How Effective Do You Find SMS Check-In?

How Effective Do You Find SMS Check-In?

Jetstar has offered SMS check-in using any phone since last May, but I only got to try it for the first time yesterday. In line with my long-established ability to render almost any technology inoperable, it didn’t work.

I received the text message, but the reader at the gate simply couldn’t recognise it. After a couple of attempts, the flight attendant gave up and typed in my sequence number instead. That didn’t take very long so there was no major hold-up, but if the experience was widely repeated, it would definitely slow things down.

Anyway, I’m wondering: how have you found the SMS check-in experience? Is what happened to me a weird one-off, or is the system glitchy? Tell us in the comments?


  • Tried it over the weekend. First time didn’t work. Second time, the passenger before me and myself had no problems.

    As they have to print the receipt after scanning your phone, it’s still slightly slower than a printed version. But overall, it’s a pretty neat second option for those who don’t have access to a printer or cbfed. For me, it was cbfed.

  • Tried it a few times, both as a single and as a group of two. Its works fine but it is slower at the gate then if you print out the boarding pass. If everyone did it boarding time would double. It is also nice to know that you have your boarding pass before you hit the gate – my GS1 has a nasty habit of freezing and rebooting at inoportune times and i stand in line constantly checking that my phone is still on…. OCD maybe.

  • I’ve done SMS checkin via Jetstar a few times now, and have had absolutely no problems whatsoever. I love it. I wish the other airlines would use it too.

    Then, I flew Qantas, and their web checkin didn’t give me the option of an SMS/MMS boarding pass, just a PDF – and I had no access to a printer. I tried showing the barcode from the PDF on my phone, but the checkin guy just printed off a boarding pass, “to make it easier”.

    I still don’t know why Qantas doesn’t allow you the SMS/MMS option if you check in via a PC… I know it’s available some other way.

    • On QANTAS you can check in using your phone and get the boarding pass sent to your phone. I have only done it once and it worked fine. I would do it again if I did not have another means.

      • I figured that was the situation… but why can you not get the phone option when checking in from a PC? Jetstar gives that option – they’ll either give you a PDF to print (and email it to you as well) or send you an SMS.

        Qantas online checkin only offered a PDF option (and it didn’t even email me a copy).

  • West Jet (in Canada) had this cool system where I had the mobile square ‘bar’ code on my ipod touch, then could scan it to get my boarding pass printed off before I went through security (I only had carry on luggage)

  • I’ve used this a few times, but instead of waiting till i get to the gate, i scan it at one of the kiosks near check in. Print’s the ticket straight away, no hassles.

  • Completely useless with Jetstar. Tried it on two different phones one time, and then again on another flight with one of those phones. Not going to bother again. Have used the emailed PDF barcode with Qantas a few times and never had a problem.

  • Never again. Sms never arrived. Tried to print pdf pass. Entered departure and it printed out only my return flight. Back into web site & it says all checked in no option to reprint. End result going early to line up forever. Never again jet FAIL

  • I only use mobile check-in. I never travel with checked luggage, so it means I can get to the airport later than if I had to check-in at the counter. The moral of the story seems to be ‘don’t fly jetstar!’. Australia’s worst airline (and I’ve flown with Tiger!)

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