Home opinion-and-analysis Fuzzy Logic Qantas boards Apple’s Passbook app for Mobile Check-in

Qantas boards Apple’s Passbook app for Mobile Check-in

If you’ve been waiting for something major to happen with Apple’s iOS Passbook app, Qantas is definitely a high-flying major check-in to Apple’s skeuomorphic enhanced digital wallet-that-is-and-isn’t.

Although the US has a range of companies supporting its iOS 6 Passbook app, Qantas has announced that it’s supporting the app, naturally right here in Australia.

From now, Qantas says its customers that "complete mobile check-in from their iPhone will be able to add their mobile boarding pass to their Passbook app.

Samantha Taranto, Qantas’ Executive Manager of Domestic Customer Experience, promised “reduced congestion times at the airport” and “greater convenience”, adding that: “the overwhelming majority of our customers who use mobile check-in do so via an iPhone.

“Whether it’s iPad inflight entertainment or cutting edge check-in technology, we’re always looking to harness technology that improves the travel experience with Qantas.”

Qantas says its passes have different colours, so that “gate readers and cabin crew will be able to easily identify a customer’s loyalty tier”.

The next part of the Qantas press release sounds like it was written in conjunction with Apple.

It says that: “The boarding pass is stored with other compatible tickets, retail vouchers, loyalty cards and more together in the one app, and is grouped with other Qantas boarding passes. It remains available even if a customer loses internet connectivity or has already turned their phone to flight mode.

“Customers follow the mobile check-in process as they ordinarily would, and an ‘Add to Passbook’ button will now appear at the top of the mobile boarding pass. The Passbook app launches and once saved, the customer can then later open the Passbook app to open the boarding pass.

For now, Qantas says the service is only available to “customers on domestic flights eligible for mobile check-in”, while stating that: “we are working on further developments to the app which will enable live updates to the boarding passes. We expect that this extension will be in place by late January 2013.

Qantas doesn’t mention other iOS 6 devices with Passbook – hopefully this service is compatible with those devices too, with users no doubt soon to report whether that’s the case or not.

So, your iOS Passbook app now has Australia’s major airline supporting the program, and if you’re an iOS 6 user, chances are that it’s something you’ll be wanting to try out next time you take a domestic flight!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.