Airlines Turn Up Pressure to Drop Pre-Arrival Testing


Reuters reports American Airlines chief executive Robert Isom met with lawmakers on Thursday, June 2, 2022, to ask for an end to the pandemic-era policy.


Airlines Say Americans Won’t Travel Abroad Because of Testing Requirements

Under policy guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, all travelers over 2 years old are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken “no more than one day before departure.” The policy applies to visitors, legal permanent residents, and U.S. citizens regardless of vaccination status and requires airlines to reject anyone who does not provide proof of a negative test or recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.


In comments at a conference after his meetings, Isom accused the U.S. of holding onto policies which are “nonsensical” and ultimately “depressing” international leisure travel. The new leader of American claims 75% of the countries American flies to do not require flyers to have a negative COVID-19 test before arriving, and that U.S. policies are mixed. For example: While flyers are required to get tested before boarding, those crossing at land borders do not need any evidence to enter the U.S.


Isom’s claims are backed further by data provided from Airlines for America. According to their latest data, international travel demand outbound from the U.S. in April 2022 is down by 26% compared to the same time in 2019.


Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian is echoing the calls to end testing, telling Reuters that he believes demand would increase if pre-arrival testing was dropped. The head of the Atlanta-based airline says 44 of the 50 nations Delta serves from the U.S. does not require pre-travel testing.


White House Says Testing Requirements is Set by “Health and Medical Experts”

Although the airlines want pre-arrival testing to end, it may not happen for some time to come. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told the media on Wednesday, June 1, that while they are regularly reviewing policies, “…any decision on pre-departure testing requirement would be made by our health and medical experts.


Feature image courtesy: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Source: frugal travel guy

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