The Lufthansa Innovation Hub has devised a method to make flight check in less stressful. Photo: Public Domain Pictures
Frequent flyers especially know the stress before departure: When does check-in open? What is my booking code? Will I get an aisle or window seat? ‘AirlineCheckins.com’ – a product from the Lufthansa Innovation Hub – solves this problem once and for all and automatically checks travellers in for more than 100 airlines worldwide. The Lufthansa Innovation Hub tested this service last year on a small scale as a prototype. Based on the findings of the first test phase, AirlineCheckins.com has been developed further and is available to passengers from today as a technologically sophisticated solution.

“Checking into a flight 24 hours in advance while packing, wrapping up work, planning your itinerary and more adds another level of stress to the air travel experience, particularly for those who travel often such as business travellers or families with multiple passengers,” says Holger Schneider, Managing Director of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub. “With the availability of AirlineCheckins.com, our aim is to eliminate this hurdle, making travel a bit more pleasant.”

Travellers can register at AirlineCheckins.com and store their seating preferences in their customer profile. Passengers are then automatically checked in for all flights which are booked using their personal e-mail address from Airlinecheckins.com. As the first industry- wide solution, AirlineCheckins.com covers not only flights for Lufthansa Group airlines, but also manages check-in for all airlines in the world that offer online check-in. The check-in takes place in the first few minutes after the online check-in of the respective airline opens. This therefore increases the likelihood that travellers will get their preferred seat. Travellers automatically receive their boarding pass by e-mail or SMS. In the initial test phase alone, AirlineCheckins.com was used by 5,000 travellers from 60 countries. In 2016 a total of over 10,000 check-in requests have been processed.

In the last few weeks the technological basis of the product has been revised to ensure a stable process which can withstand growing user numbers and a much larger volume of check-ins. With this, the foundation has been laid to be able to offer the service to a large customer base. Travellers benefit from a number of new features: users can now specify fellow passengers in their profile in order to ensure a smooth check-in for multiple travellers. Additionally, information about frequent-flyer programmes will also be taken into account at check-in and identification documents can be managed within user profiles to ensure an uncomplicated check-in on international flights. A new flight overview showing upcoming and past flights provides a clear summary of the passenger’s own travel activities.

“We consider AirlineCheckins.com as a starting point for a platform for travel-related services. Online check-in for an airline is a strategically important customer touchpoint in the travel chain. Customized offers for activities at the destination or for the airport transfer could follow from this. The extremely positive feedback in the previous pilot operation shows that we have addressed a substantial customer need with this”, says Gleb Tritus, Director Venture Development and member of the management board at the Lufthansa Innovation Hub.

With the launch of the revised version of AirlineCheckins.com, the product is going into the second test phase. This has already shown that a cross-airline check-in service responds to the needs of many airline travellers and the focus is now on the development and validation of different business model approaches in direct exchange with the customer (e.g. offering destination-related services such as rental cars, hotels or activities).

The service provided by AirlineCheckins.com is still free of charge for travellers.