Some travelers frustrated with having to show negative COVID-19 test prior to departure

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Starting Tuesday, Nov. 24, travelers will need to show a negative COVID-19 test before they board the plane to Hawaii or else, they will need to quarantine for two weeks. However, some travelers are finding the new process frustrating.

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Michelle Carpenter plans to fly to Maui with her service dog on Thanksgiving, but she’s worried that her test won’t make it before her departure, especially since her flight time changed.

“I’m a little bit panicked about (my test) not going to be back in time and his is, and then trying to find out if, you know, just if something happens and we don’t get them back,” said Carpenter. “We have to) find out if we can get another rapid test somewhere in Oakland at the airport. That’s been challenging to navigate.”

Carpenter said it has been difficult just finding a trusted partner in her area. She said some labs can’t even guarantee that the test results will come in on time.

“Like in our city there is no rapid testing that’s even on,” said Carpenter. “It’s hard to tell what is even an accepted lab. I think that has been the very frustrating part of it.”

Some airlines are allowing passengers to change their flight to a later time and are waiving change fees. Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Air are both offering this. Hawaiian Airlines is also offering the option of credit for future travel.

Alaska Air tells KHON2 they had to rebook a few people at the airport before their departure Tuesday, but for the most part, people who boarded did have their negative COVID-19 test in-hand.

The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association (HLTA) said some hotels are also offering something similar, allowing people to change their reservations without a penalty.

However, Mufi Hannemann, HLTA president, said there needs to be more considerations made for travelers.

“They try to take the test with the recommended tested partners to do the test and through no part of their own, they’re showing up in Hawaii not knowing what the results are,” said Hannemann. “That’s where we feel we need to show a little more Aloha.”

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