Southwest now offering pre-clearance for flights to Hawaii

Apr 1, 2021

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Travelers flying Southwest Airlines to Hawaii can now take advantage of the state’s expanded pre-clearance COVID-19 testing options, meaning fewer hurdles upon arrival.

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Coming hot on the heels of recent news of the state of Hawaii adding pre-clearance for several new airline partners, the announcement from Southwest Airlines should be welcome news to travelers headed to the Aloha State from five California gateways.

(Screenshot courtesy Southwest Airlines)
Southwest Airlines customers who have uploaded a negative COVID-19 test result from an approved lab, as well as some required travel information and a completed health questionnaire before departing the mainland may be eligible to bypass airport screening and mandatory quarantines upon arrival to Honolulu (HNL) and Kahului on Maui (OGG).

The program allows travelers to comply with the state’s Safe Travels guidelines prior to departure, and then skip mandatory airport screenings and quarantines on arrival.

“This Pre-Clear convenience recognizes that customers are excited to begin enjoying Hawaii once they land, and this process will expedite their time in the airport, allowing them to begin their Hawaii experience more quickly,” said Tony Roach, Southwest Airlines Managing Director of Customer Experience.

Related: Fair warning, Hawaii is crowded again

Essentially, you get a special bracelet that shows you’ve followed the directions for entry to Hawaii. When you check in for your flight to Hawaii, the airline checks you’ve done everything right and if you have, you get a bracelet showing you’re cleared for takeoff.

(Screenshot courtesy Southwest Airlines)

Southwest says that its Customer Service Agents will be available starting 90 minutes prior to departure to confirm travelers’ State-of-Hawaii-approved profile at the gate of departure. This added convenience will apply to travelers whose journey connects in one of five California airports where Southwest Airlines flies nonstop to Hawaii — Oakland (OAK), San Jose (SJC), Sacramento (SMF), San Diego (SAN), and Long Beach (LGB).

Related: Kauai expanding resort bubbles

Southwest has a partnership with CityHealth Urgent Care to offer $20 COVID tests in five California locations for results within 48 hours that meet State of Hawaii requirements. You can find a complete list of the state’s approved test providers at Southwest.com/coronavirus/Hawaii.

Related: 10 reasons to visit Timbers Kauai

Southwest Airlines currently has 14 daily departures from those five California airports in California and will add nonstop service to Kauai (LIH) from Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC) on June 6, 2021.

Additional reporting by Clint Henderson.
Featured image by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
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