Qatar Airways Expands IATA Travel Pass To Include Vaccination

Qatar Airways has expanded its rollout of the IATA Travel Pass. The airline will now allow its cabin crew flying from six cities to use the Travel Pass to verify their COVID-19 vaccination status. As travel becomes more vaccine-reliant, IATA hopes to make the travel process as smooth as possible.

Qatar Airways A350
Qatar Airways has become the first airline to successfully verify vaccine status using the IATA Travel Pass. Photo: Qatar Airways

Trial

Qatar Airways has expanded its trial of the IATA Travel Pass. The carrier will now allow its cabin crew to use their Qatar-issued vaccine certificates to verify their status on the app. This allows for seamless verification upon return to Doha and cuts down on the arrival time for cabin crew.

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Qatar Airways crew flying from London, Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Kuwait, and Sydney can all use the app starting in July when they arrive back in Doha. The coming months will see the rollout expanded further to cover more routes in Qatar’s sprawling summer network of destinations.

IATA Travel Pass
Qatar Airways was the first Middle Eastern carrier to trial the Travel Pass app back in March of this year. Photo: Qatar Airways

While nearly 70 airlines globally are trialing Travel Pass, Qatar will be the first country to use the app to verify its vaccine rollout. In a statement about the expansion, IATA Director General Willie Walsh said,

“Qatar Airways and the Qatari Government are showing leadership by becoming the first to trial the verification of passengers’ vaccine credentials through IATA Travel Pass. Certificates of COVID-19 vaccination or testing status will be key to restoring people’s freedom to travel…This important new trial focusing on vaccination status will build even more confidence in IATA Travel Pass as a complete solution for travellers, governments and airlines.”

The future

While the current trial only applies to crew, the rollout will eventually encompass travelers too. This means passengers can forego physical or digital copies of their vaccination certificates, which can take a while to verify each, and instead verify their status on the Travel Pass app beforehand.

This will allow passengers to simply show their app upon check-in and instantly prove their vaccination status. Considering lines for health checks have only been getting longer due to COVID-19, the app will be a gamechanger in speeding up verification.

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Passengers can save their vaccine status, negative test, and other documentation on the Travel Pass. Photo: IATA

However, IATA’s offering does not stop at just vaccination status. The app allows passengers to verify their travel eligibility, find trusted testing centers, and download a secure copy of their test results. Effectively, a green tick on the Travel Pass might be enough to get passengers through hours of onerous checks by various officials.

Soon

Despite the excitement and discussion around the IATA Travel Pass, it remains in the trial phase. This means passengers need a six-digit code from airlines to use the app currently. However, a full rollout could be a matter of weeks away, making travel much easier, at least at some destinations.

What do you think about Qatar Airways’ expanding rollout of the Travel Pass? Let us know in the comments!

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