Qantas Domestic Check-In Changes

01 Aug 2015

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Original article by Carlie Tucker for Flight Centre Business Travel

'Check-in on time, arrive on time,' is Qantas's latest marketing bid to improve the passenger experience. The major Aussie airline is changing its check-in policies in an effort to increase on-time departures and arrivals. The new change will go into effect from 5 August and here's how it might affect you.

The current check-in window of 15 minutes prior to flight time will be set to 30 minutes prior to departure for most passengers. This includes all passengers that need to check baggage.

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Business Class passengers as well as Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Qantas Club members with hand luggage only will be given an extra 10 minutes' grace period. These passengers will be able to check-in through airport lounges or Premium Service Desks up to 20 minutes prior to flight time.

Keep in mind, though, if you have to check any luggage, regardless of your ticket class or frequent flyer status, you must check-in 30 minutes prior to departure.


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The new policy aims to speed up the pre boarding paperwork, allowing staff to finalise the load sheet and take-off weight of the aircraft much quicker. This allows a more timely departure and subsequent arrival. Qantas's on-time departures for domestic travel surpassed the 90 per cent mark in June 2015 and the airline is keen to continue the rising trend through such improvements to the pre-flight procedures.

The airline has also beefed up its check-in options to ensure passengers aren't inconvenienced by this new 30-minute rule. There are more ways than ever to check-in. This includes:

  • Qantas app, which is compatible with iPhones, Androids and the Apple Watch
  • Online check-in at Qantas.com
  • Auto check-in via SMS (available for flights within Australia only)
  • Kiosks, Q Card readers or check-in desks at the airport.

These new changes apply to domestic and regional services. International departures remain the same, with check-in required at least 90-120 minutes before your flight.

Having a look at other major Australian services, here's how Qantas's new check-in policy will stack up.

Virgin:  check-in 30 minutes prior to flight

Jetstar: check-in 30 minutes prior to flight

Tigerair: check-in 45 minutes prior to flight

Rex Regional Express: check-in 20 minutes prior to flight for NSW, SA, TAS and VIC regional airports; 30 minutes prior to flight for Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland airports; 60 minutes prior to flight for Burketown airport.