It’s becoming increasingly apparent that for US travelers to feel comfortable traveling again, airports will need to provide COVID-19 tests on site. That means travelers can easily get the COVID-19 tests required to enter their destinations (if they’re traveling internationally) and have peace of mind that their fellow passengers have been similarly screened before boarding the plane. Several airports around the country have already set up testing centers for the convenience of passengers. Some testing centers are operated by the airport itself while others have been set up by specific airlines, and are designated for passengers to certain destinations — but there’s no doubt that airport testing is the future of travel for the next few months, both domestic and international. These are the airports around the US where COVID-19 testing is already available.
1. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Starting October 15, rapid testing services will be made available to all United Airlines passengers going to Hawaii from SFO. To enter Hawaii without a mandatory 14-day quarantine, a negative COVID-19 test result is required. United has partnered with Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care to offer testing on site. At the airport, the COVID-19 testing area is located at the international terminal, and operates every day from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM PT, with results available in just 15 minutes. Tests need to be scheduled in advance and cost $250 a pop. Also beginning October 15, Hawaiian Airlines is partnering with Worksite Lab to offer drive-through PCR tests at SFO for passengers flying to Hawaii. This drive-through test will cost $90 and results will be available within 36 hours or you can pay $150 for day-of-travel results. Tests need to be booked in advance.
2. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Starting October 15, Hawaiian Airlines will be offering drive-through PCR tests at LAX for passengers flying to Hawaii. Prices are the same as those for the same testing program at SFO — $90 for results within 36 hours, and $150 for same-day results. Appointments are necessary. A modular testing facility at LAX that could produce results in two hours is in the works and is scheduled to be functional by November 1, the L.A. Times reported.
To further expedite testing, an on-site lab located near Terminal 6 has just opened at the airport with the ability to perform rapid tests with results available in three to five hours and PCR tests with results in just 24 hours (down from 48 hours previously). The PCR test cost $125. Book an appointment online.
3. Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Partnering with BayCare Health System, Tampa International Airport recently announced the launch of one of the country’s most sophisticated airport testing programs for all departing and arriving passengers, regardless of their destination or airlines. Inside the Main Terminal near the Airside F shuttle, the pilot program will offer both PCR tests and rapid antigen tests. Services will be offered on a walk-in basis from October 1 to October 31, every day from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Testing is available to ticketed passengers who are flying or who have flown within three days (proof of travel will be requested). The PCR test costs $125 and the rapid test costs $57.
4. Miami International Airport (MIA)
American Airlines launched a pilot testing program at Miami International Airport this month for passengers traveling to Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Costa Rica. All three destinations require travelers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. American Airlines is currently working with CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) to expand the testing program across the Caribbean.
5. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
American Airlines is offering pre-travel testing to passengers going to Hawaii and Costa Rica from DFW. Travelers to Honolulu, Maui, and Costa Rica can take an on-site rapid test administered by CareNow at DFW (results available within 15 minutes); get an at-home test kit (with results within 48 hours); or get tested in person at a CareNow location in the Dallas area. For all options, advance booking is recommended.
6-9. All major Alaskan airports (ANC, FAI, JNU, KTN)
To avoid a 14-day quarantine, Alaska requires incoming passengers to show the results of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Those who arrive without a test have the option of taking one at one of Alaska’s airports, including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Ketchikan with no appointment necessary. Testing is free for Alaska residents, but non-residents must pay $250 for the airport tests. Travelers who take a test upon arrival must quarantine until they get the results.
10-12. John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, and Newark airports (JFK, LGA, EWR)
Though a specific opening date for the JFK facility hasn’t been announced, LaGuardia just opened its testing site in Terminal B, on the first floor of the parking garage. It’s open seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM with no appointment necessary, and is open to all arriving and departing passengers. Standard nose swab tests will be given for free (no insurance required) by NYC Health & Hospitals clinicians, and results will be shared with you by phone within 48 hours. Right now, approximately 100 people are getting tested per day at the facility, though capacity limits are likely to increase in the future.
Newark and JFK have partnered with XpresCheck to offer PCR testing, rapid nasal swab tests, and blood antibody tests on site. The rapid tests will produce results in under 15 minutes. To take advantage of any of these three tests, you must make an appointment through XpresCheck’s website. At Newark, the clinic will be testing up to 350 people a day, while the JFK clinic will test 500 people per day. It costs $75 for one test or $90 for both the antibody and PCR tests without insurance. Rapid molecular tests are not covered by insurance, and will cost $200. XpresCheck plans to open clinics at LaGuardia and Boston’s Logan International Airport soon.
13. Burlington International Airport (BTV)
Garnet Health, a healthcare delivery company, just opened a new testing facility at Vermont’s Burlington International Airport, offering COVID-19 tests, DD-PCR tests, and rapid flu diagnostic tests. The testing center is now open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, but will expand to seven days a week, from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM later this month. Rapid antigen tests will cost $125, while PCR tests will cost $175. PCR test results will be available within 36 to 48 hours while the other two tests have same-day results. The Garnet Health Testing Center is located just north of the terminal building at 481 White Street in South Burlington, near the Cell Phone Lot. To receive a test you must make an appointment online in advance.
14. Chicago O’Hare and Midway airports (ORD, MDW)
Starting the week of December 14, the Chicago Department of Aviation is partnering with Doctors Test Centers and Simple Laboratories to implement comprehensive testing programs at Chicago O’Hare and Midway airports. Travelers will be able to take either a PCR test or rapid antigen test, with PCR test results available within 72 hours and rapid test results available in 20 minutes. At O’Hare, the testing center is a walk-up site before security located next to the terminal core. There will also be a drive-through testing site in a remote parking lot. At Midway, the testing site will be located inside the terminal. You will only be able to access the testing sites at either airport if you’re a passenger with proof of flying (within 72 hours before your flight or five days after), or an airline employee. Tests will cost no more than $150, and insurance will be accepted.
A version of this article was previously published on October 16, 2020, and was updated on January 4, 2021, with more information.
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