The Vaccine Passport is Coming

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Virgin Atlantic announced it will begin to test the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass and TrustAssure™ smart phone app. Management of Virgin Atlantic (like most of us in the travel industry) believe we need a vaccine + health electronic record which is transportable via smart phone. Proof of safe travel will help consumer confidence, make us all healthier and restart travel globally.

The future of Vaccine Passports is tied with QR codes, these are square black and white features which can hold data, link to websites and more. (Bar codes are those lines which are read by machines). If you have eaten out recently, you might have encountered a QR code instead of a menu.

We used to have a Yellow Vaccination Card; now we will have it in our phones. Do not take this electronic future lightly. Most US based companies and  travel agents cannot keep up with changing passenger regulations especially if you live outside the US/Canada. For instance, coming from some South American countries? You might need a Yellow Fever Certificate. If you are over a certain age, you cannot get the Yellow Fever shot. You will need an official waiver letter just to get on the airplane.  With Covid and a future of global connectivity, even the US might be subject to new forms/letters/codes and such.

Virgin will test its app on a popular London-Barbados flight. Passengers are invited to download the app, fill it with their travel health information. The new digital ID will work like a passport, without hard copy pages. The Government of Barbados is a partner in this month long experiment.

Other airlines are working on similar applications.  January 2021 American Airlines introduced the Verifly Passport for travel to the US fromoverseas.

Verify provides results from a negative coronavirus test and other completed documents required for international travel to the United States. Jamaica, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are also using Verifly. We have not tried it; however airlines tell us the apps are easy to use.

New York State is experimenting with a code for entry to larger venues like Madison Square Garden. Love the theater? When Broadway reopens shortly, you might need a code to get to your expensive seat!

Easy is a broad word. It is easy for some of us to download, edit, customize, or recode apps. It is not easy others.  Once again, to re-enter the wonderful world of electronic travel, you can do one of the following:

  1. Go to your public library (virtual now) computer lessons to learn.
  2. Go to your Apple Store virtual classes now.
  3. Get your grandchild to help you

Privacy issues worry you? If you use a smartphone, EZ Pass, even ordered a turkey sandwich via Grubhub, your privacy is gone already.

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