British Airways (BA) has announced plans to introduce a digital vaccination passport, ahead of the resumption of international travel in May.
Passengers travelling to India are now able to upload their negative COVID-19 test results and other travel declaration forms directly into their booking on the airline’s website, in advance of travel.
The new initiative is being trialled as part of the airline’s efforts to simplify the departure process as it prepares for the return of international travel.
The trial, which is running on all flights from London to India, will certify that customers have the correct documentation needed for their flight before they arrive at the airport, allowing them to check-in online and avoid queuing in the terminal.
Three days before they are due to depart, customers receive an email directing them to the ‘Manage My Booking’ function on BA’s website where they can find the relevant entry requirements, including a negative COVID-19 test result and a digital declaration form. The passenger will then upload each document via ‘Manage My Booking’ which will be certified by the airline within six hours to ensure they meet the entry requirements.
British Airways has stated that it aims to roll out the trial to more destinations over the coming weeks and is also working to add this functionality for those destinations to its mobile app. This will enable customers to securely upload the required documentation for their booking directly from their mobile device, which could include negative COVID-19 test results and/or proof of a vaccination.
Sean Doyle, Chief Executive Officer, British Airways, said: “At British Airways we are preparing for the meaningful return to international travel in the coming months. This means doing everything we can to simplify the journey for our customers, allowing them to travel with confidence and create the best possible seamless, frictionless experience in a new COVID-19 era.
“We know that innovation and technology hold the key to unlocking international travel. We are already offering access to travel app ‘VeriFLY’ on selected routes and IAG has been helping develop ‘Travel Pass’ with IATA. Now it’s also time to look at what we can offer through our own website. The key benefit of customers being able to upload the correct travel documentation into their booking, is that it enables them to check-in online, speeding up the airport process. We are continually exploring the best possible options to help our customers return to the skies, safely.”
Digital health travel passport, VeriFLY, is currently available on the airline’s flights from the UK to the US and Canada, as well as all inbound flights to the UK. The app is optional for customers and can be downloaded to a mobile device. The airline continues to work with VeriFLY to integrate it into its systems, further streamlining the customer journey.
BA will continue to explore different health passport options for its customers in preparation for the restart of travel.