German flag carrier Lufthansa is looking to trial a health passport solution on select international routes. Passengers will be able to send Lufthansa proof of their COVID-19 test results in advance to avoid airport checks and verify that they meet the requirements.
Health passports are being touted around the world as a possible way to reopen international travel to the masses. We’ve already seen British Airways, Alaska Airlines, and American Airlines partnering with VeriFLY. Meanwhile, IATA is looking to launch its Travel Pass app in the coming weeks with multiple airlines signed up.
Lufthansa Group Health Entry Support Center
Lufthansa has set up the Lufthansa Group Health Entry Support Center to verify negative COVID-19 test results before travel. As early as 72 hours before their flight, passengers will be able to submit a negative COVID-19 test certificate to the airline via an online portal.
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Lufthansa will then verify that the test result is negative and the certificate meets all the necessary criteria to travel. If this is the case, the customer will receive an email confirmation that they are ready to fly. If not, they will receive feedback on why the documents were not accepted. The passenger must still carry the original certificate while traveling.
A minimal trial basis
The service will launch in March, but the trial basis will initially be minimal. To start with, Lufthansa will only offer the document verification on three routes, each only in one direction. From Germany, the service will be provided on flights from Frankfurt to Istanbul. Meanwhile, on flights arriving in Germany, it will only be available on flights from Newark to Frankfurt and Munich.
In the future, the airline is planning to enable the service on all flights depending on its trial findings. There are also plans to integrate other digital health passports into the airline’s travel chain as we move into the future. British Airways initially only launched its VeriFLY app on flights to the US but quickly moved to include every flight to the UK regardless of origin.
Lufthansa forges its own way
Lufthansa has been incredibly focused on digitizing the travel process since before the start of the pandemic. However, with the pandemic, the airline has had to make some quick decisions due to the changing nature of the situation.
For example, it was one of the first airlines to require social distancing, then one of the first to ditch it in favor of masks. It was also quick to launch a dedicated COVID-19 test center in partnership with Centogene. It seems only natural that the airline is now working on its own health passport app.
What do you make of Lufthansa’s trial? Would you use the new document verification system? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!