Albertsons, Walmart Team to Make Friendly Skies Safer

Partnership with United Airlines streamlines COVID testing, vaccination records
Gina Acosta
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Albertsons, Walmart Team to Make Friendly Skies Safer
United customers can now access more than 3,000 Walmart and Albertsons COVID-19 testing locations across the U.S. through the airline’s website and mobile app in the Travel Ready Center. 

The Albertsons Cos. and Walmart have partnered with United Airlines on an unprecedented effort to streamline COVID-19 related health information for travelers.

United customers can now access more than 3,000 Walmart and Albertsons COVID-19 testing locations across the United States through the airline’s website and mobile app in the Travel Ready Center. 

Through United’s Travel Ready Center, customers can view a list of localized, eligible COVID testing locations, including select Albertsons and Walmart locations, as well as additional popular drug store, pharmacy chains and local health care providers across the country. Customers can then select their preferred location and schedule an appointment directly through United’s website and mobile app.

Once the test is reviewed, customers will see a status indicator informing them that they are “travel-ready” and can receive their mobile boarding pass. The airline plans to continue to expand its offering, including adding international testing sites for customers flying to the United States. 

“At Albertsons Companies, we are always seeking convenient solutions for our customers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our partnership with United Airlines, to provide access to pre-travel COVID testing, is just another example of this intent,” said Omer Gajial, Albertsons Cos. SVP of Pharmacy and Health. “With our integrated testing solution, our customers can easily schedule their COVID-19 test at one of our convenient store locations, and results are seamlessly and confidentially delivered to United Airlines.”

Last month, Albertsons introduced several other offerings to help keep Americans healthy during the COVID resurgence.

One of the new offerings is over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 testing for purchase at the retailer's pharmacies. These self-administered tests are a product of Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test and can be used by individuals with or without symptoms who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Antigen tests can be used on children as young as 2 years old, when administered by an adult.

Each test kit includes two nasal swabs and easy-to-follow instructions. The swabs are intended to be administered within 48 to 72 hours of one other. Results for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals are available in as little as 15 minutes.

Albertsons Cos. is also offering a free digital vaccine record that can be downloaded and saved to a digital device. Customers who completed their COVID-19 vaccine at an Albertsons Cos.’ pharmacy will receive an email in the next few days with detailed instructions on how to access their digital vaccine record. This information will also be shared with anyone receiving the vaccine in the future at one of the company’s pharmacy locations.

To date, Albertsons Cos. has administered 6 million COVID-19 vaccinations through its 1,700 pharmacies nationwide.

Meanwhile in June, Walmart began providing a free, secure digital wallet that enables consumers to own and share their health information, starting with their COVID-19 vaccine record. The offering will give people the option to securely store their COVID-19 vaccine records in their online Walmart or Sam’s Club pharmacy accounts. The vaccine record can be printed out, saved on a device or shared.

The vaccine record is a free digital version of the vaccine cards distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), containing a person’s name, date of birth, date of vaccination, vaccine manufacturer, vaccine lot number and location where they received the immunization, eliminating any worry about losing the paper copy. Walmart’s digital vaccine record will be available to those age 18 and older who got their COVID-19 vaccine at a Walmart or Sam’s Club pharmacy, or at a Walmart-run vaccine event.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates 2,277 retail stores with 1,725 pharmacies, 400 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company’s stores predominantly operate under the Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Kings Food Markets and Haggen banners. Albertsons is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

Walmart operates about 11,500 stores under 56 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100.

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