What happens when a new service replaces a service we’re all familiar with? A service that you used infrequently or daily, at times of high stress and no time on your side? The brand claims the service is better, speeds up the process and is available in the palm of your hand. Will the brand make the transition easy or will I be stuck with a new service that has all the benefits for the brand and I feel cheated?

Many airlines are introducing the concept of mobile check-in to their services. I love the idea because I tend to crumple my boarding pass in my back pocket, even lost it a few times. It’s a fantastic idea, a win-win situation (less paper for the airline, more efficient and less stress and more convenient for customers). And then you get this:


The problem: I don’t feel confident with this solution.

I assume this is all I need: QR code for the agents, flight and my personal information. Still, when I first encountered electronic boarding passes, I was left with the question: “Is this all I need?”

What do I do when I need to check a bag? What does the security agent do, since they can’t sign my phone? Do I need to keep that screen on the app open or can I close it down and open when needed? What happens when my phone runs out of battery?

It’s not that hard, Delta just needed to add:

  • A sentence explaining that this eCopy is all I need to check in
  • Send a copy of this boarding pass to my email as a back-up
  • Remind me that customer service agents will be happy to assist me

That’s all I need to be 100% confident. And switch from paper boarding passes to ePasses for good.

Brands need to design with empathy for their customers to introduce a new service. It has to be so easy, a 3-year old and a 91-year old feel safe and secure.

P.S.: Now, if somebody could start fixing the wide array of horrendous and idiotic interfaces of public transportation systems, that would be lovely. I’m looking at BART. LA Metro. Amsterdam. Paris. London, Tokyo. The one person/company accomplishing this herculean task will raise the global GDP and efficiency by 5%. Within a second.