Airline Update: New Qantas check-in experience and cheap travel pass

Qantas hopes to improve its recently sullied reputation due to significant airport check-in delays and a new European travel pass enables travellers to get across town with minimal fuss and financial outlay.

Qantas rolls out new kiosks

Qantas quite rightly copped a fair bit of flack over Easter when check in and security lines failed to cope with the surge of domestic holiday travellers.

Viral footage showing terminals packed with cranky passengers waiting up to two hours or more surely made the carrier cringe.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce’s explanation that the delays were due to passengers not being “match fit” when checking in only added to the outrage.

Was it a staffing problem? We hope not. Qantas was by far the biggest JobKeeper recipient, receiving $160.5 million for the 2020 financial year and another $695.5 million for the 2021 financial year, even though it sacked 1683 ground handlers and outsourced their jobs.

Read more: Shining a light on Qantas’ ‘Sunrise’ route

Qantas will be hoping never to hit the news again in similar fashion after introducing new electronic terminals that promise to check in passengers and print bag tags in seconds

Qantas product and services executive manager Phil Capps told that the terminals were about four times faster than the old kiosks.

“Before, you had to put in your reference number, surname, destination … a lot of questions until you actually got to your booking,” he said.

“We wanted to bypass all of that given most of our customers now check-in online (using their device).”

Around three quarters of passenger now check in online, so the kiosk will largely be used for bag tags.

“This is us responding to the shift of making life faster, easier, smoother, and everything from one device,” Mr Capps said.

Passengers will check in on their smartphone or device, use the kiosk to print a bag tag, drop their luggage at a bag drop station with a printed tag attached and use their digital boarding pass for the flight.

Read more: Government’s digital passenger app gets scathing reviews

All aboard in Germany

European public transport has a well-deserved reputation for efficiency, and now you can experience it for peanuts with the creation of a €9 – or about $13.50 – monthly pass.

The monthly pass can be used across the entire country on trains, buses and trams, but only for local travel, so you will have to buy another ticket to travel between towns and regions.

The pass will be available for the months of June, July, and August as part of an energy relief package encouraging people to use public transport.

You might need to do some research about off-peak times as you can’t make a seat reservation with the pass. And it is only usable per calendar month, so if you buy it on 14 June, it will only be valid until 30 June. But for $13.50, you’ll still be way ahead.

Learn more about the pass here.

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Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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