Virgin Australia debuts iPhone 5 Passbook mobile boarding pass

By David Flynn, September 19 2012
Virgin Australia debuts iPhone 5 Passbook mobile boarding pass

Virgin Australia's mobile boarding passes will work with the iPhone 5's new Passbook app when Apple's next-gen smartphone goes on sale this Friday.

Passbook – a 'digital wallet' capable of storing boarding passes, movie tickets and membership cards – will also be available to earlier-model iPhones and iPads when Apple releases the free iOS 6 software upgrade this week.

"We are proud to confirm that Virgin Australia will be the first Australian airline to provide guests with Passbook-compatible boarding passes" trumpets the airline on its blog. "Passbook means you no longer have to frantically search through your wallet or carry-on for your boarding pass."

Virgin is also revamping its mobile boarding passes to be colour-coded according to your Velocity status. 

How Passbook works on Virgin Australia flights

  • Upon completion of Mobile Check-in you will be sent a SMS link to your boarding pass.
  • Click the link and open your boarding pass.
  • If you have iOS6, a pop-up window will ask you to add your boarding pass to Passbook.
  • Click “Add” and your boarding pass will be stored in your Passbook.
  • When you are ready to board your flight, a Passbook alert will appear on your lock screen.
  • Unlock your phone and open Passbook.
  • Passbook will automatically retrieve the stored boarding pass applicable to your flight.
  • Make your way to the airport gate and present this boarding pass to board.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

21 Feb 2012

Total posts 40

This is great, pity I don't really fly Virgin. I wish Qantas would announce that they are doing it too.

And no, I don't think this'll be a reason for me to switch to Virgin :S


10 Sep 2011

Total posts 162

Will Virgin be spreading the love to the other 80% of the market that don't use an iPhone?  Google Wallet and Windows Phone Wallet Hub spring to mind.

01 Feb 2012

Total posts 370

The only thing Passbook does is keep it in a convenient place, isnt it? If you didn't have Passbook the link would still work and you'd still be able to open the boarding pass in a web browser. So you'd still be able to check in etc on an Android phone, just not get the Passbook convenience. Considering 95% of Android users in Australia have no idea what Google Wallet is and have never used it, I wouldn't expect Virgin to be incorporating this in the short term. None of the major US airlines are supporting it either. 


You'd think Qantas will bring this feature soon..

19 Sep 2012

Total posts 9

Apple's smartphone share in Australia is larger than 20%, but that metric doesn't even matter. I would hazard a guess that Virgin Australia has researched the devices of its customers; and iOS probably numbers quite high.

Your suggestion that they should work on Windows Phone Wallet Hub is laughable; at least Android devices sell in the hundreds of thousands. 

19 Sep 2012

Total posts 11

I wouldn't think of trading Qantas' next generation check-in (on domestic flights) for this!

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 665

I don't think you'd necessarily have to trade: Air NZ, for example, has both Qantas Next-Gen style and phone-display barcode-enabled boarding pass functionality.

18 Apr 2012

Total posts 33

QF have both Next Gen and mobile boarding passes too (and a lot longer than VA) so i can't imagine it would be too hard for that link to be stored in Passbook


22 May 2012

Total posts 7

What I don't understand? Virgin are releasing Samsung Galaxy Tablets for entertainment on certain flights; this is Android but they chose to release boarding pass on Apple first????? Obviously I am an Android user, converted over because Apple stings you/stings you more for just about everything!

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