Mobile phone flight check-in

While some airlines are still struggling to offer online check-in from a PC, technology has taken paperless travel one step further with mobile phone check-in.

With Virgin, Qantas, Jetstar and Tiger competing furiously to create the best mobile phone check-in system, there are a few ideas floating around at the moment. Qantas and Virgin Blue have already produced and put into action their Smartphone check-in systems, which use MMS to send the traveller a barcode which can be scanned at boarding. Jetstar is working on a sms based text reader system which would allow all users to check-in via their mobile, using a code. Tiger Airlines have yet to introduce a system.

It is important to note that the major flaw with all these systems is that if you need to check your luggage, you have to go via a check-in kiosk or desk where you are printed a boarding pass with a receipt (in case your bag is lost in transit).

Make sure your mobile batteries are well charged before you reach the gate!

Virgin Blue

Virgin Blue was the first airline to introduce smartphone check-in throughout Australia. When booking a flight, you are sent a 2D square barcode image which contains the flight and passenger details. If you are travelling alone, with no checked in bags, you can head straight to the departure gate and simply scan you phone to board. If travelling with others or you need to check bags, head to the self-check-in kiosk, scan your barcode and you will be printed a boarding pass and baggage receipt if required. Find out more by clicking YOURLifeChoices simple short cut.


Mobile Check-in is available for eligible Qantas and QantasLink domestic flights between 24 hours and 45 minutes before your flight departure. Your boarding pass is sent to you as a 2D barcode via SMS that you can scan at the boarding gate for your flight. Again, if you are travelling with others or you need to check bags, head to the self-check-in kiosk. Find out more by clicking YOURLifeChoices simple short cut.


Instead of generating a 2D barcode, Jetstar’s process produces a text message suitable for all mobile phones. Check in is done on a regular computer 24 hours maximum before the Jetstar flight is scheduled to leave. In the booking process you are asked if you want to pre-enrol for the text service, which is sent to your mobile phone.

At the airport you place the mobile with the text message displayed in a tray in the self check in kiosk or in a special reader which scans it and prints a boarding pass.

*Jetstar is still in the process of implementing this system*