B.C. officials are pressing the federal government to force airlines to provide more and better information about passengers. Dozens of flights have been flagged as carrying passengers who have tested positive for COVID-19 but Dr. Bonny Henry, B.C.’s chief medical health officer, said the airlines can’t or don’t provide information sufficient to do contact tracing so they can warn the other passengers. “It would shock you to see what we get from the airlines when we request a flight manifest,” Henry said.
Although everyone on a flight has given the airline detailed personal information when booking a ticket, that doesn’t make it to Henry’s staff when they ask the airline for a manifest. She said sometimes there aren’t even any names for some of the passengers, just the fare they paid. Instead of names, the passengers are identified by the travel agency they used, a frequent flyer number or by the name of the person who bought the ticket and not the actual passenger.