Traveling has never been more difficult than it currently is. Amid continuously changing travel restrictions around the globe, airlines seriously reconsider their offering to target any remaining demand for air travel. While governments currently put all their efforts in battling the virus locally, airlines are seeking ways to make air travel safer. American Airlines now trials a COVID app to help travelers collect all the necessary information to be able to travel. Will this initiative assist in the recovery of the aviation industry?
The aviation industry holds its breath while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread. Air travel stagnates throughout the world and travel restrictions increase. Airlines are in turn forced to decrease route frequency or even temporarily stop serving certain destination.
Continuously changing travel restrictions make it hard to those who need to travel to collect all the necessary information. Carrying a negative COVID-19 test certificate becomes more important and may the way to go in the near future. To make air travel safe airlines and governments want assurance that the passengers their are welcoming are healthy. This is why the three global airlines alliances call for a unified approach for aviation recovery.
American Airlines recently expanded its preflight testing program. In November, preflight testing will be available for all American flights to Belize, Grenada, St. Lucia and the Hawaiian Islands.
In an attempt to assists passengers with collecting all the needed information prior to flying, American Airlines launched the ‘VeriFLY’ mobile app. Together with Daon, a company specialized in identity assurance, AA provides all the neccesary information on the travel conditions relevant to a specific passenger. The app also checks whether the information and documents provided by the passengers is correct and in compliance with local authorities’ regulations.
“Daon is honored to collaborate with American Airlines in the pursuit of a faster, safer, more seamless customer travel experience,” said Tom Grissen, CEO of Daon. “By leveraging our more than two decades of expertise, American Airlines customers will have immediate access to the most powerful and trusted identity technology on the market.”
The VeriFLY app test starts next week. The test is open for passengers traveling to Montego Bay (MBJ) and Kingston (KIN) in Jamaica. Passengers need to depart from or connect through Miami (MIA). American plans to expand the program to additional markets in the weeks and months ahead.
“Piloting this new solution is a direct response to our customers’ increasing desire to explore more international travel opportunities,” said Robert Isom, President of American Airlines. “The app will help us deliver a more seamless travel experience as we support demand return and put customers’ minds at ease that they are fully prepared for their trip.”
At the day of departure app users can also use an expedited entry lane for testing verification.
Why is this good?
A central approach on making air travel possible is the only way to go in the future. Continuously changing travel restrictions and conditions also do not help travelers feel at ease to travel when they are ready. Collecting all kinds of information, documents and certificates can be a real barrier for travelers. And many customers may already feel uncomfortable to travel in the near future.
Offering one point of entry for COVID-19 travel related information and conditions is a good way to assist passengers. At this time any effort to assist travelers is the only thing airlines can do to secure their presence. Especially in the future. The American Airlines VeriFLY COVID app is actually a good first step.