Qantas trials 'all day check-in' for international flights

Qantas trials 'all day check-in' for international flights

Qantas is trialling an early check-in scheme at Sydney Airport which will let passengers arrive for their international flight at any time during the day, rather then be restricted to the current 'three hours before departure' window.

The arrangement includes travellers with several bags of checked luggage in addition to those flying with only carry-on kit.

A Qantas spokeswoman confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the trial applies to "all Qantas-operated flights" out of Sydney Airport's T1 international terminal, adding that passengers can check in for their flight at any time during the day.

There's only one caveat: Qantas says that you can't leave the airport. That means there's no dropping off your checked luggage in the morning for an evening flight, then heading into Sydney for the day.

The spokeswoman said the trial, described as "very preliminary testing at this stage", is designed to offer Qantas customers greater flexibility in planning their departure.

The Qantas spokeswoman was unable to peg how long the trial would run for, saying only that there was "no definitive time frame", but confirmed there were no plans to extend the trial to Melbourne.

Lounge-hounds will obviously be delighted at the chance to spend even more time in Sydney's superb Qantas First Lounge, with its Neil Perry Rockpool dining menu and Payot day spa.

Read: Expert tips to make the most of the Qantas First Class Lounge

But the flexibility afforded by extra-early check-in will also help some travellers avoid driving to the airport during Sydney's peak hour traffic.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

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.
 

32 comments

  • msndelevium

    msndelevium

    27 Sep, 2013 10:39 am

    How do they ensure that the passengers do not leave the airport after check-in?

    Do they escort you through immigrations to make you you stay in the sterile area?

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  • highflyer

    highflyer

    27 Sep, 2013 10:44 am

    I was wondering the very same thing.  How do they know if you leave the airport or not? 

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  • Adrian Catalano

    agecat

    27 Sep, 2013 10:45 am

    was thinking the same thing! there is no way to police what you do after you check your bags in!!! Also why wouldn't they try this in Melbourne also?!

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  • Longreach

    Longreach

    27 Sep, 2013 05:29 pm

    You'd certainly think SAMTAS would have done so. 

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  • David Flynn

    David

    27 Sep, 2013 10:48 am

    Well, they won't know, of course, but this is a condition Qantas has set down,

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  • Joshb

    Joshb

    27 Sep, 2013 11:05 am

    Could you imagine the situation....

    "I'm sorry sir, but as you have left the airport you may no longer board your flight."

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    27 Sep, 2013 12:08 pm

    David, did you ask what the consequence is of non-compliance?

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  • nix584

    nix584

    27 Sep, 2013 11:10 am

    Perhaps they'll page every pax who checks in before the usual 3 hours every hour just to make sure that they're still in the airport? If they don't go to a customer service desk or lounge agent QF will know that they're not in the airport.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    27 Sep, 2013 11:36 am

    Wow...spend all that time to enforce this policy...

    Sounds a bit looney. Glad Qantas has thought through its policies and procedures ;)

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    27 Sep, 2013 11:50 am

    great concept...but totally agree how they can enforce the 'do not leave airport' rule....will each checked in pax have a an electronic or similar device 'attached' to them...along with those electronic  detection 'poles' (as per retail shops/supermarkets etc) at every exit/entry to the airport that beep/alert staff to an 'infringement'!! lol

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  • sdwylie

    sdwylie

    27 Sep, 2013 12:33 pm

    I do find the 3 hour check-in inconvenient at times, and 4-5 hours would possibly be a little easier to work with...

    But I can fully understand the issues around leaving your bags and walking away, or around people filling up lounges for an ENTIRE day at the expense of capacity and facilities for everyone else.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    27 Sep, 2013 01:25 pm

    "...the issues around leaving your bags and walking away, or around people filling up lounges for an ENTIRE day"

    Isn't it therefor more logical not having a policy that says that people cannot leave the terminal after checking in, if they wish to do an early counter check-in?

     

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  • AJW

    AJW

    27 Sep, 2013 02:59 pm

    How is that different to say checking in at a domestic airport, flying to Sydney and going to town. It can be done at the moment and the bag is at the terminal without the passenger.

