Qantas and Jetstar will rollout a digital travel pass in conjunction with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The airline group’s decision follows months of trials with a range of digital solutions, in tandem with Qantas’ international repatriation flights.
What is the IATA Travel Pass?
The IATA Travel Pass is an app that allows passengers to verify COVID test results and vaccination information prior to travelling internationally. Similar to a ‘digital passport’, it’s being lauded for offering a ‘convenient and secure method’ for customers to meet countries’ individual entry requirements.
Other tech-friendly features include automatic data matching with a passenger’s health information against current entry requirements for the destination country. Doing so provides easy clearance to travel on the flight for both the customer and airport staff.
Qantas’ Chief Customer Office, Stephanie Tully, explained that Qantas would work closely with IATA to ensure its Travel Pass is as seamless as possible for Qantas and Jetstar passengers.
We want to get our international flights back in the air and our people back to work and a digital health pass will be a key part of that. Many Governments are already requiring proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test result for international travel. Even if it wasn’t a government requirement, Qantas has always been a leader in safety and we have a responsibility to our customers and crew.– Stephanie Tully, Qantas Group CCO, 29 July 2021
Meanwhile, Nick Careen – IATA’s Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security – noted that the ability to validate vaccination status of Australians was crucial for the country’s return to international flying.
A digital solution to manage and verify health credentials is essential for travel while COVID-19 remains a risk. We are delighted that the Qantas Group has decided to progress plans to use IATA Travel Pass as a convenient and secure method for travellers to verify and share their COVID test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff.– Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security, 29 July 2021
Introducing the IATA Travel Pass is a step in the right direction. The travel industry needs a robust and reliable digital platform to verify essential health information for international travellers. Having the ability to sort through border control processes will be a massive plus as well.
Of course, with any technological advancement, comes the question of what happens who those who might need to travel but aren’t able to use this digital solution. Elderly passengers might not know how to operate a mobile device, while others might not even have access to that technology.
But for the vast majority, it’s easy to see why IATA Travel Pass and other similar apps will be a mainstay of overseas travel for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Qantas is encouraging Aussies to continue to take the COVID-19 jab with a series of incentives to be launched in due course.