United Airlines passengers flying from New Jersey to London will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport beginning next month in an experiment the airline hopes jump-starts international travel.
The good news for passengers: the test, required of all passengers over age 2 on select flights from Newark, is free.Other airport and airline COVID-19 test options are as pricey as $250 per person for on-site tests.
The bad news: passengers with negative test results won’t be able to bypass a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in London, as they can on flights to Hawaii as of Oct. 15. (Passengers testing positive will not be allowed to board and will receive a refund.)
United executives said the goal of the pilot program, which will be offered three days a week on Flight 14 between Nov. 16 and Dec. 11, is two-pronged.
In the short term, the airline hopes it gives travelers peace of mind to book a trip because it guarantees that “essentially everyone on board has tested negative for COVID-19,” according to Aaron McMillan, United’s managing director of operations policy and support .
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