British Airways added another digital health passport to its roster of flights to India, expanding on its efforts to ease international travel despite the restrictions. By Alison Fox
Customers travelling to India will be able to upload their negative COVID-19 test results and travel paperwork directly onto their booking through the airline’s website, British Airways announced on Monday. The trial will run on all flights from London to India and will expedite the process at the airport, allowing customers to check-in for a flight online ahead of time.
“At British Airways we are preparing for the meaningful return to international travel in the coming months,” Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “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 era.”
The airline will remind passengers to upload the relevant information to the ‘Manage My Booking’ section three days before their scheduled departure, which will be certified by the carrier within six hours.
The effort is an expansion of British Airways’ use of digital health passports. In February, the carrier partnered with the VeriFLY mobile app for flights from London to the United States, allowing passengers to upload relevant documentation in advance to be “fast-tracked” and directed to designated check-in desks.
That programme has since been extended to flights from the UK to Canada, as well as all inbound flights to the UK.
Currently, passengers travelling abroad from the UK need to prove their trip is allowed under the country’s stay-at-home restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he doesn’t expect international travel to resume until at least May 17.
Airlines have been increasingly exploring the idea of digital health passports — and even vaccine passports — as a way to jumpstart travel. Several airlines have turned to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass, including Etihad Airways, Emirates, Air New Zealand and Qantas.
Additionally, American Airlines partnered with VeriFLY, while security company CLEAR has developed their own pass.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel+Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.