We know the pandemic is not over, but it seems everyone is moving toward the endemic stage of this mess with so many travel restrictions either coming off or soon to end.
One of the frustrations for me as an off-and-on traveler during the past two years of COVID was the United States never implemented a true government digital ID that could be used and recognized worldwide like EU countries implemented. CLEAR could have been such a solution but had issues.
Early on, as we have blogged about before, CLEAR allowed you to enter your vaccination info but there were issues. Depending on where you got your shot(s) you were not fully recognized. The other issue was often the lot number for your vaccine was not propagated and thus the usefulness of the digital ID was less than impressive. CLEAR has now made some real changes. Take a look:
You now have a number of options you did not have early on with the ID. You can now manually enter from your vax card not only the lot number of your shot(s) but where you got the shot(s).
Not just that, part of the process is that you take a photo of your paper vax card and that is also displayed when you click on the “View Details” button.
These are all great improvements and I would have loved to have seen these features at the initial roll-out or shortly thereafter. But even with all of these changes, it is far from perfect. One issue is you can only enter one booster shot. I got my second booster the day it was opened up for those 50 and over so entered this one in as my booster in CLEAR. The next tiny drawback is you can not edit anything so any changes to your vax status means you delete everything and start over. The last big bummer is you can not click on and zoom in on your paper vax card to see it clearly in the app.
Beyond all of the above, I think the days of needing to produce vaccinations status will possibly come to an end sometime during 2022 and even so the real paper one is what will still be needed since the CLEAR one is not officially recognized universally.
Next up I wanted to return to what was, when it first came out, a simply stunning and remarkably useful tool for us frequent Delta flyers, that is, the PNR viewer site. It gave us such valuable access to our reservations in the “Remarks” section of the reservation. With Delta changing flights almost every single Saturday to see the history of just how much, over time, your flights had changed was HUGE. On top of this anything reps had manually entered into the record was a gift.
I said when it came out that I doubted it would last and Delta would never allow such valuable information to remain accessible to us and I was right. Delta quickly reached out to the site and asked it to be disabled while they cleaned up their IT. For a few days after you could still pull up all the data if you ran the GO software on your personal computer but now data has been limited to what is available to us.
The tool is still useful but much less so than before. Also noteworthy is how the site has added a number of other airlines to the viewer, including Delta Skyteam partner AeroMexico, and it seems more will be on the way. – René
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