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The fundamentals of an airline app - Part 2 - Check-In and Boarding

Welcome to part 2 in our series of the ‘fundamentals of an airline app’. In this series we will be taking a look at mobile boarding and check-in and the role it plays in building a truly successful airline app.

In today’s ultra connected world travellers are looking for a joined up experience the provides continuity wherever and whenever they engage with a brand. Airlines that aren’t offering a mobile solution that addresses these needs are missing out on key opportunities to keep their customers satisfied and to build valuable relationships with them.

In part one of our series we concentrated on the importance of getting the very basics of search and booking right, in this next stage we will focus on the opportunities available to airlines pre-trip and during the check-in and boarding phase of a travellers journey.

Similar to search and booking, implementing good UX and developing the core functionality people expect at the check in and boarding is essential. If your app is difficult to navigate customers will either go to competition or not come back at all.

If done well the benefits are twofold; for the customer and the airline.

For travellers check-in is ranked as one of the most frustrating tasks travellers have to do at the airport.1  In fact it is the number one airport related activity passengers wish to do on their mobile.1 There are a number of opportunities for airlines to remove friction at the check-in stage of a customer's journey. Mobile check in, including multi person, passport scanning and mobile boarding pass generation with apple wallet integration allow for instantaneous check-in whenever and wherever the customer is.

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For airlines to win the hearts and minds of their travellers the key is to make the airport experience as simple and frictionless as possible and this will go along way to ensuring that you keep your travellers engaged with your brand.

Beyond the obvious traveller benefits, optimising the check in and boarding flow can also reap significant cost benefits for the airline by reducing the overheads associated with fulfilling check-ins at the desk. With the average saving per self service check estimated to be in the region of $3.502 think about how much your airline could save by just increasing mobile check in by 5-10%?

The fact that the mobile phone is the number one most indispensable item that travellers carry with them ahead of their drivers licence and even their toothbrush3 it’s no leap of faith to suggest that they view their mobile device as an integral part of their trip. Airlines that incorporate the fundamentals of searching, booking, checking in and boarding are giving themselves a platform to keep customers engaged during the pre-trip and airport phases of the journey.  However while it is essential to get the fundamental feature and functionality right, airlines need to ensure that they’ve fully considered the UX and how easy it is to use.  

In our next blog on the 'fundamentals of an airline app' we will be taking a closer look at the importance of traveller engagement and the role real-time communications play in ensuring you deliver an experience that optimises the type engagement you can have with your travellers.

Are you looking to transform your business with an mobile solution that will help you acquire and develop valuable relationships with your customers? Check out the solutions that we offer airlines.

1 MTT (Travelport Digital) Research, 2015
2Self Service estimates based on a Forrester research co-authored by Henry Harteveldt which outlined that self-service check-in costs the airlines 16 cents a passenger, compared with $3.68 using ticket-counter agents



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