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OneWorld: Launches COVID-19 Travel Updates search portal

OneWorld: Launches COVID-19 Travel Updates search portal

The COVID-19 Travel Updates portal OneWorld has developed allows you to input origin and destination (route search), or a flight number and a date to search for any COVID-19 related travel protocols you need to observe.

I inputed some domestic Australian routeings, and some international ones, and the tool seems pretty accurate, if not totally user friendly in the way it presents information.

Primarily a tool too encourage sales

When you get your results, you see that this is very much a sales tool, providing you with available services, flights and lounge access from its members. Here are a couple of examples.

Domestic – Sydney to Adelaide

a screenshot of a travel advice

It’s all the headings that contain the phrase ‘COVID-19’ that are important. If you expand them using the ‘+’ sign on the right, you get your travel information. Much of it is pretty pro forma:

a screenshot of a travel advice

But some is quite specific, and appears to be updated fairly regularly through a deal with Sherpa a business-to-business service which focuses on:

We’re Sherpa—your guide to providing travel identification requirements so your customers can move freely, wherever life takes them.

The advice provided is not as specific as I would like, but it does provide links to the appropriate government and health websites.

a screenshot of a document

On the other hand, advice on border requirements within Australia change on a weekly if not daily basis, so maybe general advice with a link to government information is the way to go.

International – Sydney to London via Doha

The search tool locates the available routes from its members. In this case it gave me the following:

a screenshot of a computer

And when I ‘view’ the first leg SYD to DOH the first thing I get is information about arriving in Australia – actually its conduct at Sydney Airport generally.

a screenshot of a travel advice

Here is what you get for Doha:

a document with text on it

This is a lot, but perfectly accurate as far as I can see. It’s worth noting that the source of this information is Qatar Airways. I’d be more comfortable with a government website, but maybe this is the best information available.

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

The OneWorld COVID-19 Portal is not perfect but is a welcome addition to the tools available for travellers in these COVID-19 times when the rules for travel are more complex, and worse still, chop and change on a daily basis. It’s also a lot more than other alliances are providing about COVID-19 provisions across their members:

Skyteam uses the IATA Travel Centre site and Star Alliance merely link to COVID-19 information pages for their individual members.

OneWorld should be congratulated for supplying more bespoke information on the basis of the flight, or route you’re flying. Sometimes the functionality is a bit clunky, and while I was using it, the tool kind of froze, not taking selections or producing results. The ‘New Search’ link did fix that.

Lets hope they iron some of the bugs out, but well done OneWorld.

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