American Airlines will begin offering pre-flight, at-home Covid-19 testing for customers flying to Belize, Grenada and St. Lucia on Nov. 16. Meanwhile, the carrier's planned testing collaborations with the governments of Jamaica and the Bahamas are on hold, having not launched in October as expected.
Flyers traveling on American flights to Belize, Grenada and St. Lucia will have the option of purchasing an at-home polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The tests, administered by the provider LetsGetChecked, can be purchased via a link off the American website. Tests include observation with a medical professional via a virtual appointment, and results typically take two days.
American hasn't said how much the tests will cost, but the carrier is charging $129 for a similar service ahead of flights to Hawaii.
Belize requires travelers 6 years old and older to complete a PCR test within 72 hours of departure. Grenada requires a Covid-19 test within seven days of departure. St. Lucia requires anyone 5 years old and up to be tested within a week of departure. American is currently flying to the three markets from Miami; additional routes to those markets will begin later this month and in December.
The testing collaboration won't be the first American has offered for its international customers. The carrier began facilitating at-home Covid-19 testing for passengers flying to Costa Rica on Oct. 15. However, on Oct. 26 Costa Rica suspended its testing requirement for incoming international visitors.
American had also said in a late September announcement that it would begin a pre-flight testing program out of Miami last month in collaboration with the government of Jamaica. The carrier said at the time that it expected a similar program to begin in collaboration with the Bahamas in October, as well. Thus far, however, neither has come to fruition.
"Some testing requirements evolved since our announcement in late September, so we've extended conversations to finalize our approach to testing," spokeswoman Rachel Warner said. "We understand country requirements may shift as they seek to care for their citizens, and we are making every effort to collaborate on our shared goal of reopening travel."
American continues to facilitate pre-flight Covid-19 testing for its Hawaii customers from Dallas. On Monday, the carrier extended the at-home test offering to Hawaii customers flying from Los Angeles, Chicago and Phoenix.
This report was updated Oct. 5 with additional comment from American Airlines.