United Launching Pre-Testing for Caribbean Flights From Houston

boca grandi caribbean beachesBoca Grandi beach in Aruba.

United Airlines is expanding its pre-testing program for a number of routes from Houston to the Caribbean region, the carrier said this week. 

Beginning Dec. 7, travelers out of Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport will be able to take a self-collected, mail-in test that meets entry requirements for Caribbean destinations including Belize, Nassau and Roatan. 

“Widespread testing is key to unlocking international borders and safely reopening global travel. This is particularly important for our customers in Houston, who rely on United to keep them connected with their family and friends in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United. “We’ll continue to lead the way on testing – United was the first to announce a customer COVID-19 testing program and the first to offer free tests on flights across the Atlantic – and we’ll look at new, innovative ways to make the travel experience even safer.”

The test, which costs $19, will be administered by Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory and processed at the company’s testing lab in San Antonio. 

United will be reaching out to customers two weeks ahead of their trips to provide instructions on the process. 

Travelers will be advised to take the tests 72 hours before departure, with results typically received by email within 24-48 hours. 

It’s the latest pre-testing program for the Caribbean, following high-profile launches by American Airlines and, more recently, JetBlue

United says similar pre-testing programs to other destinations like Hawai’i have led to significant increases in demand for flights. 

— CJ