More Airlines Offering Vaccine Status on an App

British Airways is the latest and follows Ryan Air, plus others.  Will this mean summer travel from the UK is more likely to the mountains and other destinations?

British Airways is planning to allow people to register their vaccination status on its smart phone app.

Under the plans, people who have had both jabs will be able to register their status.

The airline’s chief executive, Sean Doyle, hailed the UK’s “great progress” in tackling the pandemic.

He has called for vaccinated people to be allowed unrestricted options for international travel.

“Those who have not been vaccinated should be able to travel with a negative test result,” he said.

BA wants the government to support digital health apps which can be used to verify a vaccination or negative Covid-19 test results.

Ryanair has unveiled details a new Covid-19 Travel Wallet which is integrated within the Ryanair app.

Customers can now upload negative PCR tests, their proof of a Covid vaccination and other Covid documents that may be required for travel to the EU this summer.

It hopes to make travel as easy as possible for its customers.

It seems EU Governments won’t have a Europe-wide vaccine passport in place for this summer so airlines are creating their own proof of a person’s status that may meet the requirements of individual countries and flying rules.

“Ryanair’s summer 2021 schedules are on sale – subject to changing Government travel restrictions – and once the high-risk/elderly population of Europe is vaccinated by the end of May or June, travel restrictions will be relaxed and air travel will experience a bounce back from pent-up customer demand,” claimed Ryanair’s Director of Marketing, Dara Brady.

It comes amid heated debate about the possibility that “vaccine passports” could become a feature of foreign travel.

Flying to the Alps

Flying over the Alps. Image © PlanetSKI

The vaccination programme so far in the EU has been left wanting.

Less than 10% of the EU population has been vaccinated so far, against 31% in the UK and 52% in Israel.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, admitted last month that the EU was “not where it wanted to be” on vaccinations.

The problems with vaccine passports are political and ethical, rather than technical.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said it was not the EU’s intention that only people with vaccine passports should be allowed to travel, adding “absolutely no political decisions have been made about that yet”.

Qatar Airways will become the first airline in the Middle East to begin trials of the International Air Transport Assciation, IATA, Travel Pass ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app.

It aims to play an important role in a more contactless, secure and seamless travel experience for passengers.

The IATA Travel Pass ensures passengers receive up-to-date information on Covid-19 health regulations at their destination country, as well as complying with global data privacy regulations to enable the sharing of Covid-19 test results with airlines to verify passengers are eligible to fly.

Currently people in England are unable to travel abroad for a holiday until at least May 17th.

This will be dependent on four tests being met – including the vaccine rollout going smoothly and no surge in Covid-related hospital admissions.

Foreign travel is currently heavily restricted, and returning travellers need to quarantine when they return to the UK.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet announced plans for allowing foreign holidays.