    I would have thought once checked in the bag would get screended and thus there was be no issue what so ever what the passenger did,

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  • zacharyaugust

    zacharyaugust

    27 Sep, 2013 02:29 pm

    This is a great idea, however you're now going to have ever increased free-loaders camping in lounges from 8AM for a 2PM or 3PM flight!

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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    27 Sep, 2013 04:51 pm

    From my own observations, if New Zealand-bound flights from Sydney were excluded from the new trial, this problem would not occur. I am not sure whether this is an issue in the First Class lounge, but the Biz lounge takes on the ambience of a Bondi pub, with never-ending Happy Hour at times. 

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  • watson374

    watson374

    27 Sep, 2013 10:51 pm

    The QFi peaks are in the morning (0925-1000 big departure bank) and the early afternoon (1305-1345 bank), then there's QF1.

    So the longest people might hang around for is half a day, unless someone wants to try a marathon and arrive at 0500 and hang around until QF21 to Tokyo, which departs at 2130.

    I am supremely confident someone will try this.

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  • KG

    KG

    27 Sep, 2013 02:32 pm

    Not sure if this is such a big deal and if it will bring any issues. It is good that you have the option to check in early, but not sure if many people will make use of it.

    I doubt that many people will actively check in very early to be able to enhjoy the lounges. If you are flying the three hours is more than enough, I would seriously not be able to sit in the lounge all day. Perhaps if you want to do a bit of work it is a relaxing environment to do so, but would you actively leave your home or office to be in the lounge early? For the category who does the leaving the airport is not an issue, as they won't.

    Then you could opt to drop your bags in the morning and walk straight through in the afternoon / evening. Really only an option if you live or work near the airport, nobody else would travel to the airport to drop bags and make a track back to the office / work if that trip would be say 15mins or more, because it is just not practical. These people will leave the airport, but how many are we talking about on a daily basis? Agreed the policy that you cannot leave seems odd as it is not enforcable.

    Time will tell, waiting for the first AUSBT reader who checks in, leaves the aiprot and is denied boarding.....

     

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    27 Sep, 2013 03:02 pm

    Agreed KG! Somebody should test this. 2 people, one with a flexible booking and another with a restricted one, with both checking in at the counter early and leaving to come back later. Interesting to see the results. Maybe an AKL flight that leaves later in the day.

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  • Octane

    Octane

    27 Sep, 2013 03:11 pm

    I imagine the problem is that a lot of delays are caused by passengers checking a bag, then 'disappearing' and it's not until everyone esle is on the plane and they're ready to go that they realise this person is missing and their bag has to be located and removed. Costs them a fortune right? Not to mention all of our missedconnections. Something needs to be done to 'deter' people from going into town and getting stuck in a traffick jam or losing their sense of time, delaying the flight. Not saying this is the right way, but for sure doing all day check in would increase people who check in and don't show up.

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  • JBH

    JBH

    27 Sep, 2013 03:57 pm

    A 5hr check in would be ideal, apart from stopping those wandering into town and causing potential delays etc, it also gives more flexibility for flyers if they chose to get to the airport earlier.  

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  • akw

    akw

    27 Sep, 2013 04:01 pm

    I wonder about the security issue. If bag handlers are the cause of Corby's injustice according to some, then having the bags checked in for so long offer more time to do things by others that passengers would never know about. It is of course fantastic for passengers to enjoy more lounge time, but the thought of security really got me.

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  • Alex_upgrade

    alex_upgrade77

    27 Sep, 2013 06:13 pm

    Exploding boarding passes. If you leave the terminal, your boarding pass explodes and your luggage as well. Simple as that.

    Also...

    "I doubt that many people will actively check in very early to be able to enhjoy the lounges".

