Europe’s Lufthansa is testing a subscription check-in app that gives passengers lounge discounts and free wi-fi on 36 airlines.
The AirlineCheckins app developed by Lufthansa Innovation Hub comes in three versions and is designed to automatically check-in travelers on more than 220 airlines worldwide.
Registration includes filling out a profile with information such as seating preferences, frequent flyer program, travel companions and identification documents.
The app stores the information and works across airlines offering online check-in.
Passengers send an email on a proprietary system when they make a booking and AirlineCheckins automatically checks them in as soon as the airline allows it.
It can secure a favorite seat, supports up to 10 companion travelers and sends a boarding pass via email or text message.
Having attracted more than 40,000 registrations after the app’s launch in June 2018, the German carrier is now expanding it to offer more services.
It comes in three versions, including a free version that gives passengers two check-ins per month.
There is also a BASIC version that costs €4.99 for three months and offers unlimited automatic check-ins as well as real-time flight information such as delays and gate changes.
READ: Lufthansa expands in-flight entertainment.
The latest innovation is AirlineCheckins PLUS, which offers the BASIC benefits but also gives users unlimited wi-fi access on 36 airlines including Air France, Eurowings, KLM, Lufthansa, SWISS and American Airlines. It also offers access to 42 million wi-fi hotspots worldwide with no limits on data volume or speed.
A partnership with global internet company iPass means they will be able to use credentials supplied as part of their package to log-in on participating airlines without paying further inflight internet charges.
They also get up to 20 percent discount on more than 370 lounges at many of the world’s busiest airports. this can be used regardless of membership or frequent flyer status.
The PLUS package costs €29.99 ($US34.80) for three months during the initial phase and availability will be limited to 2222 users.
Lufthansa says the decision to continue the packages beyond the test phase will depend on user feedback.
“The check-in was an obvious gateway for us to reach frequent business travelers,” Lufthansa Innovation Hub venture development manager Kristian Weymar said.
“Now that we have solved this problem, we are now systematically expanding our product range along the travel chain,’’
“At first, the focus will be on the more efficient use of travel time, which includes unlimited connectivity in the air and status-independent access to airport lounges.’’
The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.