Air New Zealand has introduced a reminder service on its mobile app for passengers whose passports are close to expiry.
To use this feature, users first save their passport details on the app by using the smartphone camera to take an image of the photo page. In addition to issuing an alert when the passport is about to expire, the app will also automatically fill in the necessary details when a passenger checks in online for a flight.
Also, the reminder service will allow users to click through to the relevant websites to renew New Zealand, Australian, British and United States passports, Air New Zealand said on Friday.
The airline said about 550 would-be flyers turned up at an airport with an expired passport each month, while about 10 per cent of Air New Zealand customers made mistakes when filling out their passport details during online checkin.
The Star Alliance member hoped these new features would help take the stress out of travel and offer a more streamlined checkin experience.
Air New Zealand chief digital officer Avi Golan the new features were developed in response to feedback from passengers and flagged more uses of the app in the period ahead.
“Customers consistently tell us time is the biggest stress factor when travelling, so prioritising features that offer genuine benefits and convenience on the go is key,” Golan said in a statement.
“Integrating smartphone camera technology to our app paves the way for adding secure credit card scanning to our booking system, as well as longer term developments such as selfie-boarding – using biometrics and facial recognition to verify customers at the gate.”
Separately, Air New Zealand said it had also added the ability for those travelling in a group to download up to nine boarding passes through the app. This meant one smartphone could be used for multiple people to board the aircraft, ensuring those without smartphones, such as young children, did not require a paper boarding pass.
Travellers could also purchase luggage for their seat only fares when travelling domestically within New Zealand.