In an effort to reduce the number of travellers who show up to the airport with an expired passport, Air New Zealand has added a new passport scanning and smart passport service to its smartphone app.

The added functionality means that travellers using the airline’s app can scan their passport and store its information, allowing them to receive automatic notifications when it is time for the passport to be renewed. The scanned document can also be used at check-in.

According to the airline, about 550 of its customers per month show up for flights with an expired passport, while about 10 per cent of its customers incorrectly type in passport information during online check-in.

Avi Golan, the airline’s chief digital officer, said the additional features are part of a wider effort to integrate secure scanning into its booking systems.

“Customers consistently tell us time is the biggest stress factor when travelling, so prioritising features that offer genuine benefits and convenience on the go is key. Integrating smartphone camera technology to our app paves the way for adding secure credit card scanning to our booking system, as well as longer-term developments such as selfie-boarding – using biometrics and facial recognition to verify customers at the gate,” said Golan.

Alongside the passport scanning function, the app can now also allow up to nine boarding passes to be downloaded for groups of travellers, along with offering added baggage purchasing options.

Air New Zealand has been on a bit of a push to enhance its tech offerings recently. Back in October last year, it announced it would be adding in-flight wifi to its domestic routes starting later this year, with long-haul services set to follow in 2018.

Meanwhile in May this year, it unveiled its latest research and development project – augmented reality glasses for its cabin crew that would provide real-time information on all passengers.