Air New Zealand: getting mobile right

The Air New Zealand app has come a long way - they used to just have a sticker with an RFID chip on the back, and now they have moved all of that to iOS and Android apps, with (shock horror) QR codes for your boarding pass.

Despite the unversal WTF around QR codes, it works great. Having the same info in a Passbook pass would solve the unlock-and-use problem, but thats a fairly minor niggle. Mostly, it's focused - no ads, no upsell, nothing which really gets in the way.

Some of the things they let me do in the app (and it IS an app, not a mobile website in a box like most other airline apps):

  • Check in, and pick my seat (ok, the last bit there is a website, but it's pretty seamless)
  • See all my flights
  • See my airpoints info, my status level, how many points I got for the last flight, how many upgrades I have etc.
  • It shows up on the homescreen when I'm near one of the major airports - I assume this is using GeoJSON

Their newest feature, however, is for something else I love: coffee. When you check in to the lounge (which requires you to open the app and scan your boarding pass) it asks you if you want a coffee

If you say yes, it shows a list of your previous orders, and how long it will take before your coffee is ready:

Once it's ready, you get a push message to tell you:

It's a fairly simple thing, but it removes the queue from the coffee bar, and it's a nice surprise. I thought they used iBeacons for detection, but I think it's just triggered from the check in. Either way, I'd like the pop up to show when I walk into the airport - then if there is a 20 min delay (which is common for coffee), I can order it while I'm still in the security queue.

Well done, Air NZ. Awesome use of mobile tech.

Nic Wise

Nic Wise

Auckland, NZ