British Airways has announced that, starting Feb. 4, it is launching a trial of VeriFLY, the travel health app for passengers who are eligible to travel between London and the US.
The British Airways trial is being run in coordination with joint business and fellow Oneworld carrier American Airlines, which has made VeriFLY available to all its customers who are traveling to the US from any international destinations.
The digital health travel passport, which can be downloaded from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, allows real-time certification of COVID-19-related health credentials such as diagnostic lab test results. The app shows testing and documentation requirements for the passenger’s destination, and verifies the traveler’s data matches the country’s requirements.
American ran a trial of the service in December on flights from Miami to Santiago, Chile. Since then, the carrier has made the app more widely available, most recently offering it to all inbound international arrivals in the US.
That move comes in response to the US government’s current mandate that all passengers 2 years of age and older traveling to the United States from any international location must provide proof of a negative result for COVID-19 test taken within three calendar days of departure.
The introduction of VeriFLY makes British Airways the first airline in the UK to offer a mobile travel health passport for customers traveling from London. The trial is being run on all BA’s transatlantic routes between London and its US gateways, which currently include New York JFK, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Washington, Houston and Seattle.
In the near future, both carriers say they will extend VeriFLY to customers traveling to the UK from the US, making British Airways and American Airlines the first transatlantic partners to offer a digital solution for eligible customers flying to the UK.
British Airways emphasizes that use of VeriFLY app will be optional and customers who wish to may present other evidence of that they meet US entry requirements at check-in.
VeriFLY is one of several travel health apps currently being rolled out by various international organizations worldwide. With effective COVID-19 vaccines being administered in many parts of the world, and with testing becoming a regular feature of pandemic era travel, the mobile solutions would document the health status of travelers, keeping record of negative COVID tests and vaccination status, as that requirement becomes more widespread.
“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,” said Sean Doyle, British Airways’ CEO.
“Through these trials, we hope to provide travelers and governments on both sides of the Atlantic with the tools and the reassurance they need to make safe travel possible.”