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Most countries that are currently allowing visitors to enter require travelers to show some sort of proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 shortly before they embarked on their trip or that they have been vaccinated against the virus.
To help streamline the process of testing and verifying that a passenger has all the necessary documents to travel, airlines have been partnering with app developers to give passengers a mobile wallet to which all their paperwork can be uploaded and where it can be checked before departure.
In recent months, we’ve seen airlines using apps like VeriFly and the IATA Travel Pass app to help passengers ensure that their documents are in order and that they’re ready to fly but we’re now starting to see airlines incorporating these ‘travel wallets’ into their own apps.
British Airways is the latest airline to try to incorporate a COVID-19 certification area within its own app and the airline has announced that it is running a trial whereby all customers eligible to travel to India will be able to upload negative COVID-19 test results and other required documentation directly into their reservation via ‘Manage My Booking’ on ba.com.
Three days before they are due to depart, travelers will receive an email directing them to the ‘Manage My Booking’ section on ba.com where they will be able to find the relevant entry requirements, including a negative Covid-19 test result and a digital declaration form. Travelers are then expected to upload each required document into their reservation.
Once passengers have uploaded all their information and documents, British Airways will check that all the information matches the entry requirements and will then allow customers to check-in online for their flight 24 hours before they travel (allowing them to avoid queues at the airport).
Sean Doyle, the British Airways CEO, is quoted as saying the following:
“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 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.”
British Airways says that it aims to roll this trial out to more destinations over the coming weeks and that it is also working to add this functionality for those destinations to the British Airways app.
British Airways is aiming to give passengers the option to upload all the documents they need to travel into their reservations via the British Airways website. For now, the airline is trialing this functionality on its routes to India but it’s hoping to expand this to more routes if the trial goes well.