December 31, 2020 | Andrew Appelbaum No Vax, No Fly Year End Review Who would’ve thought airlines would be the biggest cheerleaders for the new COVID vaccine? Yes, the aviation industry is pushing hardest for anything that will bring back customers and restore trust in flying. Qantas got the ball rolling last month when its CEO declared airlines across the world should consider enforcing “no-vaccination no-fly” policies to get people flying again. In response to the Qantas announcement, Delta said it would launch new testing protocols for COVID as part of an effort to eliminate the need for quarantining. Then, American Airlines unveiled its new software app called VeriFLY, to streamline travel requirements due to COVID restrictions. Also entering the field were the airline lobbyists, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with a “digital health passport” that would allow travelers to store vaccination and testing information required by airlines and governments. IATA said this mobile app will be free to passengers and will gain revenue from a small cost to airlines. Asian governments followed suit with AirAsia and KoreanAir spokespersons agreeing the vaccine requirement will become a trend in Asia and a condition for lifting quarantine requirements. Air New Zealand agreed, but will work closely with authorities. Is this just a PR motivated move? Or will vaccines be mandatory for all international flyers? This concept is nothing new. It has been going on for years. Every country around the world requires airlines to check that a passenger meets the entry requirements before accepting the customer, and verifying for vaccinations among other things. Evidence of vaccination has been a requirement for passengers to enter a number of countries. So nothing has changed, the concept is nothing new, it will just simply be another requirement the airline will have to comply with. FLYERSRIGHTS YEAR END RECAP: December – FlyersRights Appeals the 737 MAX Ungrounding November – FOIA request for 737 MAX ungrounding ‘fix’ details with FAA August – FlyersRights’ Emergency Rulemaking Petition for Masks on Planes June – FlyersRights urges airlines to space passengers out to reduce risk of infection March – FlyersRights pushes for notice for compensation for long delays on international flights Other Efforts: December – No Emotional Support Animals onboard. FAA took FlyersRights’ advice UPDATE: AXE THE MAX FlyersRights, as the designated representative of the flying public to the FAA on safety, fought hard against ungrounding the Boeing 737 MAX until it was safe. Earlier this month, the FAA has ungrounded the MAX based on secret data. We are appealing that decision. Appeals courts have ruled that the FAA cannot make important safety decisions based on secret data. Previously, we questioned Boeing on why it did NOT ground after the first crash in 2018, then publicly called for grounding shortly after the second crash in 2019 due to the same defective software. Link. In November 2019, FlyersRights.org issued a white paper explaining in detail the broken FAA aircraft certification process that delegates safety decisions to Boeing with little oversight. In December 2019, Flyers Rights filed a Freedom of Information court case to require FAA disclosure of the technical details of the Boeing proposed MAX fix to unground the plane. This would enable independent experts to evaluate MAX safety fixes instead of just taking the word of discredited and conflicted Boeing employees and undertrained FAA personnel. The court ordered in 2020 the FAA release the documents amounting to about 10,000 pages, but Boeing and FAA, while promising transparency, redacted all substantive documents plus all details of FAA testing. The FAA and Boeing claim trade secrets, agency confidentiality and personal privacy to maintain their longstanding tradition of secrecy and unaccountability in aircraft safety certification. FlyersRights’ Litigation has the support of the Flight Attendants union, top Aviation safety engineers and pilots – but for our legal team and experts to be successful we need passenger donations as never before. Such safety litigation does not produce a monetary return even if successful. The FAA and Boeing have enormous resources. We have a dozen aviation experts, Capt. Sullenberger, Capt. Carey former president of Allied Pilots Assn., Sara Nelson president of AFA, the largest flight attendant union, all supporting our litigation to force FAA to disclose the details of the MAX fix and its testing which is being kept secret. But with your help now, FlyersRights can overturn the unsafe ungrounding of the 737 MAX. The MAX caused 346 deaths in two 100% fatal crashes In 2018 and 2019. It was projected by FAA technical personnel to result in an additional 15 such crashes over the life of the aircraft based on its defective design and software. Paul Hudson President, FlyersRights The FlyersRights® Insider Vol. 51 This month’s travel-related information tips and suggestions for our readers and members: 1. Flying is safer than grocery shopping https://simpleflying.com/flying-safer-than-grocery-shopping/ 2. Passport renewal during COVID-19 https://www.cntraveler.com/story/us-passport-renewal-during-covid 3. When partner reward flights go wrong https://thepointsguy.com/news/partner-award-flights-go-wrong/amp/ The above articles can be viewed by clicking on the link. For more in-depth and up-to-date information on these items, please refer to the source. If any of our readers have any ideas for input, please feel free to send them to FlyersRights!