an airplane wing in the sky

Reasons for not booking a trip right now are many, but many won’t last forever. Travel is the thing we all love and miss, and whenever it makes sense to do so, there will be nothing better to quell a year of challenging circumstances.

For UK travelers though, the governments circuitous route to a “solution” – that’s as polite as I can be at this point – has brought tremendous new hurdles to anyone who leaves the country.

While it’s expected that many current border measures will be dropped, a negative covid-19 test before arrival into the country is likely to remain for quite a while, and British Airways has a brilliant solution, which takes out all the guesswork, most of the cost and a lot of the hassle.

a close up of a seat
Picture by: Nick Morrish/British Airways

British Airways x Qured Testing

British Airways is taking customers travel happiness into its own hands, announcing a partnership with Qured that sorts out all the stresses of testing to return to the UK. For the super discounted price of £33, customers can buy a Qured testing kit before they depart the UK, and take the kit with them on their travels.

No need to find a testing center abroad, pay a wildly varied amount of money or worry if the test will be accepted by border authorities. That’s serious peace of mind.

Here’s how it works. You buy the test before you travel, and it turns up to your door. You pack it, take it with you, and keep it closed until you’re getting ready to return.

As the days approach before your return to the UK, you book your online e-consult to supervise your rapid test within the UK government’ allowed testing window, complete the kit on your own and receive a result within 20 minutes – all done at home, hotel, or wherever.

Nope, no need to ship the kit off for additional testing or anything. And yes – the test is 100% ok’d by the UK Government for this purpose. It will allow you to board a flight to the UK, assuming a negative test result is rendered.

a person holding a phone

Easy Testing To Unlock Travel

Vaccinations are the goal, but rapid testing and easy access is the key to travel in the shorter term, until access is more widespread. Live studies of pre-departure testing programs have found that with a negative covid-19 test taken within 3 days of travel, there’s a 1:1,000 to 1:1,500 chance a passenger could still be of worry.

With rapid testing on arrival, that figure can shoot as high as 1 in 1 million, according to the Mayo Clinic, after trials with Delta Airlines, Atlanta and Rome Airport.

In some destinations, testing is relatively easy and free, such as the United States where I currently write this, while in other locales it’s absolutely not. Not needing to worry about whats offered at a destination, or how reliable it is, is a huge step up for reasonably reopening travel.

an airplane wing with clouds in the background

British Airways Making Things Simple

GSTP understands British Airways invested significant time and resources in getting costs for this testing partnership down, so that customers would benefit.

Paying £33 for an easy covid-19 test may still be less of a win than the ideal of “free”, but it’s a reasonable add on cost to travel right now. Really, if it means summer trips to Europe and beyond can go ahead, it’s a small price to pay. A family of four would pay just over £120 for a trip, whereas now it’s £120 per person for most testing in the UK.

Some destinations may still require a negative test before you’re allowed to leave the UK, and Qured has other services covering these sort of tests, and there are a myriad of other testing providers as well. GSTP was incredibly impressed with Halo Verify, an at home solution for pre-departure testing for departure from the UK.

Still, this solves at least half the equation, and maybe more. Well done, British Airways.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation


  1. Fantastic news. As you said it certainly makes things easier, I will certainly be taking advantage of this – instead of wasting already precious time on holiday trying to find a suitable test. It’s things like this we need (at reasonable prices) to help encourage people to travel once again.

  2. This is god sent, not that I’m religious in any sense. Does this mean you have to travel on BA to be able to purchase this? Or costs more if you’re travelling on other airlines?

    1. Hey Bing, I believe it’s publicly available for slightly more, maybe £40 or so? I know in the past promo codes have worked without any validation of which airlines, etc.

  3. If similar offers were standard worldwide it would be a huge boost to travel. I’d love to see airlines here in the USA ask the government to subsidize testing rather than them continually asking for public money for themselves.

  4. Yup this gets added to the “things to review” file when travel returns hopefully this Autumn for me.

  5. Outstanding news! Let’s hope vaccinated travelers will be able to forgo all testing in the near future.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *