VeriFly App Now Has Paid Option For Checking International Travel Documents, Don’t Fall For It

Travel rules have changed frequently throughout the pandemic. International travel is far more complicated than domestic travel, since you need to think about,

  • The rules for your destination, which may include requirements for proof of vaccination (and what counts varies) and now even potentially proof of booster shots

  • The rules for any connecting city, first whether transit is permitted and whether you qualify, but also – ideally – whether you’d be eligible to enter the country where you’re connecting in case of a flight delay or cancellation that forces you to spend the night enroute.

Since the details vary by destination, and are fast-changing, airlines have turned to third parties to keep up with these rules and verify documents. Getting passengers to upload and process these details in advance saves the carrier staffing at the airports, long lines and delays which can be costly, and risk that they’ll transport a passenger who is ineligible to fly (with all of the costs and hassle associated).

American Airlines, British Airways and Aer Lingus use the VeriFly app. So do some cruise lines. In general it’s been well-received by passengers, and having documents verified in advance reduces stress while traveling. You go through the app process for many international itineraries in order to complete online check-in.

This service is free to travelers, it’s a benefit to the airline, but VeriFly in the past few weeks has introduced an ‘upsell’. They’ll say that processing volumes are high (even though travel numbers have been down), but they’ll expedite review of your documents letting you jump the queue for a fee, generally

  • $8.99 for a solo traveler
  • $14.99 for a party on the same reservation

There is no discernable benefit to this offer of priority review! Even if it takes an hour for VeriFly to review your documents, you’ll still going to be fully checked in. And you don’t have to use VeriFly at all, you can always go to the check-in counter where agents will review your documents.

If you’re especially concerned about having everything set before arrival at the airport just make sure to do your online check-in earlier. But since they won’t take documents through VeriFly close to departure anyway, you had to do this in order to use the app to start with.

I asked American Airlines whether there was any consumer benefit to this? And an airline spokesperson offers, “The paid option is offered by VeriFLY as a convenience for customers if they choose to use it. ..The airline does not receive any revenue for the app’s use.”

They also note that a customer can submit their documents without extra charge or “show their documents at the airport without using the app.”

This revenue enhancer from VeriFly seems to prey on customer fears – on inexperienced and nervous travelers – more than anything else.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I had to use their app 2x for intl travel and it’s a joke. Didn’t understand a domestic connection for an international flight. Utterly useless app. Now they want to scam people for have docs reviewed? Please……

  2. I have waited as long as 24-hours (prior to the one-day requirement testing requirement) and today it was only 75 minutes for my approval to come back. The bad part of doing manual document review at the airport, is the lines can be long.
    The Verifly app does have issues at times. One trip in December, it deleted my profile and approval, on the morning of my flight. I had to do the docs at the airport, waiting in line. I went through the sign up process before my next trip after that.

  3. wow someone is trying to make money when you travel. we need to report this to Bernie and AOC so they put a stop to this profit making opportunity.

  4. Saw that when using it last week. They also like to deny Abbott BinaxNow AG randomly, and have done so repeatedly. It’s annoying because the Abbott test time shows in UTC, and Verifly does not offer that option.

  5. Well, now, wait a minute: I used this when we were coming back from Mexico a few weeks ago and it did help. I couldn’t even get the manual review to work at all for free, and then as soon as we paid the fee, presto – things were all set. It may be an upsell but it’s not useless.

  6. Please look at the Trustpilot reviews of VeriFly. Over 90% rate it as dreadful, and I concur. Just about the worst app to come out of the pandemic.

  7. Gary,
    Does it bother you that Verifly is actually a Chinese based data collection company that specializes in collecting info on Chinese citizens? I started to use the app but then I got suspicious of who was behind it when it wanted my face pic for no logical reason. So I looked up the maker of the app and found it out. Please do a little digging because I feel that no one knows this and everyone just trusts AA and BA to pick a partner whom is based in the US for our extremely sensitive biometric and identification information. It’s just insane this is the chosen partner of our largest domestic airline.

  8. Delta uses FlyReady. We’ve done 6 international RT’s trying to use FlyReady. It is more of a pain than a help. Even though we upload our vaccination cards and negative covid tests, we have to show these again and again – at check-in, and again upon boarding (about half the time) – and most certainly again if connecting (CDG, ICN). With Delta, they are not going to let you on the plane without an airline employee putting eyes on your ORIGINAL documents. Same problem for returning to the US where Delta wants you to sign the attestation form digitally online or in their app, you get a verification that you signed it, but then again at the airport, there is NO RECORD of you signing it. You can even show them your email with the green checkmark saying “Passenger Attestation Submitted” – but THEY WANT YOU TO DO IT AGAIN AT THE CHECK IN COUNTER. I’m not sure how these third party services help the airlines save time, personnel, etc.

  9. VeriFly is a joke. My wife and I were traveling to Puerto Rico and used VeriFly. PR requires a negative covid test within 48 hours and vaccine in proof. I used the exact same Covid test (from Amazon called on/go). When I uploaded my results to VeriFly they were accepted in minutes. Two hours later we completed my wife’s (same test, same images, etc as my submission) it was rejected. It was actually rejected two other times. Meanwhile, the PR gov’t website didn’t seem to have any issue with it all and we were on our way when we arrived.

    We also had a hell of a time with my wife also because (as we’re newly married) her married name doesn’t match her vaccine card either. It was another mess of poorly worded support and interminable emails with “support” to get them resolved. Quite literally you need to upload the vaccine card and the proof of name change at the same time.

    When it was all said and done it sure seemed American didn’t even care about our preparedness to arrive in PR as no one of their staff checked anything other than our boarding passes.

  10. I have used the Verifly app twice with international flights in American Airlines. Both Times it worked great with the notation that you should start getting your Veripass the night before travel if you want to use the free option. The first time I used the app it took 6hrs to verify my immunization cards and Covid test. The next time it took just over 2 hrs. That is the only hurdle. But it saved me loads of time checking in at the airport. Valuable time especially with long TSA wait times

  11. I have used this app 6 to 8 times. IT HAS NEVER WORKED! I scan and submit my documents and they are always rejected. But- if you give $18.95 every time you need it, it will work right away with the same documents. It is a scam. you can check in at the airport and not be so frustrated. I talked with 10 people around me in line at the check in, none of them could get it to work. Every response tendered was rejected by verifly. Do not use, period.

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