Qantas to Remove Boarding Pass Printing from Kiosks

RichardMEL

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Thought I'd relate a fun if a bit bizarre experience a week or so ago at OMGoclock in the freezing MEL cold morning (just adding for poetic license and that I had not yet had enough coffee :) ). Anyway I was flying north. I had OLCI the day prior as per usual. No issue. As is my want, and with this thread in mind, I went to print BP's at soon to die kiosk (I want to show them love :p ). Well, as also has been my habit I used my physical card barcode to scan on the kiosk (I've done same thing for years).. That worked fine until the kiosk threw up an error and to see the agent. huh? Tried at another venerable old gal kiosk.. same thing.

I then noticed bunches of pax milling around and agents stabbing at terminals and there appeared to be some sort of general check in problem going on. I thought no worries I'll go to the lounge anyway.

On the way up there I noticed my mobile BP's had disappeared from my App with a error message on there too about checking in with an agent. What the..?

Flights were operating (that I knew of) and seemed very weird.

So rocked up at the lounge, agent took my FF card, brought everything up.. and looked puzzled... colleague came along.. more puzzlement... they then declared the error was due to a short connection in SYD (it was 35min, which is MCT, and I knew it was short, but QF sold it to me, and there's a whole other story there). Anyway they said they'd sort it for me and to go get a coffee. All good.


The thing that I find strange is that OLCI worked perfectly the day before and no timings had changed so why all of a sudden a problem I wondered?

Anyway a few minutes later I got my boarding passes and a comment that the system got "confused" by my expired physical card (well yeah, they'd not issued a new one since 2019) and I should use the app barcode in future.

that's a new one. I mean sure the plastic had "expired" as the printed expiry date was Aug 2020, but my status had been extended obviously and note the same card/narcode had worked a few months earlier - I figured all the barcode was really linking to was to my QFF# more or less, and the system would check my current status anyway regardless of the card.

Anyway I don't know if the explanation is that reliable or not, but it seemed odd on top of the short connection thing.

It was a bit of a strange morning all up.

I made my connection just fine though so zero issues in the end.


I'll miss the old kiosks :D
 

MalcolmS

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^This, the Kiosks can't be used for international travel.
This caught my eye in the article from AFF

"The good news is that Qantas is now making it possible to check-in online and receive a boarding pass when connecting to an international flight. Previously, customers with international flights or connections would need to queue at the airport so staff could manually check their required documents for international travel. But this will soon be done online or via the Qantas App, and the new airport kiosks will reportedly be able to check that a passenger is eligible to travel to their final destination."

Hence my worry about checkin for a mixed domestic international trip SYD-MEL-DOH-ZRH. Will baggage be checked through? Has anyone recent experience of this type of trip with the new machines?
 

Harrison_133

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First time flying Qantas in many months, so my first time experiencing the new kiosks in Sydney, and of course I had forgotten my phone charger🤦‍♂️

Approached two of the roaming ground staff to ask where I could get one printed. Got a rather curt response from one about how it’s digital and I had to do it online. After saying my phone was going to go flat before boarding, she did let out a rather big sigh and eye roll at me, before giving a lecture about how I should try and save paper. Not a great start. Luckily, the lady working with her was absolutely lovely. She took me over to the computer and printed one out. We had a good chat about it all and how we both prefer the paper option.…”whatever the big boss says.” That very friendly interaction definitely made up for the rather rude colleague.

Yes it may reduce costs, yes it may save some paper, but I really do not understand why a supposedly premium airline wants to make everything harder. And while it’s all good and well to say there are plenty of the roaming staff to help you, count yourself lucky if you find somebody actually willing to help. Next time I’ll have to remember to not forget my phone charger…
 

TomVexille

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My personal concern is whether the online check-in will allow for the linking of passports and BF overrides, as I need this done every time I travel internationally.

I suspect not, and that I'll still have to be checked in manually.
 

Mattg

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OT, but also good news there is the reinstatement of SYD T1 Int -> T3 Dom transfers arrangements.

Indeed. This has already been discussed here:

 

Auski

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Took my 92 yo mother to airport last week. Checked her in online and printed boarding pass on laser printer. She does not have a mobile. Printed bag tag ok but bag drop would not recognize printed code. Agent said they worked best with phone code. Said he would print boarding pass and said don't worry there would always be someone there to print boarding passes. This could all end badly.
 

RichardMEL

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So boarding pass printing got outsourced to machine, then machine got removed and job back to human. What's the next step? Outsourcing BP printing to overseas call center?
Ah, but in QF's eyes the job was was outsourced from the machine to the CUSTOMER human, not theirs (ie: digital BP's etc).
 

summit_32

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First time flying Qantas in many months, so my first time experiencing the new kiosks in Sydney, and of course I had forgotten my phone charger🤦‍♂️

Approached two of the roaming ground staff to ask where I could get one printed. Got a rather curt response from one about how it’s digital and I had to do it online. After saying my phone was going to go flat before boarding, she did let out a rather big sigh and eye roll at me, before giving a lecture about how I should try and save paper. Not a great start. Luckily, the lady working with her was absolutely lovely. She took me over to the computer and printed one out. We had a good chat about it all and how we both prefer the paper option.…”whatever the big boss says.” That very friendly interaction definitely made up for the rather rude colleague.

Yes it may reduce costs, yes it may save some paper, but I really do not understand why a supposedly premium airline wants to make everything harder. And while it’s all good and well to say there are plenty of the roaming staff to help you, count yourself lucky if you find somebody actually willing to help. Next time I’ll have to remember to not forget my phone charger…
Now imagine that you're an international visitor, first time in SYD airport and english is your second language......this will be an ongoing and potentially acute problem for QF.
 

