British Airways will be the first airline in the UK to trial Verifly, a new mobile travel health passport to prove passengers are safe to fly. Jenny Southan reports
From February 4, British Airways will start accepting the use of the Verifly travel health passport app on all flights between London and the US. Not only will it be the first airline in the UK to accept it but the only airline outside the US.
British Airways US routes currently operating are New York JFK, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Washington, Houston and Seattle.
The trial will be conducted with Oneworld alliance partner American Airlines, which is already allowing all customers to use Verifly when they are travelling to the US from international destinations, but use of Verifly will be optional (customers can provide other evidence they meet the US entry requirements at check-in). The Verifly digital health travel passport comes in the form of a mobile app that is designed to advise whether or not travellers meet the entry requirements of their destination, as well as certify Covid-19 test certificates.
Sean Doyle, British Airways’ CEO, says: “Although flying is currently restricted, it is essential we do as much as we can now to help those who are eligible to fly and prepare to help our customers navigate the complexities around changing global entry requirements when the world re-opens.
“We remain focused and committed to finding user-friendly, evidence-based solutions to make journeys as seamless they can be. Through these trials, we hope to provide travellers and governments on both sides of the Atlantic with the tools and the reassurance they need to make safe travel possible.”
Robert Isom, American Airlines’ president says: “We are pleased to be working hand-in-hand again with our partner, British Airways, to make transatlantic travel as seamless as possible for those who are permitted to fly by utilising the latest in digital technology.”Verifly has been pioneered by private software company, Daon, which also works with some of the world’s leading banking and credit card companies. The software will allow people to combine travel verification documents and Covid-19 test results in one place, ensuring travellers are fully compliant with the entry requirements for their destination before leaving home.
Certified customers will be fast-tracked through the airport where specially designated desks will be available for check in.
Verifly can be downloaded to a customer’s mobile device from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. After creating a secure profile, the platform prompts customers to confirm their flight information, upload details of a negative Covid-19 test result and any other essential documentation.
The software confirms the test matches the country’s regulations with a simple “Pass” or “Fail” message. Verifly will also provide users with reminders once the credential has expired.
Phase two of the trial, which will take place “in the near future”, will extend to cover people travelling to the UK from the US on both BA and AA. This will make British Airways and American Airlines the first transatlantic partners to offer a digital solution for eligible customers flying to the UK.
Editor’s note: On February 15, British Airways will be expanding the trial of Verifly to all inbound international flights to the UK, optional for all eligible customers.