Qantas to Remove Boarding Pass Printing from Kiosks

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"Easier", One would think ... but it's not the reality. Working in retail liquor and the airport (few days a week), I can see that the assumption is that the young/er generation is so cool, composed & comfortable with technology. But the reality is young customers have difficulty scanning QR codes or filling in online forms on a mobile device or even making payments using their digital wallets. The young/er generation given they are prone to "instant gratification", are bogged down if things don't go as planned. I have seen so many customers just give up signing up to the loyalty program, simply because the website throws an error. The error, on investigation, was caused by an incorrect entry made by the customer themselves (you don't have to add a 0 before your mobile number, if you are prefix'ing +61) :)

It might so strange, but on average, at least 50% of my customers have difficulty making a successful payment using their phones. Either they tap too early or too late. they don't realise that the phone (iPhone, in this case) will look for their FaceID or Fingerprint before authorising the payment. They have issues in locating the Wallet app on their iPhone. The reason for this is because, those accustomed to making payments using their phone do so double-clicking on the lock button or the home button, but never had to open the Wallet app to locate their cards.

I did ask a few customers to sign up for a promo we were running at the store and told them, once they have signed up successfully, they can save their loyalty card to their phone's Wallet. Guess what the first question/response was - "Is there a wallet in my phone?", followed by "How do I find it?" And this was customers who are roughly in the 23-28 age mark. Most customers were comfortable to take a screenshot of their loyalty barcode and save it to their Photos rather than save it to their Wallet (simply because they didn't know it was possible or that there is a Wallet app on their phone)

In the airport, majority of the customers don't realise the difference between the BP stored in their Wallet app and their credit card. They tap with their BP open and question why the EFTPOS machine isn't working. Oh, and another point I observed was, pax using digital BP's still pay with their physical card and pax with printed BP, pay with their phones :) I think, at this point, one can safely assume that if a pax "knows" to do OLCI, store their BP to their phones, will also be aware that he/she can pay using their phones and vice-versa. Well, one doesn't have to do both to prove that they are a "digital literate", but one can assume.

In this author's humble opinion, I think the number of people who "know" their technology stuff is very less. Far more less when stress comes into play. Imagine standing in the queue to board, with 100's of pax behind you, you don't realise that you got your face mask on, and you are trying to open the BP using your FaceID, getting frustrated, the FA gently charades that you got your mask on, you get a light bulb moment, then you show the BP, pax behind you are already frustrated that it's taking very long to board .. Fun to watch, but sad to be that person ...

We, human beings are creatures of habit and the habit of having access to "basic" means to achieve a task is innate to us. Trying to replace this innate ability with technology, though viewed as an improvement, might turn to an impediment, if there is no system that provides the "basic" means. Yes, we can learn how to use OLCI, save BP to Wallet, scan the BP on entering the aircraft, but we also need to spare a thought to those that are technology-challenged for any number of reasons.

With all the above said, I use the self check-in options where possible. I do OLCI, get my BP on my phone, have backup power bank & cables on me, should I indulge in more Netflix that usual on my mobile phone. I only ever walk to an counter, if there is something wrong or I'm simply not able to get the machine to work. My points were mere observations on how people use/get accustomed to technology and getting to use it in real life.


This is some great user research and the UX team at should jump at this feedback. As someone who works in UX, Human Centred Design and the like, I would jump at some unsolicited feedback like this. I hope someone is reading.

Way up this thread I did a post about how the app could better use the apple wallet features. You’ve sparked off a few more ideas, not least some better education of how to use the app and the wallets together. The other thing that springs to mind is that QR codes are an imperfect solution. Sure we’ve all got a lot better at them due to the pandemic but it doesn’t take much to be off, (screen brightness, lighting, zoom etc.) for them to fail.

A better implementation would be to have a permanent VAS card in the wallet. For those that don’t know what this is, if you have a Woolworths rewards card in your apple wallet and tap it on the card reader to get points, this is what that is.

Rather than load every BP into the wallet you could leverage the tech used for the physical QFF card, link each flight to the card and use the card to identify the flier. Rather than a QR code you could just tap your phone on the kiosk, bag check or gate machine. If you could make it work with express transit functionality you wouldn’t even need to authenticate.

