United bans Hawaiian couple that flew despite positive COVID-19 test

United Airlines has banned a couple from Hawaii after they flew on the airline despite testing positive for COVID-19, with the company saying it is investigating the incident.

The couple currently faces second-degree endangerment charges after they boarded a flight from San Francisco to Kauai over the weekend. They had tested positive for the virus during pre-travel screenings.

“We have banned these customers while we investigate this matter,” United Airlines said in a statement to The Hill.


“The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority,” the company said. “Which is why we have various policies and procedures in place as part of a multi-layered approach to create a safer travel environment, including mandating that everyone onboard wears a mask.”

The couple was ordered to isolate after testing positive for the virus at the airport, according to a police report obtained by USA TODAY. However, they defied the order and boarded the flight.

They were accompanied by a 4-year-old child, according to a news outlet.

After landing in Kauai, officers identified the couple and “escorted them to a designated isolation room for further processing and investigation,” a Kauai Police Department spokesperson told the outlet.

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami confirmed the individuals were arrested and are facing charges, according to a local ABC affiliate.

NBC News reported that the couple posted bail, which was set at $1,000. The couple could face a $2,000 fine and up to a year in jail if convicted.

Under United Airlines’s guidelines, customers who test positive for COVID-19 cannot fly for at least 10 days after receiving their diagnosis. And even then, the company states that customers must have “two successive negative COVID-19 results that were administered at least 24 hours apart.”

There have been 18,186 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaii since the pandemic began, according to the state’s Department of Health. The state has reported 246 deaths.