British Airways is planning to launch a new digital travel pass to make it easier for people who’ve received their Covid-19 jab to prove that they are safe to fly.
Here’s the lowdown on the pass and what it could mean for those planning to travel in the near future.
How does British Airways’ travel pass work?
People who have received both doses of the Covid-19 jab will be able to upload their vaccination details to the British Airways smartphone app. This could then be used to prove that they are safe to fly.
Many see the new travel pass from British Airways as a way of enticing people to fly once the government lifts travel restrictions.
According to BA’s CEO, Sean Doyle, the UK has developed a strong leadership position in regards to overcoming the pandemic. He says that this leadership position should spill over into the restoration of travel and the economy.
To this end, he urged the government to ‘set an example’ and be more ambitious in developing systems that can verify the inoculation and test status of people to allow them to travel overseas.
What about other airlines?
British Airways is actually not the first airline to launch a vaccine passport or travel pass.
Ireland’s Ryanair recently launched its own digital vaccine passport system. Passengers will be able to upload vaccine verification and negative tests to the company’s app to allow them to travel freely.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also been working on a digital Covid Travel Pass. The pass is basically an app that verifies that you’ve either got a negative Covid test or received the Covid vaccine.
Several airlines including Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines are already trialling the IATA Covid Travel Pass.
What does this mean for international travel and holidays?
People in the UK are unable to travel abroad for holidays until 17 May at the earliest.
The reopening of international travel on this date depends on the country meeting several conditions. These include the vaccination campaign continuing to go smoothly and no spike in hospital admissions.
Airlines and travel companies have witnessed a spike in bookings since the roadmap out of lockdown announcement.
With the launch of programmes such as British Airways’ digital travel pass that eliminate the need for quarantine by proving that travellers have had the jab, it’s safe to assume that we might see even more people making bookings for holidays.
Should I book a holiday?
Booking a holiday right now, before the borders reopen, has its perks. You might be able to score a great deal and get the exact holiday you want ahead of the crowd. But there are some risks.
The most obvious one is the government moving back the date for the opening of international travel. That could happen if the country fails to meet some of the conditions for reopening. Remember also that the rules of entry vary from one country to the next and could change at any time.
The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself.
For example, before you book your trip, consider taking out travel insurance. Depending on the type of cover, you might be able to recoup your money if your holiday can’t go ahead. Make sure that you read the fine print very carefully to establish what’s covered and what’s not.
In a time when every penny counts, think about taking out a travel credit card that does not charge you extra for foreign transactions and cash withdrawals. It could help you stretch your holiday money a little further.
Finally, if the thought of international travel still seems a little risky, why not plan a local holiday instead? There’s still a lot worth exploring locally.
Some offers on MyWalletHero are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.