Qantas to launch revolutionary smartcard check-in

12 Nov 2009

Australian flag carrier Qantas is to allow its domestic frequent flyers to check in themselves and their bags automatically with a swipe of their membership card, halving waiting time.

The “Airport of the Future” programme will start in Perth and will roll out across key Australian cities, which are part of the airline’s CityFlyer network, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra.

Qantas Frequent Flyer cards and associated luggage tags for members in tiers from Silver through to Platinum will be replaced with smartcards, whose chip will carry passenger details.

Flyers will swipe the card, which will act as a boarding pass, and drop their tagged bags at a simplified baggage drop station. This will do away with printed cards and luggage stickers.

The IBM-developed system will start operation by the middle of next year said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.

“Next-generation check-in is all about responding to our customers’ desire for increased speed and ease through the airport process. Importantly, the changes will provide new added services for our Frequent Flyers, particularly business travelers, who are time poor and looking for ease and efficiency when they fly,” he said.

Security checks will remain standard for all passengers.

Qantas has said that it will also improve check-in procedures for frequent flyer members below Silver status and for all other passengers with more hosted kiosks and rapid bag drops.

Kenny Coyle

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