Mobile Check-In Is Back As Lufthansa Integrates Health Pass Acceptance

Mobile check-in is back for passengers flying with Lufthansa to select European destinations. The airline has added the functionality to read the QR codes associated with digital EU vaccination certificates and the codes generated by the airline’s airport testing partner, Centogene.

Lufthansa, Mobile Check-In, Vaccine Passport
Lufthansa has brought back mobile check-in. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Proving COVID-19 status has become a fundamental part of the travel experience as airlines look to exclude the virus from their flights, and countries look to fight the importation of the virus. As demand for travel returns, the increased checks are causing more and more waiting at the airport due to additional document checks.

Reactivating mobile check-in

Lufthansa has reactivated mobile check-in for 2,000 flights a week. The functionality is now available for those traveling to Schengen area countries not on the Robert Koch Institue’s risk list. Currently, only six Schengen areas are on the risk list,

  • Occitanie, France
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
  • Corsica, France
  • Crete, Greece
  • South Aegean, Greece
  • Algarve, Portugal
Lufthansa, Mobile Check-In, Vaccine Passport
The functionality is enabled on flights from the green areas. Photo: MapChart.org

This means that a good portion of the airline’s European network now has the new process in force. This is particularly good for Lufthansa as opposed to on long-haul networks. Short-haul travel (especially within Schengen) is much easier and thus has far more demand, meaning the most significant efficiency gains are possible.

How does the system work?

When people complete the mobile check-in process, they will be able to scan the QR code on paper and digital certificates. The Lufthansa app can verify these and proceed with the check-in process. According to the airline, certificates showing complete vaccination, and test certificates from the airline’s test partner, Centogene, are currently accepted.

Lufthansa, Mobile Check-In, Vaccine Passport
The check-in process allows passengers to scan their EU vaccine certificates. Photo: CovPass App

While the app accepts digital QR codes, Lufthansa recommends that passengers carry their paper certificates with them for the time being. This is likely, so it is easy to prove an individual’s status if their digital device dies during travel.

Why is this necessary?

Lufthansa could continue manually checking the documents of each passenger. However, by introducing a digital verification system for a high proportion of passengers, they are helping to address a bottleneck at airports.

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According to IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, modern airports aren’t designed for every single passenger needing to visit a check-in desk. Of course, this wasn’t such an issue when traveler numbers were low, but now that passengers are returning in droves, it could start to present a bottleneck at document checkpoints.

Lufthansa, Mobile Check-In, Vaccine Passport
Such measures are necessary to keep waiting times down at airports.

He previously commented,

“If every customer traveling has to go to an airline check-in desk and show evidence in using paper of having filled in forms, of having evidence of a PCR test, and that these have to be checked by people at check-in counters. The processing time alone goes way beyond the average processing time of that we’re used to.”

Are you pleased to see the return of mobile check-in? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

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