Emirates is to ditch paper boarding passes at its Dubai hub in a drive to reduce waste, although the airline says it won’t completely eliminate traditional boarding passes and passengers travelling with infants or those who require special assistance will still need a paper boarding pass.
The initiative to push passengers towards using mobile boarding passes on their own devices is part of Emirates’ latest drive to reduce waste, and a side benefit is that more passengers might then download the Emirates mobile app, which could, in turn, drive loyalty and ancillary sales.
Of course, for millions of passengers around the world, mobile boarding passes aren’t anything new or unusual, but from May 15, Emirates will encourage the majority of its passengers to switch to digital boarding passes.
Digital boarding passes are powered by a unique QR code that is sent to the passenger’s device by email or SMS or loaded directly through the Emirates mobile app. Once downloaded, the pass can then be saved to Apple Wallet or Google Wallet.
Unfortunately, mobile boarding passes aren’t permitted for all passengers departing Dubai for the USA, as well as unaccompanied children and passengers who have connecting flights with other airlines.
Passengers who simply don’t want to have a mobile boarding pass will also be able to request a printed pass at check-in. And don’t worry if your device is running low on battery or you don’t have any data – Emirates will also print a paper boarding pass in these situations as well.
On Thursday, Emirates announced it would pump $200 million into a sustainability fund which will be used for research and development projects that are focused on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation.
Emirates has committed to achieving carbon ‘net zero’ by 2020, but airline president Sir Tim Clark warned that existing technologies were unlikely to be enough for airlines to achieve this ambitious goal.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.