British Airways is easing Covid-related travel anxieties with the launch of discounted portable antigen tests, for use at home or abroad. Olivia Palamountain reports

British Airways customers in the UK are now able to order antigen tests from Government-approved Covid-19 testing provider, Qured, at a discounted price of £33.

With travel restrictions still in full force, it will be a while yet before most of us are booking flights and planning trips abroad. However, one thing is certain – Covid tests and the ensuing admin will be here to stay – in the short term, at least. (To read more about the “Traveller Testing” trend, download our 2021 Travel Trend Forecast.)

The good news is that airlines are acting to make life easier for travellers, with British Airways now joining the likes of Delta with the release of at-home Covid-19 antigen tests.

Covid self-test kits BA The rapid test kits can be used both prior to departure and when abroad, for use before return journeys home. This will negate the need to find a test centre on your travels.

Qured’s CEO Alex Templeton, says: “Our accessible rapid testing service takes the hassle out of finding a test abroad. As a trusted healthcare provider we look forward to delivering an exceptional patient experience to British Airways’ customers and to working with them on a safe return to travel.”

The rapid test kits are remotely administered by a professional health advisor over a scheduled video call, who will guide the customer through taking a nose and throat swab and processing the sample.

Verified results are available after just 20 minutes, generating a “fit to fly” certificate to download if the test is negative.Covid self-test kits BAOn selected routes, this can be done via the VeriFLY app – a mobile travel health passport – which will then enable customers to enjoy a “fast track experience” at the airport.

“As we look forward and prepare for a safe return to travel, we remain focused on finding and offering the most convenient and affordable testing options for our customers,” says British Airways’ CEO Sean Doyle.

“Our teams were pleased to discover Qured, a unique new option which removes uncertainty and unnecessary expense for customers who may be concerned about sourcing a pre-departure test while away from home.”Covid self-test kits BA

What is the Qured rapid testing process?

  • Once a test is purchased, the customer will receive the test kit via next day delivery.
  • Customers will be sent a unique link to sign up and book their virtual clinic slot.
  • Prior to the virtual appointment the patient will receive a link to access Qured’s secure video consultation platform. They will then be asked to enter their name.
  • The customer will enter the virtual waiting room and an expert health advisor will start the call at their chosen time.
  • The customer is then guided through the test procedure and the whole process takes around ten minutes.
  • Result is available 20 minutes after the customer has completed the test. They will then email a photo of their ID and the LFD to Qured for verification.
  • The customer is notified via text and email that their test result is available, and if negative, they can download a “fit to fly” certificate to be presented at the airport or uploaded to the VeriFly app.

Other testing options and discounts

For travellers in need of a pre-departure Covid-19 PCR test in the UK, providers Qured, CityDoc, Medicspot, Halo and Nomad also offer “fit to fly” options at a discounted price for British Airways customers.

For returning travellers eligible to join the UK Government’s “Test to Release” scheme and pay for a Covid-19 test to reduce their time in self-isolation, providers Qured, CityDoc, Medicspot, Chronomics and Collinson all offer Government-approved Covid-19 PCR testing options in the UK, also at a discounted price for British Airways customers.

There are also a variety of airport testing options available. Collinson, in partnership with Heathrow Airport and London City Airport, offers discounted airport tests to customers arriving and departing from the UK within British Airways terminals.

ExpressTest also has convenient testing centres at Heathrow and Gatwick, while Sofitel London Heathrow (connected directly to Terminal 5, British Airways’ home hub) offers a “Test and Rest” package (you can read Globetrender’s review here).

This includes an overnight stay and a PCR test with results delivered overnight. Customers should email restandtest@sofitel.com to book and receive a free room upgrade, subject to availability.

What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE