will be able to skip test screenings in Hawaii and begin their trip as soon as they land.

For images of United's pre-clearance program click here.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 27, 2021 at 10:50 am
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Old Jan 27, 2021, 10:58 am
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The press release above implicitly suggests those without an uploaded negative test will not be able to get a wristband. My experience Monday at SFO was the opposite - UA was able to provide the agreement for quarantine and I was able to get a wristband without a test. I don't know if sloppy wordsmanship on the part of UA in the press release has provided inadequate information or if the policy re wristbands distribution without a valid test has been changed in the last two days. I suspect the former.
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Old Jan 27, 2021, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
The press release above implicitly suggests those without an uploaded negative test will not be able to get a wristband. My experience Monday at SFO was the opposite - UA was able to provide the agreement for quarantine and I was able to get a wristband without a test.
I would think if you didn't have a negative test uploaded they'd want you to be screened in Hawaii - if only to do more diligence on your contact information, read you the riot act, etc....

Maybe SFO is still tweaking the process.
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Old Jan 27, 2021, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer
...read you the riot act, etc...
They don't do that anymore - it's one's signature to a statement presented on an iPad.

Not sure when I'll test the pre-clearance/no test situation again - I travel to mainland or beyond monthly, but pre-test on return half the time.

Edit: Went through SFO pre-clearance 2/22 without Covid test result (again with intention of entering 10-day quarantine). Signed statement about going into quarantine and got wristband.
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Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Feb 23, 2021 at 10:26 am
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Old Feb 8, 2021, 4:55 pm
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Data point: LAX preclearance is located at the service desk to the left of the escalators coming up from security (closest gate would be 70A around the corner), and on Saturday I showed up at 8:25am to find a line of about 6-8 pax ahead of me, all on the 9:50am to HNL. Was processed within minutes and had time to pick up a book and snack before being one of the last to board my 9:00am to OGG. Saved me maybe 30 minutes of waiting in line at OGG--we came in at the tail end of the first bank of Mainland flights.

With low demand and limited flights for now (only one flight a day in the morning to HNL/OGG/KOA, and a second midday flight to HNL), the situation seems manageable, but curious to see how it evolves as demand picks up, e.g., for spring break.
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Old Feb 8, 2021, 11:22 pm
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Data point Denver: Flew DEN-KOA on 2/6 out of gate B37. The DEN-OGG flight leaving about the same time was at B39. They had 3 tables with 5 people doing pre-clearance set up between the 2 gates. There was also a table across the way by the DEN-HNL gate. You could use either area irrespective of your Hawaii destination and the lines moved quickly. I was 20th in line and got to a table in 10 minutes. Had my QR code ready to go and had uploaded my negative test result. Took 90 seconds tops to get my wristband. Very efficient. Got off in Kona, displayed my wristband and walked straight thru to the post arrival test area. That took 5 minutes and I got to baggage claim before the bags even started coming off the truck. Very quick and welcome process.
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Old Feb 22, 2021, 7:42 pm
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At SFO, two changes to pre-clearance since last time I was through.

1) theres a Premier Access lane at the F16 pre-clearance area now, for those entitled. Neither time Ive been thru was there a wait, so dont know if its handy at other times.

2) those with UC access have option to go through the pre-clearance at help desk in Club. Handy if one doesnt want to go to F16 to clear and then backtrack to Club.

on the latter, I had already gone to the F16 area, and the UC agent subsequently noted my destination and told me about Club option.
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Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Feb 22, 2021 at 7:50 pm
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Old Feb 22, 2021, 8:24 pm
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Did my first preclearance today at SFO. Theyve considerably cut back clearance staff at HNL - so highly recommend you do the clearance at your departure airport. They were also checking people at the gate and highly encouraging people to get cleared prior to boarding.
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