Airlines have seen their profits dramatically impacted during 2020. During Thanksgiving, many airline companies hoped to make a rebound, only to see another wave of Coronavirus send more people to their homes. Safety has been the greatest concern while traveling this year, and it likely will be the same next year. In an effort to entice more people to travel by air, American Airlines has begun to offer their passengers at home testing, prior to their flight with them.
Increasing test accessibility
One key issue that has existed since the development of a successful Coronavirus test is having the ability to safely and promptly take the test and get results. Those living in urban areas of America, such as large cities, can see wait times for testing sites range anywhere from a week to a month. However, in trying to draw in customers, American Airlines brings the test to the people.
Those who wish to have a test provided only need to pay a small fee (around $100), in addition to their ticket costs, for American Airlines to send them a test kit that they can use from home. This test kit is relatively simple and is similar to tests being offered at sites across the United States
Ahead of the curve
With a Coronavirus vaccine still being developed and tested, the time when all people can put Coronavirus behind them is not anytime soon. In the meanwhile, test kits like the ones American Airlines offer will be a good step in the direction of being able to safely resume air travel. American Airlines sources their kits from the group LetsGetChecked, and is only the first of several other airlines working on offering their customers at home testing.
American Airlines has, however, made sure to indicate that a negative test result doesn’t get fliers into their destinations scot-free. Travelers still need to abide by and respect the rules of the destination, especially in locations where a quarantine is still required even in light of a negative test. In the long run, though, these tests may be a way for companies like American and Delta to rebuild the devastated airline companies, which have been kept afloat largely by government support. More fliers flew during Thanksgiving than anytime during the Coronavirus lockdowns, but these tests might be only the first step airlines need to take to remain open.