Qantas will remove its automated Q Card readers from airports around Australia over the coming 12 months, in a move which the airline says reflects the changing habits of switched-on flyers using apps and mobile phones to check in for their flight.
The tap-and-go towers work with smartchipped Qantas Frequent Flyer cards to allow near-instant checkin for domestic flights, with passport-reading versions installed at selected international terminals for trans-Tasman flights.
They were introduced with much fanfare in 2010 and rolled out to all major Qantas terminals by late 2011 alongside the familiar Q Bag Tag 'coasters', self-service kiosks and bag drop points as part of the airline's Next Generation Checkin platform, which CEO Alan Joyce praised as "a truly ground-breaking Qantas innovation."
But just six years later, those towers are for the chop – both poster child and victim of the march of technology – which has seen travellers move to 'digital boarding passes' via their smartphone, mobile phone or after checking in online, as well as using the airport's self-service checkin kiosks.
A Qantas spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that "we are noticing that more customers are choosing to use digital check-in channels before they arrive."
"We know many of our customers prefer to spend more time in the lounge or head straight to the gate without needing to print a paper boarding pass."
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