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IATA Successfully Trials Travel Pass, While JetBlue Launches CommonPass

IATA Successfully Trials Travel Pass, While JetBlue Launches CommonPass
Joe Cortez

The dueling health passport standards are rolling out with success, as flyers start preparing for international travel once more. The IATA says their first trial went without problems on a Singapore Airlines flight landing in London, while JetBlue will launch the CommonPass on Boston flights bound for Aruba.

Despite calls for a single, unified health passport, the two standard-bearers say their apps are ready to be download and used by international flyers. Both the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and The Commons Project Foundation say their apps have been successfully trialed on a test group of passengers.

IATA, Commons Project Pass Both Integrate Vaccination and Testing Data in Smartphone App

After announcing a number of launch customers, the IATA Travel Pass achieved a major milestone when the first passenger to use the app was processed on a landing Singapore Airlines flight at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). The flyers were able to create a digital copy of their passport on their phone, use the app to learn about local restrictions and COVID-19 related requirements, and get their test results verified prior to arrival at border control.

“The successful implementation of IATA Travel Pass in this trial with Singapore Airlines passengers demonstrates that technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help travelers and governments to manage travel health credentials,” IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement. “The significance of this to re-starting international aviation cannot be overstated.”

At the same time, JetBlue is preparing to roll out the CommonPass, a health passport created by The Commons Project Foundation and supported by multiple carriers, including Lufthansa and United Airlines. The first passengers to get access to CommonPass are those flying from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA). Much like the IATA Travel Pass, flyers can use the app to scan their passports and confirm COVID-19 test results from at-home partner Vault or in-person partner XpresCheck, verifying they can enter the island nation.

“CommonPass and the CommonTrust Network provide passengers, airlines and governments with a trusted system to digitally verify that an international traveler meets entry requirements upon arrival,” Paul Meyer, CEO of The Commons Project Foundation, said in a statement. “Our registry of health data sources — information from labs, pharmacies, hospitals and health departments — is essential to giving the public the confidence to once again travel, attend events and enjoy activities they did prior to COVID-19.”

Regardless of Success, Airlines Want One Single Standard

Even though the digital passports are good signs for international travelers, airlines are looking for leadership on a single standard for all international flights. Earlier in March 2021, the airlines asked the White House to head up a program to create a single health passport program.

View Comments (8)

8 Comments

  1. sfoeuroflyer

    March 17, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Repeat after me: any system must accept proof of vaccination. Vaccination offers more security than the expensive and cumbersome PCR tests. Said another way, no test required for those with proof of vaccination. Those not vaccinated can have the alternative of the PCR or other test. And it must be recognized that we are NEVER going to achieve 100% perfection. Does not exist in the world.

  2. braesidek9

    March 18, 2021 at 5:30 am

    Really we can’t figure out one system! We have International numbering system for tires and for VIN numbers on cars it cannot be this difficult unless politics are driving this 😑. Wondering how many apps or proof I’ll need to travel in the (near) future I hope!

  3. aj411

    March 18, 2021 at 5:56 am

    I used VeriFLY for american flights to and from Jamaica a couple of weeks ago. The checkin agent first asked for my paper work, I asked if verifly would work instead (I had paperwork as backup), they were thrilled, glanced at my phone and said, yes, all good.
    Once more people use it, the time saved will be wonderful. Also, the headaches it saved for traveler and agent to check all of the detailed requirement categories due to preclearance was great

  4. JAGorham

    March 18, 2021 at 6:45 am

    I know it’s early in the game (and I might have missed it in the article), but are countries and airlines going to want COVID testing from those who have been fully vaccinated (including the two or three week wait times post-final vaccine)?

  5. bystander

    March 18, 2021 at 7:36 am

    Asking the White House to head up a program does not really address international travel. The logical choice is IATA, which already holds data for entry requirements etc. for just about everywhere and is truly international.

  6. Gizzabreak

    March 18, 2021 at 11:30 am

    That’s what we need, multiple travel health passports with multiple standards and multiple interpretations. I think I’ll add a few to my bag of messy multiple air miles/air points schemes, standards and interpretations and give it a good shake. Yum yum, confusion cocktail for everyone.

  7. MEaton

    March 20, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    I have more faith in my 10 year-old to come up with an more workable system than the White House!

  8. UncleDude

    March 24, 2021 at 11:09 am

    All this should have ben started in December last year when the FDA approved the Pfizer Vaccine..

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