Hawaiian Airlines letting customers redeem miles for COVID-19 testing kit

Hawaiian Airlines will let its customers redeem frequent flier miles for a COVID-19 test kit before traveling. 

The U.S. carrier said Thursday that members of its loyalty program can use 14,000 HawaiianMiles to order a mail-in test kit by Vault Health. The program is “for a limited time only.”

The test kit is available for travelers of all ages, including children. Customers will self-collect their saliva sample with help from a testing supervisor in a video call, the airline said. The kit is then express-shipped to a lab, with results expected electronically within 24 hours of receiving the sample.

“We remain dedicated to making testing for our guests as convenient and accessible as possible, so we’re incredibly pleased to extend our partnership with Vault Health to allow our HawaiianMiles members to purchase their at-home test kit with miles,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines is among several U.S. carriers that have announced testing programs for Hawaii-bound travelers prior to flying. Those who test negative for the novel coronavirus within 72 hours before their flight to Hawaii can avoid a mandatory 14-day quarantine in the state.

Travelers must show proof of a negative test result from one of the state’s “trusted testing and travel partners,” which it lists here.

United Airlines offers a rapid test at the airport or self-collected, mail-in test for customers flying from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii. The carrier will also soon offer free COVID-19 testing to travelers on select flights between Newark Liberty International in New Jersey and London’s Heathrow Airport as part of a four-week pilot program.

All passengers over age 2 on select flights between the two destinations will be given free rapid tests, part of the carrier’s effort to boost passenger confidence about the safety of flying amid the global pandemic. Those who do not wish to be tested will be able to change their flight in advance without change fees, United said.

Roughly one-fourth of the U.S. passenger airline fleet has been inactive for at least 30 days, according to Airlines for America, a trade representing major U.S. airlines. The group said that despite a recent uptick in air travel, passenger volume remains down 65%.

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This story was reported from Cincinnati.