Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles
Reload this Page >

When might DL engage a digital 'health' passport?

When might DL engage a digital 'health' passport?

Old Jan 31, 21, 12:46 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: OKC
Programs: DL DM/2.5MM, Global Entry, Titanium_Marriott, GHertz
Posts: 6,324
When might DL engage a digital 'health' passport?

My point of reference is a FT threat about United, then articles like the following:
Vaccine passports: Everything travelers need to know - The Washington Post
What Travelers Need to Know About Digital Health Passports — TripIt Blog
Will Airlines Require Vaccine Passports in 2021? (healthline.com)

A search on the DL forum only turned up an oblique reference in the Rip Van Winkle thread. I thought there would be a dedicated thread about the status of those double vaccinated and eager to fly again.

I wish DL would engage a digital health app related to the pandemic as it is a headache to try to hold on to the vaccination card and printed proof of a negative COVID test. Is this a wasted hope? I have long depended on all kinds of digital passes in my iW and would have to relearn the value of paper documents.

Having not flown since October 2020, my first flying trip this year was going to be JAX in early March. However, last week when I got the second dose of Pfizer I also got an email saying that FL conference was not even going to be hybrid because our Canadian friends could not attend in-person.

I am sick of Zoom and want to travel so the first booked flight is GVA in June so we'll see if that holds together. Otherwise I may try IST in May or FCO in October when conference details are confirmed. I have a $4.2K e-credit that expires soon so the clock is ticking.
Xeno is offline  
Old Jan 31, 21, 12:51 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Programs: DL DM, UA Gold, Alaska MVP, Bonvoy (lol) Ambassador
Posts: 2,872
The issue with electronic verification is one of standards. There is no common international standard for electronic data exchange. So, long story short, don't expect a vaccine or immunity passport any time soon. There's really not much of a benefit over paper or submitted scanned documentation. There's no good trust chain on this stuff, so fraud will exist regardless of whether you do it electronically or on paper.

There may be electronic submissions to foreign countries (just like electronic visa requests/processing), but the idea of the cutesy "digital passport" that proves your vaccination status that will be accepted at the border is probably not realistic. But who knows, I could be wrong.
Often1, hi55us and ryw like this.
ethernal is offline  
Old Jan 31, 21, 1:19 pm
  #3  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,270
DL should save its $ until there is an international standard for what is required, how the data is transmitted and secured. Until then, it's just a place to store a scanned PDF. Event that won't help you enter a country where you must show a paper copy of a test result and presumably a vaccination.
Often1 is offline  
Old Jan 31, 21, 2:48 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Central FL
Programs: DL Gold; Bonvoy Gold; HHonors Gold; Avis Preferred, Hertz PC
Posts: 546
When I got my first shot in Orange County, FL, I was given a small, (perhaps 3x3?) card with the info on it. Keep it with my passport and its difficult at all to keep track of.
jalves is offline  
Old Jan 31, 21, 3:12 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: DL Diamond 1MM, Starlux Insighter, Bonvoy™️ Gold, Hilton Gold, Hertz PC, Moderna 2 Dose
Posts: 3,761
Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
The issue with electronic verification is one of standards. There is no common international standard for electronic data exchange. So, long story short, don't expect a vaccine or immunity passport any time soon. There's really not much of a benefit over paper or submitted scanned documentation. There's no good trust chain on this stuff, so fraud will exist regardless of whether you do it electronically or on paper.

There may be electronic submissions to foreign countries (just like electronic visa requests/processing), but the idea of the cutesy "digital passport" that proves your vaccination status that will be accepted at the border is probably not realistic. But who knows, I could be wrong.
The assertion there is no international standard isn't actually true; IATA is developing a standard for vaccine passports based on the existing TIMATIC visa checking infrastructure. IATA - Travel Pass Initiative They're well positioned to bring together governments and airlines, and I fully expect that if we do end up adopting vaccine passports (not a done deal, but likely) that their platform will be the one that is adopted.

