British Airways has announced a new trial of the Verifly health passport app, allowing customers to verify Covid-19 test certificates before they leave home for their flights.
The trial begins on February 4 on all of the carrier’s transatlantic routes between London and the US (currently New York JFK, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Washington, Houston and Seattle).
It will be run in conjunction with joint business and Oneworld partner American Airlines, which is already using the technology on international routes to the US.
A second phase of the trial will follow “in the near future”, allowing customers to use the app when travelling from the US to the UK with either British Airways or American Airlines.
Customers 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”. Once submitted the app will provide either a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ message.
BA stresses that use of the app will be optional, and passengers can instead provide evidence that they meet US entry requirements at check-in should they prefer.
The advantages of using the Verifly system are that it can be done in the comfort of the passenger’s home, and once at the airport “Certified customers will be fast-tracked through the airport where specially designated desks will be available for check in”.
The carrier will be the first in the UK to trial the use of a mobile health passport for customers travelling from London, and the only airline outside of the US to offer the Verifly technology.
Commenting on the news 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.”