Lufthansa drops check-in requirement for passengers within Europe’s Schengen area

While some low cost carriers are charging unfortunate customers a small fortune to check-in at airports if they fail to check-in online prior to arrival, a full service carrier is now removing the requirement for a portion of its clientele.

Lufthansa passengers travelling within Germany and also across the full Schengen area of 26 European states that have officially abolished border control, will now automatically receive their boarding pass directly to their smartphone 23 hours before departure – without having to check-in themselves.

Managed via travellers’ Miles & More frequent flyer account or via the addition of a Lufthansa iD profile, the service has been designed to make travel preparation easier, with the check-in process being managed through details within the passenger iD profile to ensure personal preferences are met, for example preferred seats, meal requirements etc.

Lufthansa emphasises that those passengers that want to change their seats, cancel their check-in, activate an electronic luggage tag at home and download e-journals can still do it with automatic check-in and anyone no longer wishing to use the service can easily deactivate the option at any time in their customer profile.

The service is available for flights within the Schengen area as well as for bus and train travel on the Lufthansa Express Rail and Bus. Current security requirements mean that the process cannot currently be extended beyond the Schengen area which means passengers on flights between Germany and the non-signatory European countries of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom, will still need to check-in manually as per normal.

Lufthansa is among the airlines currently looking closely at how new technology and processes can enhance the customer experience. It has already adopted artificial intelligence (AI) channels to communicate with passengers, while it has partnered with BAGTAG in a move that allows passengers flying with it and sister carriers SWISS and Austrian Airlines to purchase a re-usable, electronic bag tag, instead of having to have traditional paper bag tags attached to their suitcases every time they fly.

Last October, it also entered into a partnership with Winding Tree, a blockchain-based decentralised open-source travel distribution platform, which aims to make travel cheaper for consumers and more profitable for providers and it continues to support innovation, placing a big focus on exploring possible collaborations with startups.