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Southwest now offering pre-clearance for flights to Hawaii

April 01, 2021
3 min read
Southwest now offering pre-clearance for flights to Hawaii
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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.

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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.

Here’s TPG’s complete guide to the rules to visit Hawaii.Additional reporting by Clint Henderson.

Featured image by Hawaii March 2021. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
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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5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
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    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.