Delta CEO Flirts With the Idea of “Immunity Passports” for Air Passengers

Zach Wichter of The Points Guy wrote a recent piece about the possibility of Delta Air Lines floating the idea of “immunity passports” for air travel in the future.

It’s no secret that the travel industry has been completely turned upside down by the Wuhan virus outbreak.

Although travel will eventually resume after the outbreak subsides, there will likely be changes in how airlines will try to self-regulate and ensure travelers take necessary health precautions. There is still uncertainty in the air with regards to the approaches airlines will take in the post-Wuhan virus reality.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said during conference a call with investors on April 22, 2020 that he and his employees are preparing for the possibility of new restrictions imposed on travelers, which could consist of policies requiring passengers to present documents indicating that they are in good health.

“We will make whatever changes to the business model that will be necessary,” he stated, suggesting that “immunity passports” could be required for travelers. “Could there be a new public health agency coming out that requires a new passport to travel? I don’t know but we’ll be on the forefront of all those advances.”

Other aviation industry insiders believe that passport requirements could be coming soon in order to grapple with a post-Wuhan virus reality.

“People will have to carry, essentially, a COVID passport,” declared Robert W. Mann, an aviation analyst based in New York City. Mann is of the view that people will still likely have to possess documentation demonstrating their immunity when they go travel abroad.

Some parts of the world are already rolling out similar passport measures. The Washington Post recently did a story on Chile’s new efforts to issue immunity passports to citizens who have recovered from the Wuhan virus. This paperwork allows holders to be exempt from government-mandated social distancing requirements.

Put simply, Chileans who have recovered from the virus can go back to work to work and are no longer required to be under lockdown.

As of now, there have been no concrete measures in the U.S. to take such steps. However, as the economy is gradually re-opened, certain policymakers will likely put forward similar methods.

Civil liberties activists will have to be on the lookout