Qantas is extending its Next-Generation Checkin service to New Zealand, with trans-Tasman travellers able to use their smartchipped Q Cards to quickly check in for flights across the pond.
New international versions of the self-service Q Card terminals have been designed to scan a passport as well as the smartchipped cards issued to Platinum, Gold and Silver Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members.
The terminals then issue a boarding pass which doubles as your ticket to the express path for customs and security.
The system is now up and running for flights from Sydney to Auckland and Wellington, with Melbourne, Brisbane and Queenstown coming online in the next few weeks and Christchurch early next year.
Qantas is also looking to extend the service to the USA, beginning with the mega-hub of Los Angeles.
Alison Webster, Qantas Executive Manager for Customer Experience, told Australian Business Traveller that the system is aimed at passengers who travel with carry-on bags only, “and that’s as many as two-thirds of our frequent flyer across the Tasman.”
Webster said that Qantas is also examining a full international rollout of Next-generation Checkin, starting with Los Angeles and Sydney.
“We recognise that Los Angeles is a pain point for our customers so that’s one of the key ports we’re looking at, and clearly our home port of Sydney will be another focus.”
Taking Next-Generation Checkin beyond the trans-Tasman stage is more challenging due to “the complexities of the environment, with immigration and customs and the more complex regulatory controls”.
And while the size and scope of LAX will set a high bar for Qantas, “if we can do Next-generation Checkin there we can do it anywhere” Webster says.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.