British Airways customers eligible to travel to India under the current restrictions are now able to upload negative Covid-19 test results and other travel declaration forms via the airline’s website before travel.
The initiative, running separately to BA’s partnership with the VeriFly app, is being trialled as part of the national flag carrier’s efforts to simplify the departure process as it prepares for the return of international travel when non-essential is allowed again.
British Airways said the trial is due to expanded to other destinations in the coming weeks and hopes to add the functionality to its app, allowing passengers to upload documents directly from their smart phones.
Documents that could be uploaded include negative Covid test results and/or proof of a vaccination if it is required by the government of the destination.
On all flights currently operating from London to India, BA will be able to certify that passengers have the correct documentation needed for their flight before they arrive at the airport, allowing them to check-in online and avoid queuing in the terminal.
Customers will receive an email directing them to the ‘Manage My Booking’ function on ba.com three days before they are due to depart. There, they can find the relevant entry requirements, including a negative Covid-19 test result and a digital declaration form. Customers will then upload each document via ‘Manage My Booking’ which will be certified by the airline within six hours to ensure they meet the entry requirements.
A video explaining how the process works can be viewed on BA’s website.
Sean Doyle, chief executive of British Airways, said: “At British Airways we are preparing for the meaningful return to international travel in the coming months. This means doing everything we can to simplify the journey for our customers, allow them to travel with confidence and create the best possible seamless, frictionless experience in a new Covid era.
“We know that innovation and technology hold the key to unlocking international travel. We are already offering access to travel app ‘VeriFLY’ on selected routes and IAG has been helping develop ‘Travel Pass’ with IATA.
“Now it’s also time to look at what we can offer through our own website. The key benefit of customers being able to upload the correct travel documentation into their booking, is that it enables them to check-in online, speeding up the airport process. We are continually exploring the best possible options to help our customers return to the skies, safely.”
BA has separately partnered with digital health travel ‘passport’ service VeriFLY, which is currently available on the airline’s flights from the UK to the US and Canada, as well as all inbound flights to the UK.
The app is optional for customers and can be downloaded to a mobile device. It has been designed to offer peace of mind to customers before they fly by checking they meet the entry requirements of their destination by providing digital health document verification and confirming eligibility.
BA said it will continue to explore different health passport options for its customers in preparation for the restart of travel.