There are other fragmented attempts - CommonPass — The Commons Project is one - but I think the IATA version is the one that is most likely to succeed based on how deeply the aviation industry relies on their standards.
Xeno, rogo, gretchendz and 1 others like this.
BenA is offline  
Old Jan 31, 21, 3:22 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: OKC
Programs: DL DM/2.5MM, Global Entry, Titanium_Marriott, GHertz
Posts: 6,324
Originally Posted by jalves View Post
When I got my first shot in Orange County, FL, I was given a small, (perhaps 3x3?) card with the info on it. Keep it with my passport and its difficult at all to keep track of.
I take it a negative was missing in the second sentence.
However, how did you manage the yellow cards required by some of countries in Africa? I find it impossible to keep track of them and they would be needed were I able to return to Ghana this year.
Xeno is offline  
Old Jan 31, 21, 3:36 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Programs: DL DM, UA Gold, Alaska MVP, Bonvoy (lol) Ambassador
Posts: 2,872
Originally Posted by BenA View Post
The assertion there is no international standard isn't actually true; IATA is developing a standard for vaccine passports based on the existing TIMATIC visa checking infrastructure. IATA - Travel Pass Initiative They're well positioned to bring together governments and airlines, and I fully expect that if we do end up adopting vaccine passports (not a done deal, but likely) that their platform will be the one that is adopted.

There are other fragmented attempts - CommonPass — The Commons Project is one - but I think the IATA version is the one that is most likely to succeed based on how deeply the aviation industry relies on their standards.
It's a unilateral standard. Because of the existing TIMATIC infrastructure, I agree that they are the most likely candidate to succeed because they can build it for airlines (who are the buyers of TIMATIC). But note how the flow chart ends with "OK to Travel" with a couple of options.. because they are not directly integrated into the vast majority of country's border patrol system. All IATA is doing is trying to provide a verification structure in the backend that again has to be "passed" to border agents. That last part is the hard part. Every country has their own border control processing system that has to be modified to ingest this information.
ethernal is offline  
Old Jan 31, 21, 4:55 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: SEA
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 200
Originally Posted by Xeno View Post

I wish DL would engage a digital health app related to the pandemic as it is a headache to try to hold on to the vaccination card and printed proof of a negative COVID test. Is this a wasted hope? I have long depended on all kinds of digital passes in my iW and would have to relearn the value of paper documents.
I have seen a lot of discussion and social media posts about the CDC card handed out at vaccinations. Your vaccination should be officially recorded in an electronic medical record (EMR). The CDC card is supposed to help you remember when you received your shot, when to return, and to let medical professionals know what your first shot was, in case you go to different sites for your 1st and 2nd shots. Just like how a negative Covid test can be printed out from the EMR, so can your vaccination record.

I could be wrong, but I do not think vaccination status will have an affect on travel for a while. First, we know it is not 100% effective in preventing you from getting sick, let alone from asymptomatically carrying the virus. Second, I do not see vaccination status affect CDC guidelines until the vaccine is available to the entire US population. I know you did not mention this, but I have seen a lot of people question why a negative test is still needed for international travel if you have been vaccinated. I was fortunate to receive the vaccine already, but I know there is a lot of anxiety out there with people wondering when they can get theirs. The CDC is not going to make a rule saying I can freely travel from country to country, but another person will have to pay money to get a test because they have not been able to get a vaccine they really want ASAP. Once the vaccine is widely available, a majority of the population is vaccinated, and the case numbers go way down, I think vaccination status could be more relevant. But until that time, I do not see the CDC or airlines treating vaccinated individuals differently than anyone else.
BigFishDave likes this.
Biscoff27 is offline  
Old Jan 31, 21, 5:07 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Connecticut
Programs: UA GS, UA MM, Starwood Platinum
Posts: 56
Doesnt Matter

Totally non relevant post. Until countries open up borders this conversation is moot. Does not at all matter what Delta does. Maybe late this year..IDK, but for now we are all grounded.
Slouchman is offline  
Old Jan 31, 21, 5:57 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Programs: DL DM, UA Gold, Alaska MVP, Bonvoy (lol) Ambassador
Posts: 2,872
Originally Posted by Slouchman View Post
Totally non relevant post. Until countries open up borders this conversation is moot. Does not at all matter what Delta does. Maybe late this year..IDK, but for now we are all grounded.
Opening the borders will not be binary. It's not premature to ask the question. Vaccines will definitely be part of the phased entry requirements change. It will likely also be one of the longest-standing ones - it will remain long after a negative PCR test is required for example. It will probably persist until the pandemic is pretty much gone globally (through mass-vaccinations even in developing countries). The timeline for that is probably late 2022/early 2023.

