I guess this is one way to alleviate peoples’ concerns…
In this post:
Risks of testing positive for coronavirus when traveling
In late January the US added a new testing requirement for international travel. Specifically, in order to enter the US by air you need proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of travel to the US (a rapid antigen test qualifies).
This has caused concern among some who would have otherwise considered international travel, given how regulations vary based on where you’re traveling:
- What happens if you test positive for coronavirus while abroad? Will you be able to stay in your hotel room, or will you have to go to some sort of a government facility?
- If you can stay in a hotel, will you have to pay the standard daily rate?
- What happens if you take a rapid antigen test but get a false positive? Can you take a second rapid antigen test, do you need to take a PCR test, or do you need to quarantine no matter what?
- How long do you have to quarantine for — a full two weeks, or until you test negative?
The answers to these questions vary significantly by country, but it’s something you should definitely think about before planning international travel.
Baha Mar’s “Travel With Confidence” program
Baha Mar is a mega-resort complex in the Bahamas, consisting of a Grand Hyatt, Rosewood, and SLS. The hotel complex has made a promise that is sure to generate some buzz. Let me quote the hotel’s press release directly, because I tend to think there’s a catch here. First of all, the press release’s headline reads as follows:
“Baha Mar Launches Travel With Confidence Program Offering Complimentary Return Private Jet Travel Or Free Extended Stay For COVID-19 Positive Guests”
Then here’s the part of the press release describing the free accommodation or private jet service:
“Baha Mar’s Travel with Confidence Program pledges that should a resort guest test positive during their stay, Baha Mar will facilitate their quarantine with courtesy suite accommodations and a daily resort dining credit of $150 per person per day, for up to 14 days or until the guest receives a negative COVID-19 result.
Should the guest choose to leave The Bahamas earlier, Baha Mar will provide private air travel to the US mainland for the guest and their immediate family, free of charge.”
In case you’re wondering about the details of the private jet service, here’s how that’s described:
“Baha Mar will facilitate private air travel to South Florida for all guests wishing the return home after testing positive for COVID-19 and their immediate family (up to 4 people occupying the same room) during their stay at the resort.”
Is this a huge gimmick, or what am I missing?
The way Baha Mar advertises this, some people may almost be hoping to test positive for coronavirus to get a free private jet flight out of this.
The press release’s headline suggests the hotel is offering a free private jet flight to the US or a free stay with a daily hotel credit. It almost sounds like if you test positive you’ll be asked which of the two options you prefer, and next thing you know you’ll be whisked onto a private jet.
The hotel also says that this private jet will be provided “should the guest choose to leave the Bahamas earlier,” and also says that this is for guests “wishing” to “return home after testing positive for COVID-19.” Then looking at the FAQs, the language changes, saying that this will be provided “should the guest need to return earlier.”
And this is where I must be missing something — you’re not allowed to board a US-bound aircraft (even private) if you’ve tested positive for coronavirus, so how exactly is this supposed to work? This isn’t being advertised as a “quarantine for 14 days and then fly home in a private jet” feature, but rather as a one-or-the-other option.
I imagine there are certain circumstances under which you could return to the US for medical treatment if you have a severe case of coronavirus that requires hospitalization, but that’s about it, as far as I know.
Don’t get me wrong, Baha Mar’s offer to put someone up in a suite for free and even give them a dining credit is incredibly generous. But unless I’m missing something, the mention of any sort of private jet service seems purely intended to generate buzz without any substance (and it seems to be working, because I see all kinds of mainstream publications publishing stories about this without pointing that out).
Baha Mar is trying to put travelers at ease by offering a free suite for up to 14 days with a $150 per person daily dining credit, or a private jet flight to the US. The former option is incredibly generous, while the latter option seems like a gimmick and almost to be in bad taste, unless I’m missing something obvious.
Is the offer of a private jet flight a total gimmick, or what am I missing?