LAX adds rapid antigen tests to on-site COVID-19 lab offerings

A COVID-19 rapid test lab opened on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 at Los Angeles International Airport. | Courtesy photo

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) now offers COVID-19 test results in as little as 30 minutes with the addition of rapid antigen tests at the airport’s innovative on-site laboratory.

Antigen tests are the latest addition to the laboratory, which opened in late December by offering rapid Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) nasal swab tests with results available in 3-5 hours for tests collected at the lab across from Terminal 6, and results in less than 24 hours for samples collected at the Terminal 2 and Tom Bradley International Terminal locations.

The new nasal-swab antigen tests, which are available only at the Terminal 6 lab location, cost $80 and have results available in just 30-60 minutes. PCR tests remain $125 each.

“With more than 22,000 tests administered since we opened our initial solution in November, it is clear there is a strong demand for fast and accurate COVID-19 testing at LAX,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). “Los Angeles World Airports is excited to announce our newest testing option, a rapid antigen test, which, along with our rapid and 24-hour turnaround PCR tests, will provide travelers and airport employees quality, fast and affordable testing options to help facilitate essential work and travel.”

While PCR tests are required to enter certain destinations or skip quarantine periods upon arrival, antigen tests provide the fastest results, cost less and may be accepted by certain airlines and destinations that allow an antigen test in place of a PCR test. Customers are responsible for knowing the type of test results that are acceptable for their destination or purpose for testing.

The lab initially will have the capacity to process up to 200 antigen tests per day, in addition to 1,000 PCR tests per day, so appointments are highly recommended for all test options and can be booked online.

The on-site testing program at LAX has constantly evolved during its first two months of operation, with test results moving from 24-48 hours during the interim testing solution in November, to as little as 30 minutes today.

Customers will continue to be tested at one of four open-air collection windows and receive test results electronically. The airport does not receive test results or personal information from customers.

Locations:
• The primary lab and collection site is located across from Terminal 6 on the Lower/Arrivals level. Guests can access the facility by vehicle drop-off along the outer arrivals curb at Terminal 6, or by walking from any of the parking structures.  For pedestrians coming from Terminals 1, 2 and 3 a shorter path to the testing site is possible along East Way, Theme Way and West Way. This is the only location that offers rapid PCR results in 3-5 hours, and the only location that offers rapid antigen tests with results in 30-60 minutes.

• LAX guests also may purchase and conduct the PCR nasal swabs at two other locations: the Tom Bradley International Terminal on the Upper/Departures level at the check-in counters located in Aisle C, along the north side of the terminal; and at the Terminal 2 Lower/Arrivals Level baggage claim area. Tests collected at these sites will be brought to the lab for processing, with results in under 24 hours.

Hours of operation:
• The test sites will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the lab location across from Terminal 6, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Terminal 2 and Tom Bradley locations.

Appointments:
• Appointments are strongly recommended and can be booked online here. Tests may be available on a walk-up basis, depending on demand.

Costs:
• Rapid PCR test: $125
• Rapid antigen test: $80
• Guests will receive an itemized receipt to submit to their insurance providers for reimbursement, if the tests are covered by their healthcare provider.

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