By global standards, Australia has a good range of mobile check-in options for when you fly, with offerings from Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar. However, an analysis of passenger behaviour by travel technology provider Amadeus suggests that it’s not yet a widely-used choice, with less than one in 20 customers taking advantage of mobile check-in across the globe.
Amadeus’ findings were part of a study involving surveying 3,000 customers and interviewing nine major airlines about future trends in mobile travel technology. (Amadeus doesn’t name the airlines involved, but its commentary in the report mentions a first-tier Australian carrier which is offering automated bag tags, which is hard to interpret as anyone other than Qantas.)
According to the study, just 3.4% of customers worldwide use mobile check-in, with an additional 0.8% using SMS. That figure is higher in Asia at 7.5% and 4.5% respectively, but that still means the vast majority of travellers aren’t taking advantage. That said, online check-in now outstrips actually checking in at the airport (though Latin America is lagging a little in that respect).
The shift to offering lower-tech options such as SMS check-in, and the threat of charging passengers who don’t automate the process to some degree, might see those numbers rise in the future, but I’m still struck with how low they are right now.