The Madrid-based International Airlines Group (IAG), a holding corporation controlling five airlines (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and LEVEL),…
Lufthansa Becomes Latest Airline to Integrate CommonPass
Lufthansa has become the latest airline to integrate CommonPass, a digital COVID test certificate app. The German flag carrier joins fellow Star Alliance airlines United and Swiss International Air Lines in supporting the initiative.
CommonPass is available for customers on all Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt to the U.S. Customers can also use the app for domestic connecting flights from Hamburg, Cologne, Berlin and Dusseldorf.
Lufthansa is offering the digital certificate to passengers who have had a COVID-19 test with its partner Centogene. Customers will receive an access code 72 hours before their flight, allowing their results to be delivered to the app. The airline is offering free morning access to Frankfurt’s Senator Lounge for Common Pass users.
JetBlue and CommonPass have partnered up to enable travelers to have a streamlined trip to Aruba. Customers receiving test results from an approved partner can benefit from the digital certificate.
CommonPass users are then able to use the fast lane upon arrival. Officials examine the digital certificate at the airport, and travelers can get on their way sooner.
The Ins and Outs
A Lufthansa press release states that a test certificate is created based on results and country entry restrictions. This includes ensuring the test document is valid for the destination. The digital certificate shows the test method, validity period and how long it has been since the test. In Aruba, the CommonPass link is inserted directly into the travel declaration for verification.
Airlines inspect the pass when customers board to prove they are fit to fly. On arrival, officials may check the health pass to ensure the traveler meets entry requirements. While most health documents, including vaccine certificates, are physical copies, a digital version should be easier to take along and harder to forge.
According to its website, CommonPass is a global platform to “satisfy country entry requirements, while protecting health data privacy.”
A collaboration of The Commons Project, The World Economic Forum and public and private partners worked to launch the app. The World Economic Forum’s Head of Mobility, Christoph Wolff, said in a statement about the project, “Individual national responses will not be sufficient to address this global crisis. Bans, bubbles and quarantines may provide short term protection, but developed and developing nations alike need a long-term, flexible and risk-based approach like CommonPass.”
Competition Among Platforms
As borders begin to re-open, more countries may look for a uniform approach to health verification. IATA has announced their own health certificate, hoping it can be the industry standard when travel returns. Air New Zealand, Copa Airlines and RwandAir are just some of the airlines looking to trial the IATA option.
Another option currently being trialed is VeriFLY. Similar to CommonPass, VeriFLY is a mobile app confirming the COVID-Status of its users through testing. American Airlines and British Airways are currently using the VeriFLY app for all inbound international flights.
“We know that digital health apps and wallets will likely become commonplace when travel opens up again,” British Airways CEO Sean Doyle, said in an airline press release. “We are exploring every available solution to support eligible customers and the UK government both during this period of limited travel and in preparation for a time when restrictions are eased, when we hope many more people will be able to resume flying again.”
The travel industry hopes that health certificates will help re-open borders. In August, Austrian advocated for mandatory pre-departure testing to prevent quarantine measures. Similarly, Delta launched “COVID-free flights” to Rome with testing regimens to encourage alternatives to quarantine.
Lufthansa said in the press release that CommonPass would be modified in the future to show vaccine status. This would be instrumental in enforcement for countries offering vaccinated passengers a quarantine-free stay.
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