So, there is an 18+ month window where entry may be allowed into (as an example) Europe with a vaccine being a key requirement. My guess is that by mid-2021, a vaccine + negative PCR will allow entry for most purposes (possibly not straight leisure trips unless things are fully under control) but by late 2021 that may shift to a vaccine only if prevalence drops sufficiently low in both regions.
gretchendz and CO-PLAT like this.
ethernal is offline  
Old Feb 1, 21, 7:25 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Hands of Fate
Programs: MR LT(!)TE, DL PM MM, HTZ PC, 2V Fanboi, CBP GE, Uber Gold
Posts: 4,854
Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
It is highly unlikely that Delta or any other US-based airline will require vaccinations in order to fly domestically or to an international destination that does not have those requirements.
I'm not so sure about this. Given DL's pandemic focus has been on advertising a clean and safe travel environment, I could see DL and some of the other majors requiring proof of vaccination provided (1) the requirement could reasonably pass legal review and (2) vaccines are widely available such that anybody who wants one can get one without fighting for an appointment. That said, by the time we're there it's plausible that the infection rates could have already dramatically dropped sufficiently to make such a requirement mostly pointless.
bennos is offline  
Old Feb 1, 21, 7:31 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Programs: DL DM, UA Gold, Alaska MVP, Bonvoy (lol) Ambassador
Posts: 2,872
Originally Posted by bennos View Post
I'm not so sure about this. Given DL's pandemic focus has been on advertising a clean and safe travel environment, I could see DL and some of the other majors requiring proof of vaccination provided (1) the requirement could reasonably pass legal review and (2) vaccines are widely available such that anybody who wants one can get one without fighting for an appointment. That said, by the time we're there it's plausible that the infection rates could have already dramatically dropped sufficiently to make such a requirement mostly pointless.
Exactly the last point. By the time vaccines are sufficiently widespread (summer), case loads will (hopefully) be very low. By the time an airline could "reasonably require" vaccination, it will be a moot point because we will already be at herd immunity. The only way this doesn't happen is if there are enough crazies out there who resist vaccination and prolong this mess.

Point is, given the relatively low risk of transmission on a plane (although it's not as low as airlines like to advertise) and likely case loads by summer, airlines would be silly to get in the vaccination fray. Not worth the squeeze.
ethernal is offline  
Old Feb 1, 21, 7:46 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,270
Originally Posted by BenA View Post
The assertion there is no international standard isn't actually true; IATA is developing a standard for vaccine passports based on the existing TIMATIC visa checking infrastructure. IATA - Travel Pass Initiative They're well positioned to bring together governments and airlines, and I fully expect that if we do end up adopting vaccine passports (not a done deal, but likely) that their platform will be the one that is adopted.

There are other fragmented attempts - CommonPass — The Commons Project is one - but I think the IATA version is the one that is most likely to succeed based on how deeply the aviation industry relies on their standards.
IATA Is an air carrier trade group. Not even an NGO.

TIMATIC, while extraordinarily useful, is simply a database which collects the relevant data and spits it back out through a UI for air carrier (and incidentally, passenger) use.

In order to a "digital passport" to work, it is the underlying requirements which need to be uniform. Uniform requires government acceptance. Thus, the type of test, how many hours prior to departure, and so on for negative tests. Then, the same for vaccines.

Security will be of primary importance. Already reports of an organized crime effort in Europe to produce fake test results and same is likely for vaccines.
Often1 is offline  
Old Feb 1, 21, 8:31 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 255
Hopefully NEVER. The second they do, they will lose me along with thousands of other customers.
smartytravel is offline  
Old Feb 1, 21, 8:55 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: Marriott, IHG, Delta, United
Posts: 350
I fail to see how implementation of such a process would really benefit Delta (or any airline).

Put more specifically, I fail to see how the lack of implementing such a process would be a deterrent to passengers. For example, there aren’t going to be many (if any?) passengers who say, “I will only fly United and not Delta, because (for example) United has a digital health passport and Delta doesn’t”. Basically, there is no benefit for the airlines to implement it.

Of course there may be certain nations who could require the airlines to offer it in order to serve their nation, and thus the ‘passport’ becomes an involuntary action imposed upon the airline. And thus the answer to the OP’s question is simply “whenever some nation Delta serves requires it”.
kavok is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: