First trans-Atlantic United flight with free COVID-19 tests takes off from Newark

November 17, 2020 

Passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 14 that took off Monday from Newark Liberty International Airport for London were the first to receive the airline’s free coronavirus testing.

The airline provided the rapid tests to every passenger over 2 years old to make sure that everyone on board tested negative before the flight, a United rep said in a statement.

“These flights are a good proof-of-concept for governments around the world that are considering making testing part of the travel experience,” said Toby Enqvist, the airline’s chief customer officer.

“Expanding our testing efforts with pilot programs like this one not only helps guarantee passengers* onboard test negative for COVID-19, it also adds another element to our layered approach to safety and demonstrates a way to work within quarantines to key international destinations,” he added.

The rapid Abbott Now COVID-19 test, which is administered by Premise Health, was offered at a testing facility at the Newark United Club.

It will continue to be offered under the pilot program for Flight 14 passengers departing at 7:15 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the next four weeks.

“Customers booking these flights will have the option to confirm their willingness to participate in the trial or be accommodated on another flight,” United said.

“Customers who opt-in will receive information prior to travel in order to schedule a testing appointment at least three hours before their flight departs,” the statement added.

All passengers are still subject to the UK’s entry requirements, including the 14-day quarantine rule.

For additional information on the program, visit united.com/covid-testing.

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