The future is here, people – from this week, if you’re departing Australia on an international trip you’ll (theoretically, anyway) be able to check in to your flight on your mobile phone.
It will depend on which airline you’re flying with and whether or not they’ve adopted this technology yet, but as of Monday 6 August airlines now have the option to issue electronic boarding passes to passengers on international flights departing Australia.
It means travellers will be able to ditch the need to queue for traditional paper boarding passes and flash an electronic boarding pass on their smartphone instead.
It’s all part of a bid to cut waiting times at Australian airports, by cutting out this particular queuing joy (although you’ll still need to follow the usual border clearance path).
"Australia is a world leader in seamless travel and this move will allow travellers to move across our border smoothly,” said the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge in a release announcing this groundbreaking step.
It’s been prompted by the fact that more than 21 million people passed through the border at international airports in Australia last financial year – and that this number is expected to continue to rise.
New technology has been at the heart of efforts to streamline this increasing number of passengers while maintaining the security of our border. Mobile boarding passes will complement the SmartGates which are now at almost every terminal in Australia, according to the NZHerald. They screen almost three in every four travellers departing the country, reducing processing times and generally making the experience faster and simpler.
The Australian Business Traveller says that some airlines (including Qantas and Emirates) have already begun trialling mobile check in for overseas flights, but you’ll need to contact your chosen airline to see if/when they embrace mobile boarding passes.
For savvy travellers who are quick to adopt new technology, it potentially means less time in queues and more time in the lounge!