United Airlines has unveiled a new digital solution to keep customers updated and in compliance with travel restrictions called the Travel-Ready Center.
United Airlines Travel-Ready Center
The Travel-Ready Center is a “one-stop-shop” where passengers can review their specific COVID-19 travel requirements for upcoming travel, find local testing options, and upload any testing or vaccination records that might be needed for entry.
These new features will be integrated into the United’s mobile app (and on united.com).
United already offers a Destination Travel Guide with information on domestic and international travel restrictions. The Travel-Ready Center will build upon that by allowing passengers to pinpoint local testing centers (in certain markets) as well as upload necessary documentation ahead of check-in.
Documentation will reviewed by human eyes. If approved, online check-in will be permitted for destinations which require negative tests, allowing passengers to bypass check-in or gate agents. You’ll know if you can check in online by looking for a green “Travel Ready” badge on your reservation.
Documentation is still subject to in-person verification at the airport, so bring it along even if you are cleared in advance to travel.
In the months ahead, United plans to add visa information as well, so that all entry requirements will be clearly spelled out ahead of travel.
United’s new Travel-Ready Center is conceptually a great tool to avoid additional airport checks. Still, my hunch tells me to expect checks again at the airport, at least for the time being. Eventually, I do hope for a seamless solution in which visa, vaccination, and testing information uploaded to the United app will avoid all need for human interaction prior to boarding.