Air NZ: domestic passengers will need vaccination or negative test
From Air New Zealand:
Air New Zealand is helping customers to get travel ready for a safe summer, adding a new layer of assurance for customers travelling on its domestic network.
The airline is advising customers that from mid-December, all customers will be asked to present proof of either full vaccination or a negative Covid test before checking in to their domestic flights.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Greg Foran says the change is about reducing the spread of Covid-19, ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer as Kiwis reconnect with friends and whānau.
"Delta has really upped the stakes. What once kept us safe is no longer enough and we need an extra layer of protection. That's why we’re taking a step further to keep our customers safe, while allowing all Kiwis to fly."
The airline is aiming to have the change in place by 14 December 2021 for an initial period until 31 March 2022. It will apply to all passengers aged 12 or older travelling on an Air New Zealand aircraft within New Zealand. All vaccines and tests approved by the New Zealand Government will be accepted.
"For the most seamless experience, we're encouraging customers to download our Air New Zealand mobile app to make it easy as possible to connect their vaccination status in the Government’s My Vaccine Pass with booking details, which will allow check-in."
Those not fully vaccinated will be able to provide evidence of a negative covid test taken within 72 hours before departure – from either free community testing or their GP.
The change follows overwhelming feedback from customers and employees calling for more protection during travel.
"We're making this change so we can all travel our beautiful country over summer and fly with a peace of mind that everyone onboard is seated shoulder-to-shoulder against Covid.
"We're doing it to protect vulnerable communities, for those with weakened immune systems or who can't get vaccinated, for the elderly in our rest homes and our wee tamariki at home.
"Customers will be flying this summer for a number of reasons, and it's our role to get them there. We don’t want to leave anyone behind, which is why we're giving customers the choice to either be fully vaccinated or present a negative test."
This is the latest step in the airline getting behind the public health effort, including mandating vaccinations for frontline employees and international customers, moving vaccines and vaccinators across New Zealand and the Pacific, and turning a 787 Dreamliner into a world-first Jabaseat vaccination clinic.
If customers are unable to provide proof before their flight, they can put their fare into credit, or get a refund (if they have purchased a flexirefund fare).
Here's full details of how the scheme will work.
Who does the Travel Ready policy apply to?
· All passengers aged 12 or older travelling on an Air New Zealand aircraft in New Zealand
· It doesn’t apply to children or those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
Will there be exemptions?
· This will not apply to children aged under 12
· Passengers with medical exemptions (they will be able to confirm their exemption)
All other domestic passengers will need to have either proof of full vaccination, or a negative covid-19 test (72 hours before travel).
When does this come into effect?
Aiming for a start date of 14 December 2021 until 31 March 2022 (when we'll review the policy to make sure it’s fit for purpose).
How will it work?
We have developed a digital solution, linking our check-in touch points (app, web and kiosks). The process will be as seamless as possible but will differ depending on a customer's vaccination status. Customers will be required to present proof of vaccine or test during check in.
1. Customers can show proof of vaccination (or exemption) by uploading their QR code from the Government’s My Vaccine Pass. This can be done at check-in via our mobile app, website or at the kiosk.
2. Customers who have a negative test result taken within 72 hours before departure can present either the text message result or doctor’s letter to a Customer Services Agent.
A boarding pass will be issued once one of the above steps is met. Documents other than My Vaccine Pass must be validated by our airport teams – this includes anyone who has been vaccinated offshore.
Will Air New Zealand hold private information?
We’re concerned about our customer's privacy, which is why we don’t hold onto any of vaccination or testing details. We just recognise customers have been verified and that’s it.