Almost a year into the pandemic there is still confusion about the restrictions and regulations travelers need to follow regarding types of COVID-19 tests, quarantine upon arrival, seating arrangement and lots more.
Multiple airline executives have attributed the decline in passenger numbers not only to the pandemic itself but also to the strict and frequently unclear information about COVID-19 protocols enforced by most countries to stop the coronavirus from spreading.
With all that in mind, United Airlines developed the new “Travel-Ready Center” App for passengers to book their flights, learn about the current regulations of their destinations, book their COVID-19 tests at the airport and upload their results. All in one.
The Strategy represents a major innovation and a qualitative step ahead in the new era of air travel.
According to Michelle Brown, United Airlines President of Digital Products, “based on the ticket that you purchased, tailored to you so that you will know everything that you need, particularly as all the COVID kind of landscape is changing.”
Thus, once travelers book their tickets, they can scroll down to the Travel-Ready Center to see testing requirements based on the visitors’ destination and book a COVID-19 test at one of the United Airlines new locations for testing at the airport.
Something that is now clear about the pandemic is that nobody can predict the course of it. Only a couple of months ago, the world was celebrating the approval of several vaccines and now health authorities have announced their concerns about the reduced efficiency against a few of the new strains.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it will not recommend COVID-19 testing for domestic flights, for now.
“For now” does not rule out the possibility for the near future. Thus, digital solutions like the recently introduced by United may allow travelers to easily understand the steps they need to follow in order to be allowed traveling.
This may be a game-changer, at least, until the country can immunize a relevant percentage of the population.
Since vaccine distribution started in the U.S. back on Dec. 14, more than 52 million people have received at least the first shot of the vaccine, reaching 11.5% of the total U.S. population.
According to federal data collected by the CDC, the country is currently vaccinating over 1.6 million people a day. The plan is to secure 300 million vaccines by summer. But this does not translate into vaccinating the entire population by that season’s end.