June 18 2021  |  Airline & Terminal News

Delta and Virgin to launch digital health credential

By Rick Lundstrom

FlyReady was tested on April flights between Atlanta and London Heathrow in April

Delta passengers traveling between the U.S. and U.K. this summer will be among the first to use Delta FlyReadySM, a new digital health credential solution that will help take the guesswork out of meeting 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.

Delta began testing the new solution in late April on flights between Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport. Delta FlyReady assists passengers in scheduling a COVID-19 test that meets destination requirements, automatically verifies their test results and confirms the traveler meets the necessary testing requirements in place at their destination.

In partnership with Virgin Atlantic Airways, passengers traveling on either Delta-or Virgin Atlantic-operated flights will be able to use the tool beginning this summer, based on eligibility.

“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 – Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer. “We are committed to making travel an enjoyable experience that we all cherish, and Delta FlyReady is an easy-to-use, reliable and effective capability that removes the guesswork for customers and our employees.”

Virgin Atlantic plans to begin testing the solution, adapted as Virgin Atlantic FlyReadySM, on Virgin Atlantic-operated flights between London Heathrow and U.S. cities starting in June. 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 and Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic. “Our commitment is to ensure every single customer flies safe and well and we’re delighted to be working closely with our partners Delta Air Lines and TrustAssureTM to launch this innovative integrated solution, which will be further developed to include vaccination status.”

As of June 17, 2021, 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,” said a release from Delta.

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 is an overview of how the experience works for eligible customers:

Book their flight and check email. Because the solution is integrated directly into Delta’s systems, there is no need for passengers to download an additional app – eligible passengers can access Delta FlyReady through a link found in their pre-flight email or My Trips before travel.

Schedule a 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 based on Delta or Virgin Atlantic options. Once passengers have taken the test, they will receive an email from TrustAssure confirming your Delta FlyReady status or notifying if 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. Delta has automatically linked to a passenger's Delta FlyReady status to their itinerary, and you are ready to travel but should bring paper documentation on the day of travel, based on requirements of the destination.

Delta FlyReady offers benefits for Delta employees as well. Over time the solution will limit the amount of paperwork involved in verifying a customer’s Delta FlyReady status. Airport agents will be shown a digital indicator to prove the customer has met necessary requirements, lowering the risk of denied boarding.

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.

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