RooFlyer

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Now imagine that you're an international visitor, first time in SYD airport and english is your second language......this will be an ongoing and potentially acute problem for QF.
Actually it’s probably going to be an ongoing and potentially acute problem for Qantas' customers. Whether Qantas thinks that’s a problem for them, is quite another matter.
 

Harrison_133

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it’s easier. It’s the way the whole world is going.
Indeed it is, and I’m happy to go digital if Qantas say so. I always use my mobile boarding pass anyway. Obviously that’s a bit hard when my phone is dead. If I was flying VA or JQ (even Rex have moved ahead with the times) I could have just printed a copy myself. Easy fix. QF removing the ability for passengers to be self sufficient, that’s the harder bit. Instead I had to waste the time of the QF ground staff to do something I could have done myself. After I found one who didn’t want to wash their hands of me that is…

Sure the world is moving on, but when things happen, the basics shouldn’t become difficult. Then again that seems to be QF’s forte at the moment.
 

RichardMEL

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I wonder if QF is watching the shambles of the AFL with their ALL digital ticketing which caused unending problems and complaints for many fans (not all of them of the older generations without smart phones) about how hard it was to access the ground, inability to rock up and use a membership to just go to a game on a whim etc as in years past.

So what's AFL doing?

Moving back to providing the OPTION for those who want or need it to have a paper option (I'm not sure what form this will take, but that's what they're saying).

I'm happy for QF and all of them to do all the digital bp's and whatever they like - I'm a self service lover (I'm sure someone will turn THAT into something naughty :D ) and will use all the apps and all that I can. This has never been the argument.

The problem is when a lack of opportunity is there for those who can't (or don't want to/don't trust-there are some lurking in these boards!) the technology to use an older or more familiar system (in this case paper BP's). Now yes, I get it.. there will still be an option - find a service person/desk for manual check in/BP issuing but that may well be harder than it seems and potentially a time sink if ques and so on... and that's always been my point about this. And given the new kiosks have tag printers ANYWAY then it boggles the mind to take away functionality to print a BP - even if it's the super flimsy sort that come out of the gate readers if one uses their FF card to scan - if that is still a thing. It's been a very long time since I did that. You already have a printer, you have ink and paper to be mantained so... the cost savings seem minimal as an incremental cost to offer a self service ability to an ever decreasing number of pax, but clientele none the less.

(and sure, some can print their own at home if they so desire, but honestly if someone has enough ability and equipment - laptop/pc, printer and internet connection to access their BP and print, they likely have the nous to use a digital device like a phone)

So I suppose at least QF isn't going as full on as the AFL did and caused all the massive issues and crowd drops - many saying it was due to the digital only situation and a lot of problems people have had with that.. but it seems an interesting parallel situation where common sense (due to the bottom line of course) seems to have made a good decision for the punters.
 

TheInsider

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I think a lot of people are forgetting here that the current NGCI has been in place for nearly 12 years. The same excuses and complaints were made then, and was all still delt with by the staff.
Out of curiosity what is the general age demographic of the forum members here, feels like it's very mid 50s to late 60s.
 

RichardMEL

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I think a lot of people are forgetting here that the current NGCI has been in place for nearly 12 years. The same excuses and complaints were made then, and was all still delt with by the staff.
Out of curiosity what is the general age demographic of the forum members here, feels like it's very mid 50s to late 60s.
Not at all.

Sure at the time fears of automation and lack of staff to assist folks who couldn't handle the kiosks were concerns. There were also more staff (ticketing desks(!), moe manned check in positions etc) around to assist.. Sure it was a transition for many but yes most adapted.

The key difference for mine is that we're now in a situation of far less staff around (and that's not even counting the current staffing issues experienced by everyone) and that this is actually removing self service functions for those that did use them - not just the bP's but I think these new ones can't do seat changes and that stuff also.. what about changing to earlier flights? Not sure. YES.. all of us with phones and apps can do all that (in theory anyway) ourselves.. but again for a group of people it's forcing them to a potential bottleneck and delay point to find staff. So it's reducing, even if some see it as a little bit, customer self service abilities.

Before it was ADDING functionality for customers .. see a human to check in or save time and use kiosk.. awesome! Now, some of that same functionality is going away. I reckon that's an important distinction. YMMV

as a side thought.. airports like OOL with common use terminals - will QF disable or replace those(maybe OOL won't allow that) or will they stay somewhat as is? I do realise the kiosks just provide a front end to the QF (or VA or JQ or whatever) functionality, but will that still be supported I wonder?
 
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RooFlyer

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I think a lot of people are forgetting here that the current NGCI has been in place for nearly 12 years. The same excuses and complaints were made then, and was all still delt with by the staff.

Yes, but I think you missed the bit about "staff" being cut back a bit in the ensuing 12 years.

"Same excuses and complaints" - ye gods. I can just hear Alan Joyce muttering that as he rolls his eyes at how dumb and short sighted his customers are. And they bloody complained when i grounded the fleet too, leaving people stranded all over the world!! Talk about short sighted.

And re NGCI, I'm sure it was, but I missed the bit about NGCI. Which of these do you mean? :)

1657007579925.png

You see, how easy it is to assume that folks are au fait with what you know?

Out of curiosity what is the general age demographic of the forum members here, feels like it's very mid 50s to late 60s.

Dunno what that's supposed to mean. Older folks are less able/stupid and can't understand this new digital stuff?
 

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