I’ve recently experienced a genuine paperless travel experience. (Well, with the exception of my passport, but with iris scanning surely that’s not far off now.)
I booked my tickets online and was sent my e-ticket confirmation by email. Then 24 hours before I logged on to lufthansa.com via my blackberry to check-in. The site is brilliant example of how to present content on a mobile device. Not only is it designed specifically for that purpose, which means I don’t have endless scrolling to find what I want, but it has all the functionality of the regular site.
It features full demos of their mobile flight booking or check-in processes that show every step with dummy data. This means that the less tech-savvy of us can see just how easy these services are to use. And it proves that the service works which avoid getting a certain number of steps in only to find that action doesn’t work on your mobile (The Times online take note!).
Lufthansa have replaced the boarding card with a QR code. I’ve never understood why boarding cards need to be the size they are and whether folding them means the strip on the back can’t be read. With the QR code it’s not a problem.
All you need to do is enter your flight reference number and choose whether you want to receive a link to the code by email or text. They then send you a message with a link to your unique code. Easy. Then at the airport you simply call up the code, present your phone and they scan it for you.
It’s a brilliant example of a simple digital innovation that genuinely improves air travel. (I’d have preferred the tech budget to be spent on individual seat video screens rather than the obscured view of the shared telly mounted in the celing 20 yards away but you can’t win them all.)
Try the demo for yourself at http://tinyurl.com/nbqxky