    I'm sorry, I don't understand that comment ;-)

     

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  • watson374

    watson374

    27 Sep, 2013 10:54 pm

    You are solving a security issue (escaping passengers) by introducing another security issue (explody things) :P

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  • seanpodge

    seanpodge

    28 Sep, 2013 02:46 am

    I've done a few flights (not with QF) where I'd loved to have been able to check in my bag earlier. Just saves the hassle of having to worry about it/lug it around everywhere while you're in the airport. Hopefully the trial is a success and can be expanded worldwide by other airlines. For airlines that only have one/two flights per day at an airport, perhaps this could be handled by an alliance partner and become an alliance benefit.

     

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  • Flying Fish

    AWA2602

    28 Sep, 2013 08:35 am

    I've been doing this for years without issue. On many occasions I've had family or business colleagues arrive into SYD early morning on domestic services with JQ, VA and (God forbid) TG then joining me on late afternoon or evening international departures with QF.  As I live 15min drive from the airport I've picked my fellow travellers then checked in and dropped off their bags and my own at the international terminal for our onward QF international flight before heading home to enjoy the comfort of  much more private lounge experience at home :-)

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  • Flying Fish

    AWA2602

    28 Sep, 2013 08:35 am

    I've been doing this for years without issue. On many occasions I've had family or business colleagues arrive into SYD early morning on domestic services with JQ, VA and (God forbid) TG then joining me on late afternoon or evening international departures with QF.  As I live 15min drive from the airport I've picked my fellow travellers then checked in and dropped off their bags and my own at the international terminal for our onward QF international flight before heading home to enjoy the comfort of  much more private lounge experience at home :-)

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  • Flying Fish

    AWA2602

    28 Sep, 2013 08:39 am

    Oops! *TT not TG

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  • Ozkid

    Ozkid

    28 Sep, 2013 02:37 pm

    This is good for QF to do this, though it simply brings it up to parity with places in Asia that allow you to drop your bags off anytime during the day then wander around.

    In fact, for SIN and HKG, the bags and boarding passes can done at some hotels, train stations outside their airports. Makes a lot of sense to keep on enjoying the place with just a backpack for the rest of the day then screen through security when you really want to stay inside the terminal.

    So if an AusBT reader really wants to be Larry Lounge Lizard for a day, sure, but you're stuck inside the terminal. Otherwise keep your options open and not pass through to airside.

    Agree the restriction to stay in T1 is unpoliceable and slightly daft.

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  • watson374

    watson374

    28 Sep, 2013 10:15 pm

    "So if an AusBT reader really wants to be Larry Lounge Lizard for a day"

    Please, the moment this goes on FlyerTalk QFF you can expect an FT'er Plat to rock up at 0500 and stay in the First Lounge till QF21 at 2130.

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  • Ozkid

    Ozkid

    28 Sep, 2013 11:29 pm

    And Larry is more than welcome to, if only to secure bragging rights. The novelty will wear off soon enough, life goes on (it does exist even outside the Flounge!).

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  • David Flynn

    David

    29 Sep, 2013 11:24 am

    Without doubt there will be some sad sacks who will want to clock up a dawn-to-dark day in the QF First lounge.

    I'd like to think that most AusBT readers are more sensible - that we're more likely to be business travellers than freeloading frequent flyers - but in reality the FT/AFF crowd are the smallest fraction of a percentage of Qantas' passengers, so even if a few nutjobs check in 8+ hours before their flight to eat and drink themselves silly in the QF F lounge, that should hopefully make zip difference to the big picture.

    I've got naught against wanting to check in a bit early - I'll certainly be doing so myself this coming Friday when I fly Qantas to the USA - but surely at most all you could want/expect would be two meals to sample the two different menus (breakfast and lunch) plus a shot at a spa booking in the post-9.30am period when things get quiet. So that's a window of 3-4 hours mid-morning.

    (Personally, I find people who treat the F lounge like a feeding & drinking trough - as if it's a contest to down as much food and expensive champers as one can – to be pretty sad.)

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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    29 Sep, 2013 11:58 am

    David's last sentence is spot on, particularly if one is travelling solo. It really is not about  'getting your money's worth'; the whole idea is to make your whole travel experience stress-free, even pleasurable. The lounges are not a destination in themselves.

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21 May, 2019 01:02 pm

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