Abu Dhabi-based Etihad has launched its own health passport initiative called ‘Verified to Fly’. The system will allow passengers to verify that their health documentation reaches the required standard before most of the airline’s flights from its Abu Dhabi home.
COVID-19 has prompted considerable changes to the way we travel. At the start of the pandemic, nobody expected that masks would be a regular part of flying with an airline. Another change has seen passengers needing to prove that they don’t represent a risk of carrying COVID-19 onto a flight and into other countries. This is where health passports come in.
Etihad launches health passport
From today Etihad will begin offering a new document verification service known as Verified to Fly. The service will initially be available to all departing Abu Dhabi (except those bound for China) and will shortly be activated for inbound passengers from Amman, Beirut, Dhaka, and Manila.
Passengers can sign up for the service in the airline’s ‘manage my booking’ area of the website. Here, they can submit their documents to Etihad for verification before leaving their home or hotel. If all the documents are present and correct, the travelers will be informed via email. Otherwise, an email will request further documentation.
It’s important to stress that the only documentation requested by Etihad is the same that would need to be shown upon arrival at the airport. As the documents are checked before arrival at the airport, those cleared to use the Verified to Fly service can avoid checks at the airport.
Saving time at the airport
At the airport, travelers get to use a fast-track check-in experience, saving valuable minutes that can be spent in the departure lounge. They also have the comfort that they’re not going to get a nasty surprise at the airport if their documents don’t quite meet the necessary standards.
Commenting, Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said,
“As Etihad continuously looks for innovative solutions to simplify the travel experience, Verified to Fly removes any guess work from the equation and makes check-in faster. Guests have total peace of mind knowing that when they arrive at the airport, they have already met all Covid travel requirements.”
Different airlines – different systems
By now, everybody is very used to having a multitude of airline apps on their phones. IATA had been hoping to avoid a similar situation regarding so-called health passports with their app Travel Pass.
While many airlines are trialing the software, there are also a host of other solutions. Airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways, and now Etihad are using in-house solutions. VeriFLY and CommonPass are also seeing large-scale adoption by airlines.
Have you used a health passport yet? How did you find the experience? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!