I was just reading the travel headlines as I do every day and read a post from Travel Weekly entitled Alaska Airlines offering Covid preclearance on Hawaii flights. According to the article, “Alaska said its program is the first to enable travelers to get their exemption from Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine period before departure and avoid potentially long wait times at the airport. The airline piloted the program this past week with flights from the West Coast to Maui. Starting next week, it will roll out on all flights to Oahu and Kona, as well (Alaska has suspended flights to Kauai because of the island’s pause in the state’s pretravel testing program).”
Well, as luck would have it, as soon as I finished reading the article, a reader emailed me about this very same thing and it looks like he and his wife were on the very first flight! Here’s Richard A’s experience:
“My wife and I traveled to Maui on Dec 8 direct from San Diego. Alaska has a working relationship with the state of Hawaii that allows Alaska Air to pre-approve their passengers’ entry to the state, when arriving by air.
Hawaii has a procedure in place requiring a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure. Test results must be uploaded to their website along with information about the traveler. They in turn send you a QR code to be scanned at the arriving airport.
Long lines have been an issue for inbound passengers. Alaska Air now works with the government of Hawaii to check the QR code and look at your COVID-19 test results to verify them. They then issue a wristband indicating you have been checked and pre-approved for entry into the state of Hawaii. Upon arrival in Maui, we were met by an Alaska Air employee, who escorted us through the airport, past the other travelers waiting in line to process their info and straight to baggage claim. Very quick and easy.
Our flight (#829) was apparently the first flight testing the new system. They are only doing this procedure for Maui arrivals at the moment. Hopefully other islands in the near future. This might be an interesting item to let others know about.”
Thanks for the information, Richard!