Dubai: Emirates announced on Friday that passengers travelling on the airline would now have to start using digital boarding passes from Monday, May 15. This is in line with the airline's digitisation strategy and will also help 'significantly reduce paper waste'. It is also great for passengers because it is harder to misplace or lose the boarding pass this way.
However, plans can go awry and what if your phone dies or your internet connection stops working? There is also the matter of the checked-in baggage stickers that usually go on your boarding pass.
The airline also said that some passengers will still have to use physical boarding passes. Here's our compilation of everything you need to know from the airline's announcements.
How will the boarding pass be sent to me?
Once checked-in at Terminal 3, the boarding pass will be sent as an SMS or email to your registered number or email address from where you can download the pass to your phone. You will also be able to access it on the Emirates app if you have it.
Should I use the Emirates app?
We would recommend you download the airline's app if you haven't done so already. The app is easier to use than the browser and they have a section called 'My Trips' from where you can easily access your digital boarding pass without downloading it. The pass becomes available as soon as you check in. However, you will need an active internet connection to access the app, and therefore your boarding pass.
You can, however, download the pass on to your phone which can then be used offline. Dubai Airports has a good-quality public WiFi connection if you do not have a data plan.
For iOS and Android phones, users can use the pre-installed 'wallets' which can store your boarding passes. For instance, you can download the boarding pass directly into your Apple Wallet which you can then access offline. The pass stays there until you delete it. You can download the boarding pass from the Emirates app to the Apple Wallet too.
You can do the same for Google Wallet. Once you add the boarding pass, you can access it offline at any time.
No apps, give me the easiest way
The mobile boarding pass works by scanning a QR code. If you don't want to use apps or wallets, the easiest way would be to take a screenshot of the boarding pass sent to you including the QR code section. When at the boarding gate, simply open up your 'Photos' or 'Gallery' section and show them the screenshot to scan.
What if my phone stops working?
Emirate said in their announcement that the option to print a boarding pass is available - by request - to Emirates agents at check-in counters. This request will be considered if passengers do not have a mobile device. Or if they are unable to access the information on their devices for reasons such as: running out of battery power, a system breakdown or glitch, message delivery delay, or inability to access WIFI, network or a data package.
These passengers must have physical passes
Not all passengers will be able to use just the mobile version of their boarding pass. Passengers travelling with infants, unaccompanied minors, passengers requiring special assistance, and passengers with onwards flights on other airlines must have printed boarding passes.
Passengers heading to the US also will need a physical boarding pass.
Checked-in baggage stickers
As most travellers know, stamps for checked-in baggage are usually stuck to the boarding pass. Given that the boarding pass will be digital, the baggage stamps will also be sent as digital attachments to the passenger's email address.
These will also be available on the Emirates app.
Self check-in kiosks
Avoid the lines at the counters by heading straigh to the self check-in kiosks at Terminal 3. The kiosks allow customers to check-in, receive their boarding pass, choose seats on board, and drop off their bags. New services have also been added to allow passengers to make payments for ancillary purchases, such as additional baggage allowance, directly at the kiosks.
Soon you could choose to be checked in by Sarah, Emirates’ check in robot. Announced in March, when functional Sarah will speak five to seven languages, including Arabic.
Recently, Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad entered into an agreement that will further boost tourism in the country and at the same time enhance a tourist’s experience.
This interline agreement is the first of its kind between the two airlines, which are both on a rapid expansion spree to new destinations and have burgeoning order books ready to take on additional capacity.
“This summer, customers of each airline will be able to purchase a single ticket to fly into either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, with a seamless return via the other airport. The new agreement also provides travellers planning to explore the UAE with the flexibility of one-stop ticketing for their full journey and convenient baggage check-in,” the airlines said in a statement.