Southwest Airlines is partnering with a healthcare company to try to take some anxiety from international passengers wondering if they can re-enter the United States.
The airline has teamed with San Francisco-based CityHealth to offer fliers a discounted RapidReturn test kit before or after purchasing plane tickets. The kits contain a CDC-approved Rapid Antigen test and include a virtual appointment with a CityHealth Testing Specialist, who will guide travelers through the sample collection process and supervise the test.
This will allow travelers to comply with new testing guidelines requiring passengers entering the U.S. to have proof of a negative COVID test within a day of their flight’s departure for the United States.
“Since it was launched, the RapidReturn kit has been one of our most popular COVID testing options,” Sean Parkin, CEO of CityHealth, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be working with Southwest Airlines to offer their passengers an easy, accurate, affordable, and convenient way to return home safely. The quick return of results will help Southwest passengers stay in compliance with the new one-day testing rule.”
CityHealth specialists will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist passengers who purchase the rapid tests. Users need only a Wi-Fi connection and a video-enabled device to complete the process.
According to CityHealth, the RapidReturn test uses new INDICAID testing technology – a more user-friendly test with a pre-filled testing vial and slimmer collection swab, making the sample collection process easier and more comfortable. The kit also contains a second swab, solution vial, and testing device, so passengers are prepared in case the first test is lost or damaged.
Tests are available at a specially discounted rate of $50 for Southwest passengers only.