American Airlines Trials Digital Health Passes On Chilean Route

American Airlines is teaming up with the Chilean Government to allow passengers on Santiago bound flights to store and manage their COVID-19 documentation on an app. The app, called VeriFLY, is designed to help travelers easily understand COVID-19 requirements for their destination. It should also streamline airport check-in through digital verification to ensure customers have completed mandatory travel requirements.

American Airlines will offer Santiago-bound travelers the option of uploading COVID-19 related documentation to an app. Photo: American Airlines

“As we continue to reopen travel throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, we have been looking for ways to simplify our customers’ travel experience,” says Juan Carlos Liscano, Vice President of Operations for Miami, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

American Airlines works to simplify travel to Chile

American Airlines styles itself as the leading United States carrier in South America. The airline started taking passengers back to Chile in early August. Since then, American has sent a daily Boeing 777-200ER to Santiago out of Miami.

While Chile remains under a state of emergency and Chileans are under a midnight to 05:00 curfew, United States citizens can enter the country. But, according to the United States Department of State, a few things need to be in order.

Firstly, travelers will need proof of health insurance that covers COVID-19 and related health issues. Secondly, travelers will need proof of a negative result from a PCR result. This test must be taken within 72 hours before departure. Finally, travelers will need a completed “Affidavit of Travelers” electronic form (also known as a Sanitary Passport)  prepared less than 48 hours before boarding.

In addition to regular entry requirements, that’s a lot of paperwork for travelers to juggle.

“Our preflight testing program and our recently launched mobile app trial are essential tools that will help our customers return to the skies,” says Juan Carlos Liscano.

American Airlines flies daily to Santiago from Miami. Photo: Miami Dade Aviation Department

VeriFLY is a secure app designed to do that. Travelers can upload COVID-19 test results and other travel documentation to help simplify and streamline the travel process. That online documentation can be digitally verified at check-in.

“It is incredibly valuable that airlines are innovating with new technology to adapt to the demands of a new way of doing tourism,” says Andrea Wolleter, National Director of Chile’s National Tourism Service.

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American Airlines will allow Chile bound travelers to test at-home

VeriFLY is only available on a handful of American Airlines routes. The app was initially available for customers traveling to Jamaica. But, from December 7, Santiago-bound American Airlines travelers can start using the app.

Digital apps like VeriFLY should simplify the travel process. Photo: Miami Dade Aviation Department

At the same time, American Airlines is also allowing travelers to Chile to begin accessing at-home PCR testing through its partnership with LetsGetChecked. The New York-based pathology business offers at-home COVID-19 testing and observation by a medical professional via virtual visit. The COVID-19 test incorporates a nasal swab and PCR lab analysis. Participants can expect a result within 48 hours. This can then upload to the VeriFLY app

American Airlines says passengers traveling to Chile will have access to preflight COVID-19 testing for flights from December 7. The airline notes testing must be complete within 72 hours of departure.

In addition to Chile flights, travelers on selected American Airlines flights to the US Virgin Islands, St Lucia, and Grenada will have access to the testing program.

American Airlines says when you’ve completed all your travel requirements for a destination – in this case, Chile, the VeriFLY app will give you a green tick of approval. You can then use this green tick to breeze through airport formalities. At least, that’s the idea. There’s bound to be some initial hiccups. But this kind of digital health app is shaping up as the way of the future. American Airlines is merely getting ahead of the wave.