Emirates' smartphone check-in: not an iPhone or Android app for once

By John Walton, June 9 2011
Emirates' smartphone check-in: not an iPhone or Android app for once

Taking a flight that leaves from Dubai? Emirates will now let you check in, clear security, enter premium lounges and board your flight using just your smartphone.

It's not quite an iPhone, iPad or Android app like other airlines offer, but rather a stripped-down mobile version of the airline's regular emirates.com site.

If you head to the site using a mobile phone, Emirates says you'll be redirected automatically to the mobile version of the site. 

But you'll need to check in using a regular computer first, and select the option for a special web link to be sent to you by email or SMS. 

That link or SMS will show you a QR code -- one of the square, boxy barcodes that airlines are using more and more to store your detail. 

At Dubai -- and eventually at other airports where the airline hopes to roll out the service -- you'll be able to scan the code at the laser barcode readers and head straight to your flight.

Emirates says that the move will save the airline 550 kg of paper in the first year alone. 

Given that most of Emirates' passengers are connecting rather than starting or finishing their journeys in Dubai, that figure should rise when the mobile boarding pass scheme is rolled out to other airports.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


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