Virgin Atlantic customers can now experience how digital health passes will help streamline journeys when the skies reopen, as the first live trials of the IATA Travel Pass by a UK airline commenced today.
Customers on flight VS131, travelling for permitted reasons from London Heathrow to Barbados, were invited to download the free smartphone app and participate in the successful first trial flight, which departed just ahead of schedule at 10:24 a.m. from Terminal 2.
The IATA Travel Pass is at the forefront of digital health pass solutions being developed, allowing customers to verify that they meet the health criteria needed to travel between certain countries, locate labs and present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test to the relevant authorities.
Future updates of the app will also incorporate vaccine records.
Using the app to create a digital ID, comprising a profile photo and linked to passport details, Virgin Atlantic customers are able to add their negative PCR test results for Barbados, taken at a participating lab within three days of departure.
With the information and flight details already loaded on to their Travel Pass, customers’ experience at Heathrow is swift and efficient, removing paper-based Covid-19 documentation with a digital ‘one-stop shop’ to collect, store and verify documents in the secure app.
When implemented more widely, digital health passes will help reduce check-in times, make border checks more manageable and streamline customer journeys, with a Priority Virgin Atlantic Check-In lane in place at Terminal 2 for IATA Travel Pass holders in the trial.
The one-month trial of the IATA Travel Pass is being run in close collaboration with the Government of Barbados, which is leading the way through its active involvement in the trial.
Governments around the world are currently considering the Travel Pass to support the restart of international travel at scale.
Virgin Atlantic continues to engage with the UK Government to enable the trial to expand and accommodate customers arriving at the UK border on Barbados-Heathrow flights.