Travel SOS: Can I board a Qantas flight without a phone?

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Eric doesn’t own a mobile phone and is concerned about Qantas’s new boarding rules.

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Q. Eric
I read your recent article about the changes being undertaken by Qantas and Jetstar to scrap paper boarding passes. I am travelling to Canberra to visit family next month and I do not own a mobile phone. Will I still be able to travel? What process do I have to go through to ensure I can still travel to my destination?

A. You are not alone in your concern about the move to an entirely digital boarding process. Many people have expressed concern about the people that are not yet using smartphones, or like yourself, who do not own a mobile phone. There are also issues regarding what people do if their battery goes flat, or their phone stops working.

Qantas has not yet released the full details of how they plan to introduce a full digital boarding system or put in a timeline for this to take place. That means that next month you will still be able to board your flight as you would do normally.

Digital boarding passes are still only issued for those passengers who have checked in online. If you still check in at the gate or at a self-serve kiosk, you will be able to get a boarding pass printed for your flight next month.

What is your greatest fear with digital boarding passes? Do you think this is a cost-saving measure from the airlines that will lead to longer waiting times for passengers?

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Written by Ben

18 Comments

Total Comments: 18
  1. 0
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    We live in an area ‘out bush’ and have no mobile cover.
    How do we get on?
    QANTAS and other airlines will have to make arrangements for people who don’t have mobile access or have a flrt battery etc.

  2. 0
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    See my comment below.

  3. 0
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    My issue with this decision is that we end up having no choice in the matter. I personally do not have internet on my mobile as I have a laptop for that and my phone is used for exactly what it is – A PHONE – to make phone calls. It is the lack of consultation when these companies, banks etc make these choices on our behalf that I disagree with.

    • 0
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      Me either. It’s bad enough with Opal travel cards that when you need them you find they have emptied them back into your account or you arrive interstate and have to pay far too much for a Myki card and so you have just made some huge donation to some multinational company for no service.
      I don’t want the Internet on my phone for security reasons and fee blow outs. I don’t think Qantas understands. It isn’t a case of just adapt. It’s not a case of well too bad I just won’t fly anymore.
      And I so agree about the banks, sueh. Especially the payWave card. Let’s just throw all our security away!

  4. 0
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    Hopefully, LifeCHoices will lobby to Qantas for us without phones (or coverage, thanks Libs).

    Qantas! What a bunch of city dwelling HEAD IN A BAG nerds they must be!! There are other people in the world, although they might not care!

  5. 0
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    Digital passes are a fantastic idea, reducing waste but there still needs to be an alternative for those without internet enabled mobile phones. It should be simple to give such passengers a digital device with the pass on it, when they check in at the airport. This could then be collected as they board or once seated.

    • 0
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      Rod63 have you any idea how environmentally unfriendly digital phones are? The turn over is astronomical. The waste of lithium,copper batteries, electricity. The cost of putting satellites in space to accomodate global communication. The cost of phone towers right across Australia and indeed the world. The cables that connect Australia to Asia etc etc. The enormity of the Qantas computer infrastructure to enable online ticketing and instant ticket validation. The enormous cost to our privacy as your phone details and links are shared on multiple advertising databases that you will have to agree to when you sign the terms and conditions .
      No Rod63 your humble recyclable piece of paper is far more eco friendly.

    • 0
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      But Rosret, where people already have smartphones, why not use them?

  6. 0
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    This must surely be in the best interests of Qantas and Jetstar and not their customers. Modern technology is wonderful in so many ways but it also has its downsides and allowing ourselves to become its servants is definitely a backward step.
    As it currently stands both digital and paper boarding passes are operating side by side without, as far as I can see any problems. Perhaps if Qantas were to maintain this system but provide a discount for users of a digital boarding system then perhaps it might be acceptable.
    Perhaps if Qantas explained the reason for making the switch we would all be able to assess its value. Then again Qantas may not want its reasons to be known and its corporate, i.e. senior management, level of service to its customers leaves something to be desired.

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      It’s definitely about them not us. Why bother with the phone and ticket at all. Just do a thumb scan on the way through the aircraft door.

  7. 0
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    This must surely be in the best interests of Qantas and Jetstar and not their customers. Modern technology is wonderful in so many ways but it also has its downsides and allowing ourselves to become its servants is definitely a backward step.
    As it currently stands both digital and paper boarding passes are operating side by side without, as far as I can see any problems. Perhaps if Qantas were to maintain this system but provide a discount for users of a digital boarding system then perhaps it might be acceptable.
    Perhaps if Qantas explained the reason for making the switch we would all be able to assess its value. Then again Qantas may not want its reasons to be known and its corporate, i.e. senior management, level of service to its customers leaves something to be desired.

  8. 0
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    I’ve always printed out boarding passes and still do. Recently we flew from Sydney to Perth and printed boarding passes for the forward journey but did not have access to a printer for the return journey. Our 40 yr old, tech savvy son was quite disparaging when we expressed concerns about e-boarding passes (I having seen the chaos that ensued on one flight when the airline’s system went down and I was the only fossil with a paper boarding pass ), so off to the airport we went with our e-boarding passes on our smart phones. We had checked in online but trying to check our luggage with our smartphones was a nightmare as the scanner couldn’t read the screen. Another family with four children was having the same issue. A staff member finally came to our assistance asking why we hadn’t got a paper boarding pass. She printed out boarding passes and voila! no more issues. The staff member told us they spend most of their time printing boarding passes because phones are different sizez and the scanners often cant read the screen if the are not in precisely the correct position, if the screen is dirty or if the glass/plastic screen cover reflects the scanner beam. Just saying.

  9. 0
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    Qantas can’t even get the scanning rights for the luggage to go on the boarding pass correct
    2 passengers traveling together, both luggage goes onto the one boarding pass. Questioned Qantas with the security issue. They could not give a toss.
    Try to discuss with Homeland Security at the LA airport that one case is yours and the other with another name on your boarding pass.GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. Qantas screwed it up, “not their problem your problem”
    Advised Qantas made the rules, they run the great scanning of luggage to boarding pass. How could they get this new gem correct?
    Using a flip phone, early 2000, should go great at the gate to board.
    Use only a flip or older phone, insist that the luggage goes on that persons boarding pass. See what happens. Should be interesting on boarding and if a great number did this at the gate, the fun starts?

  10. 0
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    If you have private health insurance and ‘suspend’ your cover whilst overseas, then to ‘resume’ your cover, you need a copy of your boarding pass to submit with your application. A digital version of the boarding pass is usually not accepted.

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