Now you can get to the beach faster with the latest option from three of Hawaii’s airlines. Participating passengers will receive a Pre-Clear wristband after verification of documents before boarding their flight to Hawaii. This should help everyone, given that there will be less work to be done and far less uncertainty on arrival at Hawaii’s airports.
United Airlines Pre-Clear Starts February 1.
UAL Hawaii passengers with a valid and negative COVID-19 test can show results before boarding. This saves time and skips document screening upon arrival. It will be available for passengers on United’s 110 weekly flights to Hawaii.
UAL said, “We’re making it easier for customers traveling to Hawaii to spend more time enjoying their trip and less time waiting in lines.”
To use the program, passengers enroll in the Hawaii Safe Travels program, complete a health questionnaire within 24 hours of departure, and upload their negative test results, from an approved agency, within 72 hours of the transpacific flight. At the airport, passengers will see a United Airlines’ team member at the departure gate, where they will receive a wristband if they qualify to bypass airport screening in Hawaii.
Hawaiian Airlines’ Pre-Clear.
Last week, Hawaiian Airlines announced that it had just joined Alaska Airlines in pre-clearing Hawaii visitors at select mainland locations. This allows those participating who have a negative test to bypass all COVID screening protocols on arrival in Hawaii.
The Hawaiian Airlines Pre-Clear Program last week at SFO and, starting January 29, will expand to Boston, JFK, Long Beach, and Phoenix. Hawaiian’s other US gateways will join the program in February.
Hawaiian’s VP Jeff Helfrick said, “With the Pre-Clear Program, our guests will spend less time in line at the airport and more time safely enjoying Hawaii.” Participating passengers need to do the following.
1. Create a Safe Travels account for each adult and add all flight and lodging information.
2. Complete the mandatory Safe Travels health questionnaire.
3. Upload a negative test result in PDF format from an approved testing partner to Safe Travels.
4. The airline is recommending guests also carry a printed copy of the negative results.
Hawaiian said that “Travelers whose negative COVID-19 test results are not uploaded to the Safe Travels app before departure or not made available during screening would be required to sign the state of Hawai‘i’s 10-day self-quarantine agreement.”
Alaska Airlines Pre-Clear.
Launched last month in partnership with the State of Hawaii, Alaska Airlines also has a Pre-Clear program that makes traveling to Hawaii easier. Daniel Chun, Hawaii Sales Director, told Beat of Hawaii that Alaska is “The first airline to receive approval to pre-clear our guests before departure so that they can avoid lines and bypass the airport screening process after they arrive in Hawaii with an approved negative COVID-19 test.”
Alaska said, “To be eligible for the Hawaii Pre-Clear program, Alaska guests will receive an Alaska Airlines email before departure asking them to complete the following steps. First, create a Safe Travels profile online for every adult traveler. Then, Add all flight details and lodging information. Upload your negative test results from a trusted testing partner as a PDF. Complete the mandatory travel health questionnaire.”
Once the above requirements are met, the guest will be pre-cleared and will receive a pre-clear wristband at check-in or at the departure gate. For more details on the Hawaii Pre-Clear program and pre-travel testing options arranged exclusively for Alaska guests, go to Hawaii Bound.
Pre-Clear is still coming to other airlines.
It was interesting to us that this was announced for only one Hawaii airline to start, Alaska. Then last week, Hawaiian joined, and today United. We believe it should and will be expanded and be available no matter which airline you are flying. Next up should be American, Delta, and Southwest.
We were expecting today’s announcement when last week, commenter Jean said, “On our flight to Hawaii on United Airlines, we were precleared in Denver and given a wrist band on December 29, 2020. Worked great.”
Two more things to keep in mind.
First, on the Big Island, visitors can be subject to a free on-site rapid COVID test on arrival. This Pre-Clear process does not obviate that. Also, Kauai is not participating in this program.