Summary List Placement
Two women flew from North Carolina to Hawaii for a summer trip but were forced to fly back to California when they didn’t have the correct COVID-19 tests.
The two told Insider that they decided to take the trip after graduating from East Carolina University earlier this month. Both women told Insider that they’re vaccinated and had negative COVID-19 tests prior to the trip.
In the video, which has garnered more than 1.2 million views, Blackwood explained how the saga began while sitting in a local Honolulu airport. She and Campbell had an early start at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina on Tuesday before flying to Georgia and landing in Honolulu after a nine-hour flight.
“We get here. We’re getting through like, ‘Oh my God, we’re so excited. It’s beautiful,'” Blackwood said in the video. “[But] our COVID tests are not from the right place. They didn’t accept our COVID tests.”
Campbell then chimed in, saying: “So basically, you have to have it from certain companies. We didn’t know that. We just had our negative COVID tests.”
According to the state’s website, Hawaii will only accept “certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from trusted testing and travel partners.”
The CLIA regulates laboratory testing and requires clinical laboratories to be certified by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the FDA said. Hawaii’s website shared a list of approved travel partners, including Walgreens and American Family Care. To visit Hawaii, travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test before landing in the state.
Blackwood told Insider that they were shocked when they learned their COVID-19 tests weren’t correct, and even more so when an airport employee said they’d have to fly back to Los Angeles, California, to complete the tests.
“When they told us he had to go back to LA, I looked at Sarah and was like, ‘You’re joking,'” Campbell said. “They said our other option was to quarantine.”
But quarantining for ten days meant reworking their entire schedule, including Airbnb reservations, rental car services, and their plan to visit Maui later this month. Blackwood and Campbell paid $950 in total to get last-minute tickets back to Los Angeles International Airport, and once there, they discovered many people were in the same situation.
“I think we met a total of like six couples that were there for the same reason,” Blackwood said, adding that a newlywed couple and a family from North Carolina were among them.
Blackwood and Campbell spent about six hours at the Los Angeles International Airport before they managed to get their results back and catch a standby flight back to Honolulu. The women said that other travelers and airport staff began recognizing them from their TikTok videos.
By the time Blackwood and Campbell settled into their Honolulu Airbnb, they’d been traveling for around 40 hours with just six hours of sleep.
Fortunately, Blackwood and Campbell officially began their vacation by Wednesday, but they had some advice for Hawaii-bound travelers.
“Go check the website. Get a test from one of the tests listed on there,” Blackwood said. “And if you’re going from different islands, get a COVID test before you do.”