Passengers furious after Las Vegas airport staff demand extra tests to travel to UK


“Home or online testing is NOT accepted for travel” – so be sure to read a large hand-drawn sign at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas on weekends.

The sign warned British Airways passengers that only a professionally conducted test would be acceptable for travel to the UK.

The sign is believed to have been posted by a groundhandling agent at Las Vegas Airport.

Some BA passengers who had self-conducted tests – some of which were sold by the airline – reported paying around $ 200 (£ 152) for a second at an airport test center.

The author and photographer Toula Mavridou-Messer tweeted: “Banned from flying home by @British_Airways from Vegas, although our tests bought on the BA site were negative.

“I have to pay $ 200 each to do the same test in a lab. BA cannot give us any official information stating this is necessary. “

Tests before departure from the UK for the US must meet strict rules for their implementation: either professionally carried out or under video surveillance by an authorized company. But tests for traveling from the US to the UK are much more relaxed as long as the traveler is not using an NHS test.

The government says, “You need to check with your test provider to see if the test meets standards.” Medical supervision is not required and photographic evidence of a lateral flow test performed by the traveler is acceptable.

Test card: a sign at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas

(Simon Calder)

Ms. Mavridou-Messer later added: “In the meantime, the 200 percent test that they accepted based on the laboratory logo was carried out unattended in our hotel – just like our original test – although it was stated that it was carried out by a doctor in an operation based on the results sent by email. “

A contributor on Facebook wrote: “People were rebooked for the next day flight, had to purchase and pay for an expensive PCR test, pay for an extra night in a hotel and food.”

A British Airways spokesman said: “Like all airlines, we ask customers to check for information on testing.”

The Independent notes that the shield has now been removed.

Passengers who feel financially damaged by a wrong decision by the airline’s ground staff can claim compensation.