It was a short work trip last week to Philadelphia but long enough to generate content for three blog posts. This link goes back to the first one. This one’s number two. And it’s all about the latest shiny bright object: mobile tags. But, since so many of the discussions about tagging are automatically moved down the strategery funnel out of strategy and in to execution, I’ll go ahead and refer to them as QR Codes from here on out. Everyone else does.
So on one of my tickets during the trip there was a little QR Code tucked away into what would otherwise have been white space. Above it was a line of copy that promised I would be able to follow my flight’s airplane status right up until it reached the Philadelphia airport gate, deplaned, refreshed and prepared to board my flight back to MSP. All I had to do–presumably–was scan the code.
My presumption was that the code had been generated alongside my individual ticket or, at least, alongside the flight number printed on my ticket. I figured a quick scan of the code would whisk me out of my barcode scanner app and over into a mobile WAP with all the up-to-date flight information I could have wanted.
Instead I was brought to this application download screen:
I’ll give you one guess as to whether or not I downloaded that app.
The point of mobile flight check-ins is that the process has to be simple. Status checks shouldn’t be any different. When a personalized ticket contains information that is no longer personalized, that information is useless. If not annoying. Imagine if tickets had a generic weather symbol image and a call to action that offered you a URL where you could go to learn about the weather conditions expected in your area upon landing. Useless. That’s why those tickets contain forecasts for where you are headed instead of a generic teaser.
A mobile flight status check-in should be just as helpful for travelers.
My guess is that a team somewhere let the excitement of a mobile application and/or QR Code get the better of them.