In mid 2017, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub (LIH) launched ‘AirlineCheckins’, a way for travellers globally to automatically check-in at more than 220 airlines.
- AirlineCheckins now has 40,000 registered customers, offering check-in for 220 airlines worldwide.
- The service has been extended to offer two new subscription based deals, each with differing levels of access to global WiFi access points, onboard WiFi and lounges.
Based in Berlin, LIH is the Lufthansa Group’s platform to integrate up-and-coming technologies for utilisation in operations of the airline group. “We are neither an incubator, an accelerator, nor an R&D firm”, LIH says, going on to add: “We are responsible for pursuing the business opportunities that arise on the interface between the Lufthansa Group and the global travel tech scene. Our job is to identify and analyse such opportunities quickly, and convert them into new business for Lufthansa”.
Following analysis of these technological opportunities, LIH encourages the Lufthansa Group to strategically invest in ideas and companies from the digital travel market. AirlineCheckins is a product of this business model, with iOS and Android apps launched for the service in Jun-2018.
Today, more than 40,000 registered customers from 132 countries are automatically checked in at over 220 airlines worldwide. Individual seating preferences, accompanying travellers, and individual frequent flyer program memberships of the users are considered in the AirlineCheckins service.
On 24-Aug-2018, AirlineCheckins expanded dramatically, with its service much farther reaching than its initial use of only automatic check-in. Seeking to position itself as a “comprehensive travel service”, AirlineCheckins now offers premium membership in the form of two differing subscriptions, in addition to the usual free check-in product which allows up to two check-ins per month.
AirlineCheckins BASIC includes an unlimited number of automatic check-ins and current flight information (e.g. gate changes, delays) in real time. The package costs EUR4.99 for three months and ends automatically at the end of the time period.
In addition to an unlimited number of check-ins and real-time flight information, the most extensive subscription – AirlineCheckins PLUS – contains even more added value.
Costing EUR29.99 for three months, users will have unlimited WiFi access onboard 36 airlines, including Air France-KLM, Eurowings, Lufthansa, SWISS and American, along with access to 42 million WiFi hotspots globally. Depending on the airline and data volume, in flight WiFi access costs between EUR5 and EUR12 euros each route, without an AirlineCheckins subscription.
Not just limited to airports and airlines, these hotspots include railway stations and trains themselves. Users are neither limited in terms of data volume nor speed, making it possible, for example, to stream films during a flight.
PLUS users will also continue to receive up to 20% discounts on over 370 lounges at most of the world’s busiest airports. Lounges can be used regardless of membership or status for affiliated frequent traveller programs. In the initial phase, the availability of PLUS will be limited to 2,222 users. “The decision to make any changes or to continue the packages beyond the test phase will be entirely dependent on user feedback”, Lufthansa adds.
Lufthansa Innovation Hub responsible project manager and venture development manager Kristian Weymar said: “The check-in was an obvious gateway for us to reach frequent business travelers. 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”.
With a value proposition and convenience as extensive as AirlineCheckins, will you be purchasing a subscription?