Airlines Balk at Expanding COVID Tests for Domestic Flights


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has doubled down on its idea for mandatory COVID testing on flights within the U.S., but airlines question if it's even possible.

The same rules for international travelers just went into effect last week. Retired airline captain Denny Kelly believes expanding that to domestic flights all depends on the COVID numbers.

“If the numbers all of sudden way up, this is one of things they're going to do. Otherwise, they're not going to do it.”

But he says requiring a COVID test to board even domestic flights, would restore consumer confidence and fill more seats.

“If you went out to the airport and you knew the flight you were on everybody had been tested or at least they had their temperature taken and everybody seemed to be okay, yes that would be a big plus,” says Kelly.

The CEO of Southwest recently argued mandatory testing "would be a mistake" because of testing access and the cost of administering the tests.

“I think the only thing that's going to get people back on airplanes is when 80 or 90 percent of the populations has had the vaccine and the numbers are going down,” Kelly added. “Then I think people will say okay, it's safe now and we'll go fly.”


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