American Is The First US Carrier To Use Digital Health Passport

American Airlines announced this week that it is introducing a health passport for inbound travel to the United States from all international destinations. Passengers flying to the US can use the VeriFLY app to confirm testing and other travel requirements from January 23rd.

Taking it to the next level

The Dallas/Fort Worth-based carrier previously launched VeriFLY to streamline the check-in and document verification process at the airport before departure. The system has also been providing travelers with critical reminders in regards to travel windows and credentials.

Now, according to a press release seen by Simple Flying, the airline is expanding access to the app. This is in support of the US government’s requirement that all passengers that are aged two and older traveling to the country from any international destination test negative for COVID-19 within three calendar days of departure.

Currently, passengers can already use VeriFLY on flights from the US to the likes of Jamaica, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. With the app, fliers can enter their destination and upload required documentation such as proof of a negative PCR test.

American Airlines VP of customer experience Julie Rath shares that her company is expanding its work the usage of the app to make international travel easier for its customers. The airline has received positive feedback about the app. So, the firm looks forward to having more passengers use it to help create a smoother travel experience.

A step-by-step guide on how to use the VeriFLY app. Photo: American Airlines

Keeping on the ball

Clarissa Sebastian, managing director of premium guest experiences and onboard products at American Airlines, spoke with Simple Flying this week about how the carrier has had to adapt amid the pandemic. Notably, the company has had strong support from reputable groups as it continues to evolve with the ever-changing conditions.

“We’ve had the guidance of medical experts as we worked through our procedures. We work very closely with Vanderbilt University Medical Center. This is definitely not the time to ask Dr. Google what to do. So, we felt very fortunate to have their guidance as we worked through these procedures. And we also worked with other organizations, such as the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, to make sure that everything that we’re doing is the gold standard of clean and safe,” Sebastian told Simple Flying.

“I think we’ve had to get a lot more targeted and a lot more focused on what is it that our customers value. We’ve always felt very good about asking them and working towards those things, but I think that we’ve never been in an environment where what our customers want and need changes so fast. So, we’ve had to learn how to do that – and it’s a financially constrained environment as well – so we are being a lot more focused, listening a lot more closely and pivoting faster to make sure we meet those needs.”

American Airlines is doing its best to maintain biosecurity standards. Photo: Getty Images

Helpful introductions

Altogether, digital initiatives such as this will be effective in the mission to keep travel open safely. There are several new requirements in the current climate. Therefore, any measure to help make the process more seamless amid all the restrictions will go a long way. Perhaps the app would be used to store vaccine documentation after the rollout is successful and if policies change.

What are your thoughts about American Airlines introducing health passports for all international travel to the US? Do you feel that this is a good move by the operator? Let us know what you think of the initiative in the comment section.

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