Jetstar Asia fliers, phone's your pass
TRAVEL at Changi Airport is set to get easier for some passengers.
From today, selected Jetstar Asia passengers here can download boarding passes onto their mobile phones, as part of a trial by the airline to make travel more convenient.
Passengers will be chosen randomly for this trial.
Participants can also receive real-time updates, if any, on changes to flight schedules, gate information and seat numbers, an airline spokesman told The Straits Times.
Jetstar Asia is the first low-cost carrier, and the third after Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, to offer such a service to travellers at Changi.
When rolled out fully by the end of this month, mobile boarding passes will be available for all flights from Singapore, except to Perth and Darwin in Australia, and Manila.
The service is being extended to travellers with no bags to check in for maximum benefit, the airline said.
With advance online check-in, passengers just need to scan their mobile boarding passes at the security gate and head to immigration. The same mobile document is scanned before boarding.
Jetstar Asia's chief executive, Barathan Pasupathi, said the "latest investment in innovation" will not just make travel easier, but also help boost efficiencies, which keeps fares low.
A growing number of airlines are offering mobile boarding passes, said Heament John Kurian, Rockwell Collins' managing director (information management services), Asia-Pacific.
"For passengers, it offers convenience to obtain their boarding passes anywhere and any time through mobile applications" while shortening queues at airport check-in counters, he said.
The firm, which supports the aviation industry with information and technology, as well as communications and other services, expects the use of mobile boarding passes to increase, especially in Asia, where there are more than 951 million smartphone users.
There is no increased security risk to using mobile boarding passes over traditional paper passes, Mr Kurian said, as the usual verification processes would apply.
For airports that are increasingly finding it tough to hire people to man counters, automation and technology are critical.
From self-service check-in kiosks to machines that print luggage tags, Changi Airport has launched several do-it-yourself initiatives in recent years.
Terminal 4, which opens in 2017, is being designed to rely heavily on technology and automation.
The target is for as many as half of all travellers to be processed via self-service options at the new terminal.