United Airlines Integrates Vaccine Verification Into Its App

United Airlines has now integrated vaccine verification into its mobile application. This development will benefit travelers whose itinerary requires proof of vaccination and eliminates some of the paperwork and checks needed at the airport. United will integrate the information through Apple’s Health app for iPhone users.

United Airlines is streamlining the health record check process of travel with digital uploads. Photo: Getty Images

United adds mobile app verification for Apple devices

United Airlines has now integrated its mobile application with the Apple Health app in iOS 15. Travelers will now be able to securely upload COVID-19 vaccination records on their iPhones, avoiding some of the additional paperwork and time required to check-in at the airport.

To take part in this, customers need to have an iPhone and verifiable COVID-19 vaccination records stored in the Apple Health app. Those records can now be uploaded to United’s Travel-Ready Center. The records through the Apple Health app use the SMART Health Cards format, which can be reviewed instantly on the United platform without any further reviews.

The Apple Health app on iOS15 allows passengers to store verifiable versions of their COVID-19 test results and immunization records. Apple also recently announced an upcoming software update where users can add and present verifiable COVID-19 vaccination information as a vaccination card in Apple Wallet.

More details on the process

Using the Travel-Ready Center on United’s iOS app, customers can see what their destination requires. If proof of vaccination is required, they can select the option to upload vaccine documentation. Passengers then click “Upload” and select the “Share your SMART Health Card” option, which will share the details from the Apple Health app once passengers click confirm through the Apple Health app. The vaccination record will upload to United’s system and be stored until they complete their travels.

After allowing Apple to share the data with United, the airline’s system will read the vaccine type, vaccine dates, name, and date of birth on the shared record. Once United verifies the record is authentic and is compared to the name and date of birth of the person traveling, it will compare the vaccine type and dates against government requirements. Once evaluated, the data is discarded. This data is not stored long-term.

Passengers should be aware that there may be spot checks at the airport, so pack your vaccination proof with you. Generally speaking, most passengers will not need to show their evidence at check-in at the airport.

While every country does have its own rules and regulations, all markets where United is currently collecting vaccine records through the Travel-Ready Center will have the SMART Health Cards upload as an option.

Making travel smoother

The days of passport, boarding pass, visa, and currency seem like simpler times in the era of passport, boarding pass, visa, vaccination and/or testing record, currency, mask, health insurance, and possibly extra forms. United is trying to simplify this process as much as possible. This will also help prime United’s system if the US institutes a domestic vaccination or testing requirement to fly, which would be an otherwise highly complicated endeavor.

In the hodgepodge of travel restrictions, airlines have started to use digital tools to ensure their customers know what they need to visit a foreign country and even some domestic jurisdictions. Now, the process is a little easier with the integration of Apple’s SMART Health Cards into United’s system, allowing for a smoother, more efficient check-in with a secure space to upload health information.

Are you going to utilize this new feature of United’s app? Let us know in the comments!