American Airlines and British Airways Will Offer Free COVID Tests to Business Travelers

American Airlines and British Airways are adding a new perk for business travelers: free rapid COVID-19 tests.

American Airlines and British Airways are making it easier for business travelers to hop across the Atlantic Ocean without having to worry about COVID-19 testing.

Beginning next year, business travelers booking premium seats on American Airlines and British Airways through American Express Global Business Travel will be able to have the required COVID-19 tests delivered directly to them before departure.

The airlines are partnering with Qured to offer passengers traveling between the U.S. and U.K. rapid antigen tests that return results in just 20 minutes. The self-administered tests are approved for use by both the U.S. and U.K. governments, and a verified electronic copy of the results are delivered to passengers within two hours.

"We're eager to give our mutual customers peace of mind that they will have what they need to fulfill an important requirement as they return to conducting business, " Mark Muren, head of global sales at British Airways, said in a press release.

British Airways passenger aircraft and an American Airlines Group Inc. passenger aircraft outside Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport in London, U.K
Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Transatlantic routes are particularly profitable to airlines. Pre-pandemic, British Airways was operating the world's only billion dollar airline route between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and London Heathrow, according to aviation data firm OAG.

"Ensuring corporate travelers have access to efficient, accurate testing is one of the key components to ramping up business travel across the transatlantic corridor," Muren said.

To receive their test kits, passengers will need to follow the prompts after booking their ticket. Then, they will simply need to open up the COVID-19 test kit that's been delivered to their home or hotel, hop on a video call, and swab themselves.

Passengers who test negative for COVID-19 will get a certification that they're fit to fly, which they can show at the airport or upload to the app VeriFly, used by an estimated three million American Airlines and British Airways passengers.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a travel writer who loves historic plaques, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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