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IATA Successfully Trials Travel Pass, While JetBlue Launches CommonPass

Bangkok, Thailand - June 6, 2016 : Apple iPhone5s showing its screen with popular travel applications. (Photo: iStock)

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.

UncleDude March 24, 2021

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

MEaton March 20, 2021

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

Gizzabreak March 18, 2021

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.

bystander March 18, 2021

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.

JAGorham March 18, 2021

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)?