In Travel on Thursday 21st Feb, 2019

Qantas and Jetstar ditch paper boarding passes in shift to full digital system

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The days of printing off your boarding passes are long gone according to a new environmental initiative being taken on by Qantas and Jetstar.

Qantas Group, in charge of the two Australian airlines, generates more than 30,000 tonnes of waste annually – the same amount of weight as around 80 jumbos. Now, a plan to slash that figure by 75 percent in the next two years will see the airlines removing paper boarding passes to go completely digital this year.

While most airlines already have the option to keep your boarding pass on your phone, Qantas and Jetstar have decided that they will no longer provide passengers with a physical copy option as well.

The plan to reuse, recycle and compost at least three-quarters of the airline’s general waste by the end of 2021 is the most ambitious target of any major airline globally. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says the airlines have a responsibility to customers and the community to reduce waste.

He adds: “We’ve already removed plastic wrapping on our pyjamas and headsets, as well as plastic straws. Even plastic Frequent Flyer cards are going digital. It adds up to millions of items a year because of our scale and there’s a lot more we can do.”

Along with removing paper boarding passes, the airlines will also go digital with operational manuals, recycling old uniforms, removing all single-use plastics, increasing donation or composting of food on board, and introducing environmentally-friendly coffee cups.

By the end of next year, over 100 million single-use plastic items per year will be removed from both flights and lounges. This includes replacing 45 million plastic cups, 30 million cutlery sets, 21 million coffee cups and 4 million headrest covers with sustainable alternatives.

Along with the major environmental push, Qantas also has the largest carbon offset scheme of any airline in the world including goals for reducing fuel, water and electricity use on board.

Without paper boarding passes, travelling is about to become a whole lot more digitised, so passengers who are used to carrying around their boarding pass in their hands should be prepared to make the switch to presenting it on your phone in the coming years.

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