From 1 June 2017, Qantas began offering the option of using digital boarding passes for flights between Australia and New Zealand. The new feature allows travellers with carry on baggage to completely skip the check-in counter and head straight through security and immigration to the departure lounges and gates.
I tested this feature out on a recent trip to New Zealand and was really impressed at how this helps to eliminate one of the major pain points for international flights. Previously, you’ve had no option but to arrive super early at the airport and wait in line to manually check-in with an agent (or kiosk if you’re in Australia). This is especially frustrating for very early departures where it usually means waking up over 2.5 hours from the time of departure.
I didn’t have any problems with staff at the airport, in the lounge or at the gate by using the digital pass. I was asked several times if I had a paper pass as well, but after saying that I didn’t, they simply scanned the digital pass and allowed me to continue. I was wondering how the security/immigration staff at the airport might respond but it was no issue.
As for the technology, the check-in process is simple but unfortunately it’s only available via the desktop or tablet version of Qantas.com. You can get the boarding pass on your mobile (on Apple Wallet) but it’s a two step process that involves making a check-in on the desktop site and then accessing the board pass in the app. It would be great to see a single and seamless check-in experience within the app. I am sure this is coming.
Overall, really happy to see Qantas investing in new features that help eliminate the major pain points for customers. I can’t wait to see this roll out for more international destinations and come fully integrated into the app.