I flew Tigerair with a hand-written boarding pass
Forget scanning your phone and think getting your name ticked off a paper list.
For the first time in my life, I took a flight using a hand-written boarding pass yesterday.
Obviously, this wasn't the plan. I'd printed out the ticket for my Tigerair flight before I even departed. Yes, I know I could just use my phone, but there's a paranoid voice in my head saying "What if the battery runs out?" (It's a close relative of the voice that tells me it's fine to fly for a dozen hours without going to the loo.)
Anyway, when I hit Coffs airport, a friendly staff member stopped me as I was heading towards the security gate, laptop in hand. "I'm sorry, but we're having IT issues, so we're having to manually board everyone," she explained. So I joined the bag drop queue to get a fresh boarding pass.
Manual boarding in this instance meant exactly that. My boarding pass was neatly written out in pen, and I was assigned to a different seat to the one I'd originally chosen. I'm glad I was at the airport early enough to still get a window seat. I'm also glad I remembered to ask to have Queue Jump written back on my boarding pass. Why pay for it and not use it?
Waiting for my ticket, it became clear that some passengers had missed the memo and made it all the way through security before realising the rules had changed. Fortunately, no-one went into tantrum mode, and regular announcements ensured that everyone in the airport knew what was happening.
Inevitably, the manual assignment and boarding process meant that we ran late. However, we only landed in Sydney 30 minutes after the scheduled time. All things considered, that's not a bad outcome.
I know some people will interpret this as a "this is why you should never fly Tigerair" cautionary tale. However, no airline is immune from IT issues, or technical issues with planes, or the first officer getting sick. All you can do is face what comes with patience and good humour.
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.
Picture: Angus Kidman