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Virgin Australia debuts iPhone 5 Passbook mobile boarding pass

By David Flynn     Filed under: iPhone, iPhone 5, iOS, Virgin Australia, mobile boarding

Virgin Australia's mobile boarding passes will work with the iPhone 5's new Passbook app when Apple's next-gen smartphone goes on sale this Friday.

Passbook – a 'digital wallet' capable of storing boarding passes, movie tickets and membership cards – will also be available to earlier-model iPhones and iPads when Apple releases the free iOS 6 software upgrade this week.

"We are proud to confirm that Virgin Australia will be the first Australian airline to provide guests with Passbook-compatible boarding passes" trumpets the airline on its blog. "Passbook means you no longer have to frantically search through your wallet or carry-on for your boarding pass."

Virgin is also revamping its mobile boarding passes to be colour-coded according to your Velocity status. 

How Passbook works on Virgin Australia flights

  • Upon completion of Mobile Check-in you will be sent a SMS link to your boarding pass.
  • Click the link and open your boarding pass.
  • If you have iOS6, a pop-up window will ask you to add your boarding pass to Passbook.
  • Click “Add” and your boarding pass will be stored in your Passbook.
  • When you are ready to board your flight, a Passbook alert will appear on your lock screen.
  • Unlock your phone and open Passbook.
  • Passbook will automatically retrieve the stored boarding pass applicable to your flight.
  • Make your way to the airport gate and present this boarding pass to board.

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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.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 19/9/12 by spentan

This is great, pity I don't really fly Virgin. I wish Qantas would announce that they are doing it too.

And no, I don't think this'll be a reason for me to switch to Virgin :S

2 on 19/9/12 by here2go

Will Virgin be spreading the love to the other 80% of the market that don't use an iPhone?  Google Wallet and Windows Phone Wallet Hub spring to mind.

1 on 19/9/12 by spinoza

The only thing Passbook does is keep it in a convenient place, isnt it? If you didn't have Passbook the link would still work and you'd still be able to open the boarding pass in a web browser. So you'd still be able to check in etc on an Android phone, just not get the Passbook convenience. Considering 95% of Android users in Australia have no idea what Google Wallet is and have never used it, I wouldn't expect Virgin to be incorporating this in the short term. None of the major US airlines are supporting it either. 


You'd think Qantas will bring this feature soon..

2 on 19/9/12 by alanzeino

Apple's smartphone share in Australia is larger than 20%, but that metric doesn't even matter. I would hazard a guess that Virgin Australia has researched the devices of its customers; and iOS probably numbers quite high.

Your suggestion that they should work on Windows Phone Wallet Hub is laughable; at least Android devices sell in the hundreds of thousands. 

3 on 19/9/12 by rededeal

I wouldn't think of trading Qantas' next generation check-in (on domestic flights) for this!

1 on 19/9/12 by John

I don't think you'd necessarily have to trade: Air NZ, for example, has both Qantas Next-Gen style and phone-display barcode-enabled boarding pass functionality.

1 on 21/9/12 by Nicklg

QF have both Next Gen and mobile boarding passes too (and a lot longer than VA) so i can't imagine it would be too hard for that link to be stored in Passbook

4 on 24/9/12 by dc

What I don't understand? Virgin are releasing Samsung Galaxy Tablets for entertainment on certain flights; this is Android but they chose to release boarding pass on Apple first????? Obviously I am an Android user, converted over because Apple stings you/stings you more for just about everything!


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