I’m sure I’ve lost 95% of you along the way, I do this stuff for a living. I’d love to know what, if anything, Qantas have done to map out the customer journey they want to move to and how this kiosk fits in. I worry, given they can’t bring their digital boarding pass up to the standard of delta and BA from 10 years ago, that this new kiosk is something done in relative isolation from a holistic view of the customer journey.
 
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Don't think QF cares much of anything, after the booking is made and paid.
Really.
Anything else, is done by them for their own benefit.
Other wise AJ would have brought back all QF call centre contracts back to Aust ASAP, and not go on adding South Africa or Philippines or Fiji.
Auckland being our "cousins", not so bad!
 
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RichardMEL

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Ticketing desks have nothing to do with check-in and the manned counters are still there, that hasn't changed at all.
Post automatically merged:

The point was that there were far more staff. OK a ticketing desk didn't do check in, but if they were there twiddling their thumbs they MAY have been able to print a boarding pass or otherwise assist. There certainly were more staff in check in areas than there are now as everyone knows.
Seat selection is exactly the same as what the agents see to what the customers sees. There has always only been limited staff that have extra permissions to override seats.
Except I never mentioned seat overrides. That isn't what I meant. I just meant you know, maybe someone arrives at the airport and they want to see hey is 4C open? Again there's an assumption that EVERYONE can/does use the app and/or mobile website and/or some other online way to access their bookings. Yes, I can change seats via the app anytime I like. It's not all about me. It's about those people who can't utilise the digital tools.

Also in regards to changing flights - the app now allows free changes to be made if there is a situation where Qantas needs people to go to an earlier flight. The functionality used to be on the kiosks, this has now been enabled on the app.
As for changing a flight that is already flexible, this can still be done through the app under change flight,

Again, "use the app"

this ignores all those people without smart phones or struggle with the technology (I can tell you for example my father who has a smart phone, but is a totally dumb user - he would not be able to navigate the QF app I can guarantee you).

and his is the core as I've tried to express multiple times.. pushing people to digital platforms like the app are great and I personally have no problem with them. Most people have no problem. Some people do or can't use the technology or don't own a phone (or don't care to). this limits functionality for the,. Is it a lot of people? no. Should the mantra of "just use the app" be fair? Sure, a staff member can assist.. when you find one, or line up for however long for limited manned positions...


Again this thread is not really about the digital natives.. it's about the "have nots" and a change that may save a small amount of money incrementally but can inconvenience some people a great deal.

You know people. the customers. the ones who pay the wages and keep the place going.
 

Ade

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A better implementation would be to have a permanent VAS card in the wallet. For those that don’t know what this is, if you have a Woolworths rewards card in your apple wallet and tap it on the card reader to get points, this is what that is.
I think I understand your point here, pls correct me if I'm wrong.

So, instead of issuing BP's for each leg of a trip, QF can issue a VAS member card, which can be then programmed to hold all the bookings? Wondering how this is different to the bookings tied to the FF membership card, which can be scanned to print BPs ?
 

RichardMEL

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Passed through MEL yesterday and noticed a whole chunk of kiosks have been removed. Probably around half to my way of thinking (eg: where there were double rows of kiosks, now only one remains) but nothing in the spaces where they were yet. So I guess the work is underway.

I used old faithful while I could :D worked perfectly for an old girl.

I noticed a number of staffed posititions and not huge queues (but this was around 1030a so not peak) and some minders. Everything seemed quite calm.
 

BD1959

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The young/er generation given they are prone to "instant gratification", are bogged down if things don't go as planned. I have seen so many customers just give up signing up to the loyalty program, simply because the website throws an error. The error, on investigation, was caused by an incorrect entry made by the customer themselves (you don't have to add a 0 before your mobile number, if you are prefix'ing +61) :)
I found it highly amusing that a teen-something cashier was asking me about the process of getting apple-pay on my iwatch that I was using to pay for my goods last week, so its not just us-60+somethings who are supposedly struggling with tech.

