The IATA Travel Pass – What You Need To Know

Looking to fly international in 2021? You might be asked to download and use IATA’s new Travel Pass app. The app is aiming to become the go-to digital health passport, containing all your vaccination, testing, and travel requirements. Here’s a guide to the upcoming Travel Pass and its features.

Plane committed to takeoff V1 speed
As travel reopens, navigating complex health restrictions can be taxing for travelers and airlines alike. Photo: Getty Images

Complex

Traveling internationally in 2021 is not easy by any means. Even if countries open their borders, the health requirements can prove to be quite a maze. From vaccinations to testing to health declarations, it’s easy to miss out on things. However, IATA Travel Pass is here to alleviate most of these troubles.

IATA is also the creator of Timatic, a software that provides airlines with up-to-date health requirements for each country. The Travel Pass app will allow travelers to view their destination’s health checks and quickly begin fulfilling them by offer nearby verified testing centers and more.

ATA Travel Pass
By linking your passport to all health records, the app will prevent fraudulent test results or vaccine certification. Photo: IATA

The app, which is currently under testing with dozens of airlines globally, will also allow travelers to upload all their data onto the secure app. This includes a copy of your physical passport, which will be used to link vaccination records and test results. This allows labs to directly send results to the Travel Pass, preventing any false reports.

At the airport

Once you’ve uploaded your passport, taken a test at a verified test location (or proved vaccination), and got your results, you’re all set to go! A green tick on Travel Pass allows airlines to quickly verify your health details and proceed to check you in for flights.

This means no more long wait times as agents try to navigate individual country restrictions or test results. Airports like London Heathrow have seen hours-long queues as staff members try to deal with multiple new steps before flying. Travel Pass can take over all over this work, pre-verifying you for your journey and details.

IATA Travel Pass
A green tick of the Travel Pass may allow you to pass through airport check-in and immigration upon arrival. Photo: IATA

However, IATA is not stopping at airlines alone. The industry leader is partnering with governments to make immigration easier too. Panama has become the first country to accept IATA’s Travel Pass as proof to enter the country and could be the first of many. This means no more long border checks with passenger locator forms and negative tests.

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In trial

Currently, the IATA Travel Pass is only open for airline trials. If you’re flying with one of the dozens of airlines using the app, including British Airways, Singapore Airlines, LATAM, and many others, you will receive a code from the carrier first.

However, the wider rollout of the Travel Pass could be only weeks away, according to IATA Director General Willie Walsh. Once it is available, expect to see airlines quickly begin to use the app as passengers begin to navigate the new normal of international travel.

What do you think about IATA’s Travel Pass initiative? Let us know in the comments!

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