In April, travelers at London’s Heathrow airport had to wait as long as six hours to be cleared to fly. The bottlenecks were a result of airline agents struggling to make sense of the various Covid-19 health clearances travelers were presenting. Imagine small cards, stamped documents, and digital apps in various languages and formats. The lack of standardization was a killer.
As international travel ramps up in parts of the world, Amadeus, a reservation system used by 474 airlines, has adopted IBM’s digital health passport solution called IBM Digital Health Pass. Instead of presenting paper-based certifications, travelers need only scan a QR code sent by email at the gate. Travelers without smart phones can print a QR code. The backend technology authenticates credentials against requirements of each country—relieving from agents an onerous burden, given how frequently countries change travel restrictions as the pandemic evolves.
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