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United Airlines simplifies COVID-19 screening for passengers headed to Hawaii

Sept. 24, 2020
3 min read
United Airlines simplifies COVID-19 screening for passengers headed to Hawaii
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Hawaii is getting ready to welcome tourists without a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Maybe for real this time?

The 50th state has pushed back its reopening several times, but the tourism industry is hoping it sticks. As of now, Oct. 15 is the date that tourists will be able to enter with a negative COVID-19 test, and United Airlines is working to help facilitate that process for passengers flying from San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

As part of its latest pandemic-related program, United won't be administering the tests directly. Instead, the airline is partnering with GoHealth and Color, both of which are approved by the state of Hawaii to administer tests for travelers.

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Photo courtesy of GoHealth and United Airlines.

GoHealth Urgent Care has been testing United's international crew members at SFO since July, and now the company will expand its offering to include Hawaii-bound United flyers. The facility is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily, and offers rapid tests, with results in 15 minutes. Travelers can make reservations before they arrive — for now, the service costs $250, but the price could fall as capacity increases in the coming weeks.

Alternatively, United flyers can opt for an $80 mail-in test from Color. The airline recommends that travelers begin the process 10 days before their travel, and collect a sample no more than 72 hours in advance of their trip before returning it via overnight mail or a dropbox at SFO. Results will arrive via email and text within 24-48 hours.

Related: Hawaii pushes back its reopening date to at least Oct. 15

United said the move makes it the first U.S. carrier to unveil a COVID testing program for travelers. United also seems to suggest the program could be rolled out more broadly if the Hawaii initiative is successful, saying it “could make it easier for [travelers] to manage quarantine requirements and entry conditions of popular destinations around the world."

As for Hawaii, United is currently offering daily nonstop service from San Francisco to Honolulu (HNL), Kona (KOA) and Maui (OGG). The carrier plans to resume daily flights to Kauai (LIH) as well, assuming Hawaii does in fact open to test-wielding tourists on Oct. 15.

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Featured image by Photo courtesy of United Airlines.

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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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10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more