It might so strange, but on average, at least 50% of my customers have difficulty making a successful payment using their phones. Either they tap too early or too late. they don't realise that the phone (iPhone, in this case) will look for their FaceID or Fingerprint before authorising the payment. They have issues in locating the Wallet app on their iPhone. The reason for this is because, those accustomed to making payments using their phone do so double-clicking on the lock button or the home button, but never had to open the Wallet app to locate their cards.


[snip]

I find the biggest issue are the different options of where the chip-device needs to be placed in order to be recognized by the reader. Esspecially an older device where the wireless icon has worn away.

this ignores all those people without smart phones or struggle with the technology (I can tell you for example my father who has a smart phone, but is a totally dumb user - he would not be able to navigate the QF app I can guarantee you).

and his is the core as I've tried to express multiple times.. pushing people to digital platforms like the app are great and I personally have no problem with them. Most people have no problem. Some people do or can't use the technology or don't own a phone (or don't care to). this limits functionality for the,. Is it a lot of people? no. Should the mantra of "just use the app" be fair? Sure, a staff member can assist.. when you find one, or line up for however long for limited manned positions...

Again this thread is not really about the digital natives.. it's about the "have nots" and a change that may save a small amount of money incrementally but can inconvenience some people a great deal.

You know people. the customers. the ones who pay the wages and keep the place going.

My wife fits this dynamic. A classic example has been the digitisation of AFL ticketing. She - and quite a few around her - have struggled this year, especially early when people were having to switch between the COVID Certificate and the Ticket in the Wallet to gain entry. So much so that I actually walked her to the gate at times to guide her so she could enter the stadium. Fortunately the AFL appear to have recognised the correlation between (as one of the reasons for) falling attendances and the implementation of this technology and are reverting to plastic membership cards next year. I must admit I failed to see why the AFL didn't just issue a digital membership rather than make people download a specific electronic ticket for each game. I doubt QF will be so alert to the consequential effects of forcing everyone onto tech.

Regards,

BD
 
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I think I understand your point here, pls correct me if I'm wrong.

So, instead of issuing BP's for each leg of a trip, QF can issue a VAS member card, which can be then programmed to hold all the bookings? Wondering how this is different to the bookings tied to the FF membership card, which can be scanned to print BPs ?

Same concept, but basically tap your phone just as you would for Apple/Google Pay and your Qantas card would pop up and register by itself, instead of you opening your Qantas app and trying in vain to get your digital barcode to scan.

It's a really great idea, and one I think users of a broad range could embrace, as it does make life easier. Woolworths rewards cards can already do this. In fact, I happened to be observing a store at the time that it was being rolled out. There was only one customer the entire day who used this new digital card, an older gentleman who absolutely loved that he could store all his cards on his phone. Though, this only really benefits QFF members.

But I suppose at Qantas... it's cheaper just to get rid of plastic/paper, chuck it on the app and call it a day.
 

Ade

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I found it highly amusing that a teen-something cashier was asking me about the process of getting apple-pay on my iwatch that I was using to pay for my goods last week, so its not just us-60+somethings who are supposedly struggling with tech.
Ha ha :D reminds me of the time when I showed a 20 something (going by the DoB on the ID he provided) how to add the loyalty card to his iPhone Wallet and also showed how to make a CC default when paying with his phone. His exact words after I showed him how it's done was "Dude!! that is awesome. That is so savvy, eh?, amazing mannnn. Technology has grown so much, eh?" And I was like "Yup!"

In my mind, I was like "Dude!!! What The .... how did you not know this?!?!?!?!? 🤯"

Not commenting on the what the dude did not know. The point here is, not everyone is able to pick up/understand/operate technology as the next person.

I find the biggest issue are the different options of where the chip-device needs to be placed in order to be recognized by the reader. Esspecially an older device where the wireless icon has worn away.
That is so true. In the somewhat old machines, the payment is taken when the card/phone is tapped on the display screen. There is a chip behind it, which picks up the payment. In the new ones, there is wireless symbol on the top of the screen, which is a curved part of the device, not clearly visible to the one making the payment. This sign is visible to the person behind the counter. So I always ask the customer to "tap on top of the screen", rather than "on the screen" because the sensor chip is moved. It's annoying & confusing to the person making the payment, I get it.
 

