Exclusive: Qantas ditches paper boarding passes for domestic flights
No more waiting for that printout when you've checked in on your phone.
As of today, Qantas has dropped its requirement that passengers on domestic flights who have checked in on their phone still need to receive a printed boarding slip at the gate before they can get on the plane.
Other domestic airlines have long removed the requirement to have a printed pass before boarding, allowing passengers to show their mobile boarding pass instead. Even Qantas's budget subsidiary, Jetstar, takes that approach. But until this week, Qantas still provided a flimsy boarding slip to anyone who doesn't have a physical boarding pass.
I experienced the new approach first-hand on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney (Australia's busiest route, flight fans). It certainly helps speed up the boarding process, which is good news when you're on a crowded service.
There are some exceptions. If you are scanning your Qantas membership card to board the flight, you'll still receive a printed slip, a Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Points Finder. That's because the crew need to know where you're seated. This will apply whether you use a physical card or the recently introduced digital membership card.
You'll also receive a printed slip if your seat allocation has changed since you checked in. While unexpected upgrades are rare these days, a seat change is still a possibility, especially if your aircraft is changed after you've checked in. Given you can check in on your phone 24 hours before flying, that's a possibility.
While it was once a requirement of the International Air Transit Association that all ticketed passengers have a paper boarding pass, that requirement has been dropped as mobile check-in has become near-ubiquitous.
Having one less scrap of paper in my wallet is certainly welcome. My one tip? Take a screen grab of your boarding pass, and hang onto it until you've confirmed that the points for the flight have been credited.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.
Picture: Jack Baker