United customers arriving in London today on flight UA14 from Newark Liberty International Airport were the first to experience the free transatlantic Covid-19 testing pilot programme from the carrier.
The airline provided rapid tests to every passenger over two years old and all crew members on board, free of charge, guaranteeing everyone on the flight tested negative prior to departure.
“These flights are a good proof-of-concept for governments around the world that are considering making testing part of the travel experience,” said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United.
“Expanding our testing efforts with pilot programmes like this one not only helps guarantee passengers onboard test negative for Covid-19, it also adds another element to our layered approach to safety and demonstrates a way to work within quarantines to key international destinations.”
The rapid Abbott ID Now COVID-19 test – administered by Premise Health – was offered onsite at a testing facility, located at the Newark United Club near Gate C93.
The test will continue to be used with passengers (over two years of all) traveling on United Flight 14, departing at 19:15 , Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the next four weeks.
Customers booking these flights will have the option to confirm their willingness to participate in the trial or be accommodated on another flight.
United has invited governments on both sides of the Atlantic to observe this pilot programme and to assess its effectiveness as an alternative to mandatory quarantines and travel restrictions.
The carrier has seen a positive impact on travel demand and significant increases in customer load factors as well as revenue when testing options are available.
Lufthansa launched a similar services on domestic flights from Hamburg to Munich late last week.