Travel notes: American announces Covid-19 tests for domestic; flights; Southwest heading to Jackson; Eastern Airlines to fly out of PHL

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American Airlines expanded its preflight testing coronavirus testing program for domestic travel from its hub at Philadelphia International Airport.

American will provide access to LetsGetChecked for all domestic flights to states and territories with Covid-19 travel restrictions.

“We’ve made great strides to help open international travel with our testing partners, and we recognize the need for similar domestic travel solutions,” said Alison Taylor, chief customer officer for American Airlines. “As travel requirements continue to quickly evolve, we’re simplifying the research and Covid-19 testing fulfillment process for an overall more seamless travel experience.”

Starting today, American Airlines customers traveling to any U.S. city, state, or territory with Covid-19 travel restrictions will have access to at-home testing through LetsGetChecked for travel on or after Dec. 12.

“We are extremely proud of our partnership with American Airlines and the opportunity to support their proactive safety measures,” said Peter Foley, CEO of LetsGetChecked. “Our at-home Covid-19 test exemplifies our mission to empower people to take an active role in their health whilst also allowing for a safe return to travel during this challenging time.”

The airline will continue to work with LetsGetChecked to expand domestic testing as state testing requirements evolve. Current cities, states, and territories with COVID-19 travel restrictions include:

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Chicago
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Customers can learn more about LetsGetChecked and all of the airline’s testing partners ataa.com/covid19testing. The cost is $129, with an average turnaround time of 48 hours.

Customers traveling within the U.S. can stay up to date on local travel requirements through American’stravel tool, powered by Sherpa. The tool makes travel planning easier by providing a destination-specific overview of local guidelines, including face covering, health documentation, and quarantine requirements. To use the tool, travelers enter their origin and destination for an automatic overview of travel requirements.

Southwest adds nonstop from BWI to Jackson, MS
Southwest Airlines will offer a new daily roundtrip flight from Baltimore-Washington to the Mississippi capital, beginning in early June of next year.
The new service announced is the fifth new nonstop Southwest destination announced at BWI Marshall Airport as the discount carrier adjusts to the Covid-19 environment.
New Southwest service between BWI Marshall and Miami started on November 15. New Southwest service between BWI and Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Sarasota, FL is scheduled to start on February 14. New Southwest flights to Savannah, GA are scheduled will get underway on March 11.
Connecting flights to ski areas and leisure destinations have also been added
Southwest is altering its playbook by adding smaller airports as well as hubs like O’Hare. The discount carrier’s Chicago presence had been confined to Midway Airport on the south side of the city.
blankEastern Airlines to fly out of PHL to Haiti, Dominican Republic

Philadelphia International Airport is adding Eastern Airlines as its newest carrier, effective on Dec. 14.

The Wayne, PA-based carrier will offer nonstop service between Philadelphia and Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

“Having Eastern as one of our partners supports a local company and helps connect underserved markets to the Greater Philadelphia region,” said airport CEO Chellie Cameron. “So much of travel right now is visiting friends and relatives. Yet many Philadelphia-area residents have been unable to make direct connections to visit loved ones from their home airport. By offering destinations like Port-Au-Prince and Santo Domingo from Philadelphia, Eastern is making travel more accessible to so many of our neighbors when they are ready to travel.”

Travelers from the U.S. often face quaratntine requirements or on-the-spot Covid-19 testing at their destinations.

Eastern will launch its PHL service with nonstop flights twice per week to Port-Au-Prince and Santo Domingo. The airline will use Boeing 767 aircraft, which also allows Eastern to carry cargo.

Eastern offers passengers the highest baggage allowance —up to six checked bags (first two checked bags, up to 70l pounds are free. Information about the new airline, destinations, baggage policy and service can be found at goeasternair.com.

Eastern, formerly Dynamic Air, has been offering relief fights for those heading to or from home in the Caribbean and South America.
Oldtimers might remember Eastern as one of the airline names that did not survive the deregulation of the industry. The name was purchased by the Wayne-based airline.
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