New app by GE tells travelers when airports were cleaned

'Travelers get a voice and can become part of a community where their voice will be heard,' GE said

Worried about catching the coronavirus while traveling? Or just creeped out by uncertain cleanliness in public places?

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General Electric has a new app to help you with that.

The company’s Wellness Trace App, which gained the Albany International Airport as its first customer Thursday, launched in June to help airports and airlines track coronavirus screenings and cleanliness for travelers and employees.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GEGENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY10.60+0.17+1.63%
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.49.91+3.18+6.81%
AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.16.09+1.23+8.28%
JBLUJETBLUE AIRWAYS15.89+0.92+6.15%
DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.42.95+1.88+4.58%

“It’s exciting that Albany International Airport is partnering with GE on cutting edge technology that may help travelers feel safer since COVID-19 has changed our world,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy in a news release. “Being able to scan a QR code and know the last time that surface at the airport was cleaned may alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty people are feeling as they venture out and bring back a sense of confidence. Any reassurance we can give people as they travel that they are doing so safely is important.”

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Here’s how it works: Employees tasked with cleaning spaces like airport bathrooms, food courts and other locations check in with the app whenever they finish sanitizing an area.

Each space has its own QR code, which travelers can scan with their smartphones to see when the last time a cleaning crew had come by.

GE said it aims to have the app available for widespread use to help consumers check up on current conditions with their fingertips, like Waze, TripAdvisor and Yelp.

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“Travelers get a voice and can become part of a community where their voice will be heard, and the experience is free for the public,” the company said.

The app is expected to undergo a three-month trial at the Albany airport before a brainstorming session on how to improve it or expand its scope. GE said it’s also working with other airports to expand the app’s footprint in the U.S. and abroad.

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GE’s aviation unit helped develop the app, which is secured by blockchain technology, according to the company. It arrives as the airline industry is struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic’s steep impacts on business and leisure travel, tourism and service industries.

Many airlines have suggested that they don’t expect the industry to recover until the world gets beyond the pandemic and a vaccine is widely available. Pfizer announced earlier this week that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 90% effective.

“The use of GE’s cutting-edge Wellness Trace App is a major first step in our joint efforts to integrate new digital solutions to create safer travel in a post-pandemic world,” Philip Calderone, CEO of the Albany County Airport Authority, said in a news release.

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