Creating a Safe Runway to Relaunch Air Travel to Hawaii

THE SITUATION

In March 2020, all but essential air travel to Hawaii shuttered abruptly as the coronavirus pandemic escalated. For Hawaiian Airlines, founded in 1929 and the largest domestic and international carrier based in the island state, about 90% of its routes were immediately grounded except for shuttling essential workers and supplies.

Tourism, the state’s largest industry worth $17.75 billion in 2019, remained frozen in that moment, prompting the airline – one of Hawaii’s largest private employers – to collaborate with state and health officials on protocols for a safe reopening. That led to the creation of the Safe Travels program, which required passengers to present a negative COVID-19 test before flying to greatly reduce the risk of virus spread in the isolated state. After surging cases delayed the initial reopening date, Hawaiian Airlines needed to be ready to safely return passengers who tested negative to the islands starting Oct. 15.

Relying on large pharmacy-based mainland labs would not guarantee timely results – the average delay in COVID-19 testing results at that time was up to 10 days – and complicated a successful reopening. Recognizing a critical need to offer its own dedicated testing program, Hawaiian Airlines sought a partner to develop a tailored solution that aligned with its bespoke customer experience – where passengers are welcomed warmly as guests.

THE CHALLENGE

Create an accurate, reliable and convenient experience that enables Hawaiian Airlines guests to take and present negative COVID-19 tests within 72 hours of boarding a Hawaii-bound flight.

MEANINGFUL RESULTS

Launched customer-first testing program that is safely resurrecting Hawaii travel, which is essential for the state’s short- and long-term economic recovery

Enabled Hawaiian Airlines to control the testing process with a seamless process that eliminates stress for guests with dedicated venues and guaranteed results when needed

Unveiled a premium experience to expedite results in as fast as 90 minutes

Ramped up to 55,000 monthly tests with 98-99% accuracy

Contributed to the safe return of travelers – particularly tourists – to forego quarantine requirements and make the most of their visit to the islands

OUR APPROACH

Worksite Labs offered its mobile testing environment, which can be delivered and set up exactly where needed. Creating a one-stop, drive-through experience, Worksite Labs would complete all sample collection and laboratory processing onsite, eliminating the risk of sending samples to remote processing venues, which could lose samples or delay results. Guests would receive their digital results overnight, in full compliance with Hawaii’s Safe Travels protocols as a Trusted Testing Partner.

Setting up or near ultimately 18 major U.S. airports served by Hawaiian Airlines, Worksite Labs equally achieved the carrier’s unwavering requirements of speed, convenience and accuracy. That included providing polymerase-chain reaction (PCR) tests with 98-99% accuracy, which was critical for identifying infected individuals before they boarded planes and maintaining safe travel.

Meeting Hawaiian Airlines’ mission to beat the market average of $150 per test, Worksite Labs built an experience that initially delivered results in 72 hours for $90; that basic service has now been expedited to a 24-hour guaranteed. Rapid results can be received in as fast as 90 minutes for additional fees.

Because these testing venues are dedicated to serving air travelers and don’t have to prioritize medically necessary testing, Worksite Labs gives Hawaiian Airlines guests the confidence that they can smoothly fulfill travel requirements, allaying flyers’ fears around pandemic travel.

Testing was the essential component for how we were going to reopen. We wanted to control our destiny with testing, and that led us to Worksite Labs. Its flexibility and entrepreneurial spirit allowed us to collaborate on a decentralized model that put travel testing first. The Worksite Labs team applied enormous creativity and ingenuity to solve problems quickly, with a degree of hospitality and care.

Avi Mannis, Senior Vice President of Marketing,

Hawaiian Airlines