British Airways is expanding its optional health passport app to all passengers flying to the United Kingdom. The app, provided by VeriFLY, was previously only available on flights from the United Kingdom to the United States.
Around the world, many things have been fundamentally changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A year ago, nobody would imagine that wearing masks would become an everyday part of the travel experience. It now seems that health passports that track vaccines and test results are on course to become a requirement, though, for the time being, they remain voluntary.
Worldwide VeriFLY rollout
Just a week ago, British Airways began offering a health passport app provided by VeriFLY. The app allows passengers to avoid lengthy document checks at the airport by completing them before leaving home. As mentioned, the app was previously only used for those departing the United Kingdom for the United States.
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A week ago, the airline seemed very reserved about the rollout, stating that it would rather do it right than quickly. However, after American Airlines rolled out the app to all of its US airports, British Airways has taken a similar approach. Alaska Airlines is also using the app.
All passengers traveling to the UK will save time at the airport by using the app regardless of where they originate. Of course, the use of the app remains optional for all. Those unable or unwilling to use the app can still undergo manual document verification at the airport. The airline and its parent, IAG, are also working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on its Travel Pass app.
How does the app work?
The VeriFLY app works by checking all of the necessary documents required for a passenger to travel in the place of an airport employee. The app tailors the checks by country, meaning that it is easy to understand the requirements country by country.
British Airways will begin offering the app for UK arrivals from Monday. This is the same date that the British Government is increasing its requirements for arrivals in England. The app will check that people have:
- A negative COVID-19 test meeting the relevant requirements.
- Booked COVID-19 tests for days two and eight of their quarantine.
- Completed a passenger locator form ahead of travel.
It’s not possible to just tick a box and avoid checks, as a team of VeriFLY employees are working to verify that passengers meet the requirements. In the case of the COVID-19 test, this means submitting a photo of the certificate with all the details visible.
If passengers don’t meet the requirements, they won’t get verified status in the app. Staff also can ask passengers for further details if necessary. VeriFLY is currently working with major test providers to create a way to verify test results digitally.
Commenting on the news, British Airways’ CEO Sean Doyle said,
“We know that digital health apps and wallets will likely become commonplace when travel opens up again. We are exploring every available solution to support eligible customers and the UK government both during this period of limited travel and in preparation for a time when restrictions are eased, when we hope many more people will be able to resume flying again.”
Have you used VeriFLY since it was launched? Let us know how you found it in the comments!