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British Airways trialling 'game-changer' COVID-19 test with results in 25 seconds

May 13, 2021
2 min read
British Airways trialling 'game-changer' COVID-19 test with results in 25 seconds
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British Airways is hoping to greatly reduce the time spent waiting for COVID-19 test results for travel.

While some private testing results can take 48 hours or more, British Airways announced on Thursday it will be the first airline in the world to conduct the Pelican ultra-rapid COVID-19 antigen tests that deliver results within just 25 seconds.

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The test is a non-invasive saliva test that delivers what the manufacturer calls "PCR-like accuracy" of 98% sensitivity and 100% specificity in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.

Related: Spain removes COVID-19 test requirement for British travellers from 20 May

The trial will initially be limited to the airline's flight and cabin crew. British Airways will compare the test results of this ultra-rapid test against its standard test results. Though if the trial is successful, BA CEO Sean Doyle hopes to include this as an option for passengers who require a negative test result for travel.

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Antigen tests are not considered to be as reliable as PCR tests, though they are usually much cheaper, easier to obtain and deliver results more quickly.

Critically, the U.K. government has advised that it will accept antigen/lateral flow test results, such as these, to satisfy the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the U.K. This is provided the test meets performance standards of greater than 97% specificity, greater than 80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml, which this Pelican test meets.

Related: What kind of COVID-19 test will I need to travel and how much will it cost?

If the trial is successful, it could be a game-changer for travellers who need a COVID-19 test to return to the U.K. Being able to get a test result and certification to fly within 25 seconds could prove to be a massive step towards the resumption of travel. Of note, even the green list countries in the U.K.'s traffic light system require two COVID-19 tests: one prior to departure and one within two days of arriving back in the U.K.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023