Beginning this month, American Airlines will test a mobile app for customers that should make complying with changing international travel restrictions easier. The app is based on a wellness wallet called VeriFLY. Developed by Daon, the app will help travelers understand COVID-19 testing and documentation requirements for their destination and streamline airport check-in by ensuring that passengers have completed all travel requirements.
The app will be tested on American flights between Miami (MIA) and Montego Bay (MBJ) and Kingston (KIN), Jamaica.
Prior to Travel
After creating a secure profile on their mobile device, passengers will be prompted to confirm details for their trip such as:
- Their flight information.
- A negative COVID-19 test that fulfills their destination’s requirements.
- Any required documentation for travel to their destination based upon requirements published at that time.
As travelers verify each required element for their journey, the app verifies that the data matches a country’s requirements and displays a pass or fail message. This message will streamline the check-in and documentation verification process at the airport before departure. The app also conveniently provides travelers with reminders when their travel window is coming to a close or once their credential has expired.
Day of Travel
Passengers using the VeriFLY app will be provided an expedited entry lane for testing verification at MIA in the North Terminal. They will be required to simply show their approved “pass” validation on the app. That makes things easy for passengers and airline employees.
American is working with multiple countries to be able to use the VeriFLY app at destination airports so that customers have an expedited verification process on both ends of the travel journey.
The airline plans to expand the program to additional markets in the weeks and months ahead. Daon claims, as all companies do before they are hacked, that VeriFLY stores travelers’ information in a secure manner.
American Airlines Eliminates Change Fees On International Flights And More!
Effective November 19, 2020, American will eliminate change fees for First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Main Cabin (except Basic Economy) tickets for all long-haul international flying when travel originates in North or South America. This matches American’s previous announcement to get rid of change fees on most domestic and short-haul international flying.
Passengers must still pay any fare difference for a new flight. If the new flight is less expensive, passengers get a credit for the fare difference as long as they change their plans before their scheduled flight.
In addition, today American announced that you will no longer pay a $35 service charge when calling a reservations agent to book a ticket. The service charge had been waived during the coronavirus pandemic, but American now promises that the change is now permanent!
The elimination of change fees and fees for booking through its call centers completes a massive rollback of miscellaneous fees that American and other airlines have been steadily adding and increasing for several years.
This chart from American’s website illustrates:
Airlines have had to be very creative in dealing with the challenges presented by the current coronavirus pandemic. Will these these innovations last after the pandemic is controlled? I think some of the enhanced cleaning protocols will last and make air travel a healthier experience than before the pandemic. Others, like the elimination of various fees, seem likely to go by the wayside once passenger demand begins to return to normal levels.
Will the airlines’ efforts influence your travel decisions? Do you think customer-friendly changes will survive after the pandemic?