Well, I had a little fun in the real world today, as I attempt to escape the office and head back into the yonder.
And of course, to land in a country, in most cases you need some sort of test to prove you’re not carrying COVID. In this case, I needed a Lateral Flow Test.
Sadly, I can’t use the Lateral Flow Tests I get from the National Health Service (for free) for travel – so one has to get a Lateral Flow Test from a private accredited provider.
I chose ExpressTest for my testing provider, as the results would be within 40 minutes or so. In addition, there is a walk-through office at Birmingham Airport to get tested.
For me, it was a case of booking the test online and going at the appointed hour to be tested.
Although bits of Birmingham Airport remains pretty much a ghost town thanks to the downturn in travel.
Following the signs, I found my way to the ExpressTest area.
This was a partitioned off area of the airport, at the back of the “EuroTerminal” (South Terminal Area) of Birmingham Airport. There seemed to be an active queue of people passing through, with a mixture of PCR and LFT tests being taken.
The process itself was pretty simple – be scanned in with the QR Code I got from ExpressTest.
Once that was done, I was directed to a waiting cubical, with a waiting attendant. Who swabbed me with a nasal swab for 15 rotations in each nose, and setting off the test.
It shouldn’t surprise you to note that the sneeze was impressive afterwards.
With that done, I found my way out of the tensabarrier maze and headed back to the train station.
And around 40 minutes later, there was a ping in my inbox, with the results. Along with the results was a fit-to-fly certificate too.
All that for £35…
Travel isn’t easy at the moment, with countries demanding extra paperwork to enter them (the UK is notoriously bad at this, with its requirement for an LFT and Day 2 PCR test).
Access to testing is important for those who need to travel, but pricing does need to fall dramatically. Whilst the Competition and Markets Authority is taking a look at this, there’s plenty of manipulation going on in the background of how to get to the top of the SEO or Government lists.
Ultimately, that’s confusing for consumers who are trying to get a good value test that meets clinical and country requirements.
Whilst I paid a premium for the “walk to a clinic and get tested option”, it got what I wanted for this trip. And considering the paperwork for a trip like this…
… anything that makes it easier will be welcome.
Wait. You can get packs of Lateral Flow tests for free?
It’s amazing, but Lateral Flow Tests are provided by the NHS in seven packs. I’ve got the older ones in five packs.
If you live in the UK – check https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.
There is something important about these tests, however:
Be careful how you use them!
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, featuring in-depth coverage, unique research, as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.
Also remember that we are part of the BoardingArea community, bringing you the latest frequent flyer news from around the world.