International guests arriving in the U.S. can streamline their required COVID-19 documents starting Feb. 5 using the third-party app VeriFLY. The free and secure app offers fliers expedited check-in and verification for their arrival to the U.S., to help give confidence that they meet the entry requirements for their arrival to the U.S.
Why the need?
In early January, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention announced an order requiring international airline passengers entering the U.S. to have proof of a negative COVID test. The order explains that the test must be taken within three days of departure to the U.S., and that fliers must complete a health attestation form.
VeriFLY is a mobile app that acts as a digital health passport to supplement the guest travel journey as they fulfill U.S. entry requirements. Similar to Alaska Airlines’ Pre-Clear program, the app allows for real-time verification of COVID-related credentials, like health questionnaires and diagnostic lab results. Guests will be able to store proof of their negative COVID test, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19, in addition to their health attestation form in the app to help optimize the document verification process and get them on their way.
Although proof of a negative COVID test is mandatory for travelers to enter into the country, usage of VeriFLY is not. Alaska Airlines guests will have the option to use the app for faster verification but will still be obligated to present the essential health documents as required by the CDC’s order regardless.
VeriFLY will be limited to one person per mobile device and requires an internet/mobile data connection to acquire/access passes and credentials. Adults must attest on behalf of those under the age of 18, so minors are not eligible for VeriFLY.
How does the app work?
- Download and create a user profile
First, the guest must download VeriFLY from the App Store or Google Play at least seven hours prior to departure, preferably as early as possible prior to departure, then register a user profile with a photo. This step will also require email authentication.
- Browse and add destination
Then, guests will need to browse the app to select the country of destination and add their inbound flight details.
- Complete and upload documents
Once the profile is set up and the flight information has been confirmed, the app will generate a pre-travel “to-do” list with the necessary requirements for the country (in this case, the app will display all of the mandatory items needed for entry into the U.S. based on the CDC’s order.) Here, the guest will upload their required health documents and complete the attestation form.
- Receive travel pass verification
After all documents have been uploaded, VeriFLY may take up to six hours to validate that the guest’s information is correct and confirmed. If the guest’s VeriFLY information cannot be confirmed, the guest will need to follow the manual process in adherence to the CDC’s rule.
- Present verified profile at the airport
At the airport, the guest must present their certified VeriFLY profile to an Alaska Airlines agent (first point of contact). Once the guest’s information is validated, the guest can continue normal check-in without additional test verification. Upon arrival to the country, no other VeriFLY processes will be in place. The guest will be subject to the standard U.S. port of entry’s arrival procedure.
Alaska Airlines is exploring using this app in other markets that have entry requirements.