Delta and Virgin Atlantic to Launch Built-in Digital Health Credential
New endeavor aims to create a blueprint for an eased reopening trans-Atlantic travel
June 17, 2021
Delta passengers crossing the pond this summer will be among the first to use Delta FlyReady, a new digital health credential solution that seeks to take the guesswork out of the current confusion in health requirements during international travel.
The tool will initially help manage testing requirements, but Delta will integrate vaccination credentials into Delta FlyReady later this summer – which will help customers looking to travel to Delta FlyReady-eligible destinations that require proof of vaccination for entry.
Delta began testing the new solution in late April on flights between the U.S. and U.K., starting at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport. Delta FlyReady assists customers in scheduling a COVID-19 test that meets destination requirements, automatically verifies those test results and confirms the traveler meets the necessary testing requirements in place at their destination. In partnership with Virgin Atlantic Airways, customers traveling on either Delta- or Virgin Atlantic-operated flights will be able to use the tool beginning this summer (although Eligibility restrictions may apply).
“Early in the pandemic, we realized that our customers would need a way to navigate the complex requirements of post-COVID international travel, so we began working with our partners at Virgin Atlantic to develop this solution,” said Allison Ausband, E.V.P. & Chief Customer Experience Officer at Delta. “We are committed to making travel the enjoyable experience that we all cherish. Delta FlyReady is an easy-to-use, reliable and effective capability that removes the guesswork for customers and employees.”
Virgin Atlantic plans to begin testing this solution, adapted as Virgin Atlantic FlyReady, on Virgin Atlantic-operated flights between London Heathrow and U.S. cities starting this month. Those eligible to use the tool during the test will be contacted before travel with more information on how to participate.
“Virgin Atlantic FlyReady and Delta FlyReady will help to strengthen customers’ confidence as they return to the skies, by making their trans-Atlantic journeys as smooth and seamless as possible, while navigating new Covid-19 travel requirements in a convenient digital format,” said Corneel Koster, Chief Customer & Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic. “This innovative integrated solution will be further developed to include vaccination status.”
As of this week, the U.S. remained on the U.K.’s Amber List* as part of its phased plans to reopen international travel into the country this summer. Airlines continue to encourage both governments to enable U.K. residents and citizens to enter the U.S., and to move the U.S. to the U.K.’s Green List, fully reopening the trans-Atlantic corridor. As these discussions continue, Delta and Virgin Atlantic are putting technology into action that will serve as a blueprint to reopen international travel broadly.
Easy User Experience for Verifying Entry Requirements
Delta FlyReady is a new technology solution built on trusted health standards to digitally verify testing documents needed to travel on both Delta and Virgin Atlantic flights.
Here’s how it works for eligible customers:
Book your flight and check your email. Because the solution is integrated directly into Delta’s systems, there is no need for customers to download an additional app – eligible customers can access Delta FlyReady through a link found in their pre-flight email or My Trips before travel.
Schedule your COVID-19 test up to three days before departure. In partnership with TrustAssure, Delta will serve up verified COVID-19 testing locations near you and offer the option to book a test in a couple of clicks.*** Once you have taken your test, you will receive an email from TrustAssure confirming your Delta FlyReady status or notifying you of additional actions needed.
Already have results from another test provider? No problem. If you chose to get tested through another provider, use the “upload test results” option to verify a digital copy or photo of your results. Upload before arriving at the airport, verify and enjoy the same time-saving benefits of your Delta FlyReady status.
Check-in as you normally would before travel. No need to stress – Delta has automatically linked your Delta FlyReady status to your itinerary, and you are ready to travel.
All customer health data associated with Delta FlyReady is encrypted. Nothing is stored in Delta’s systems. Delta only receives a digital indicator showing that the customer has met the applicable legal requirements.
Delta FlyReady is one of the many ways the airline is making it easier to return to travel as destinations reopen. While the current focus is on reopening travel between the U.S. and U.K., Delta hopes to expand Delta FlyReady availability to additional routes as more international destinations reopen later this summer.
Today, customers can access travel requirements and detailed test location information on delta.com through the new Delta Discover Map and Travel Planning Center.
*For countries on the amber list, travel requires one pre-departure test, plus quarantine at home for 10 days upon return in England, Wales or Scotland (for details of what the rules may be in Northern Ireland it’s best to look at the government website as they differ). In addition, PCR tests are then required on days two and eight of quarantine.
For US residents returning from the UK, international CDC protocols remain in place: “All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States. After Travel, flyers should get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.