British Airways will become the first airline in the UK to trial the VeriFLY digital health app, allowing customers to verify COVID-19 test certificates before they travel.
The trial will begin from 4 February on BA’s transatlantic routes between London and the US.
Passengers can download the app to their mobile device, and then check that they meet the entry requirements of their destination by providing digital health document verification and confirming eligibility. The software then confirms the test matches the country’s regulations with a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ message.
Sean Doyle, British Airways’ CEO said: “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.”
The trial follows the recent announcement that American Airlines, British Airways’ joint business and oneworld partner, now allows all customers to use VeriFLY when they are travelling to the US from all international destinations.
British Airways is also simultaneously conducting a testing trial with American Airlines and oneworld on some routes from the US to the UK. The results of the trial will be shared with Oxford University, the academic partners and with governments on both sides of the Atlantic.
Robert Isom, American Airlines’ President said: “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’s software, which has been developed by private software company Daon, allows 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.
Phase two, which will follow in the near future, will extend to cover customers travelling to the UK from the US across both carriers. This will make British Airways and American Airlines the first transatlantic partners to offer a digital solution for eligible customers flying to the UK.