RichardMEL

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That is so true. In the somewhat old machines, the payment is taken when the card/phone is tapped on the display screen. There is a chip behind it, which picks up the payment. In the new ones, there is wireless symbol on the top of the screen, which is a curved part of the device, not clearly visible to the one making the payment. This sign is visible to the person behind the counter. So I always ask the customer to "tap on top of the screen", rather than "on the screen" because the sensor chip is moved. It's annoying & confusing to the person making the payment, I get it.
Oh yes! took me a little bit to cotton on to the difference and I now look for the symbol on the top and always tap there if I see it but yes the design is not.... perfect.

And then there are the ones with side readers.... :D
 

Cognac

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I found it highly amusing that a teen-something cashier was asking me about the process of getting apple-pay on my iwatch that I was using to pay for my goods last week, so its not just us-60+somethings who are supposedly struggling with tech.



I find the biggest issue are the different options of where the chip-device needs to be placed in order to be recognized by the reader. Esspecially an older device where the wireless icon has worn away.



My wife fits this dynamic. A classic example has been the digitisation of AFL ticketing. She - and quite a few around her - have struggled this year, especially early when people were having to switch between the COVID Certificate and the Ticket in the Wallet to gain entry. So much so that I actually walked her to the gate at times to guide her so she could enter the stadium. Fortunately the AFL appear to have recognised the correlation between (as one of the reasons for) falling attendances and the implementation of this technology and are reverting to plastic membership cards next year. I must admit I failed to see why the AFL didn't just issue a digital membership rather than make people download a specific electronic ticket for each game. I doubt QF will be so alert to the consequential effects of forcing everyone onto tech.

Regards,

BD

Can confirm. Having to download a ticket for each game is a PITA. Digital membership would have been a much, much easier way to handle things.
 

Mr H

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A better implementation would be to have a permanent VAS card in the wallet. For those that don’t know what this is, if you have a Woolworths rewards card in your apple wallet and tap it on the card reader to get points, this is what that is.

Rather than load every BP into the wallet you could leverage the tech used for the physical QFF card, link each flight to the card and use the card to identify the flier. Rather than a QR code you could just tap your phone on the kiosk, bag check or gate machine. If you could make it work with express transit functionality you wouldn’t even need to authenticate.

And I bet this would lead to people rocking up to the gate without having checked in. The boarding pass - whether physical or electronic - is a visible receipt that a process has been completed.

Just like with Coles and Woolworths loyalty cards, they get away with not awarding points to people who have not completed the [pointless] additional steps of activating an offer.
 

JohnK

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Because for 99% of people it’s actually not harder… it’s easier. It’s the way the whole world is going.
99%? I don't think so.

Off topic but do you also think currency should go digital?

There is nothing wrong with issuing paper boarding passes. I don't have to worry about phone on all the time and internet access.

And I have less to worry about when wife/daughter travel without me.
 

Mr H

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99%? I don't think so.

Off topic but do you also think currency should go digital?

There is nothing wrong with issuing paper boarding passes. I don't have to worry about phone on all the time and internet access.

And I have less to worry about when wife/daughter travel without me.

You always have to be mindful of the difficult 1% - whether they have had their phone stolen, run out of battery, run out of data, have a disability that makes the 99% solution unsuitable. You have to decide whether to exclude that 1% or create a workaround system.
 

jakeseven7

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You always have to be mindful of the difficult 1% - whether they have had their phone stolen, run out of battery, run out of data, have a disability that makes the 99% solution unsuitable. You have to decide whether to exclude that 1% or create a workaround system.

Exactly. And there is. Yet this thread whines on 😂
 

JohnK

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You always have to be mindful of the difficult 1% - whether they have had their phone stolen, run out of battery, run out of data, have a disability that makes the 99% solution unsuitable. You have to decide whether to exclude that 1% or create a workaround system.
It's a lot more than 1%. Not everyone is tech savvy and as as far as I can see it's not compulsory so yes please keep options going for them and don't exclude them.
 

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