Can the Apple Watch replace your boarding card?

This morning my journey began with the usual walk to my local station but instead of catching the train into London I was heading south to Gatwick.

In fact my journey began using a ‘non-traditional ticket’ as I tapped into Earlswood station using my Oyster card. Not in an Oyster zone but a half thought through special extension covering the stations from zone 6 to Gatwick.

EasyJet app and the Apple Watch

My EasyJet boarding pass was loaded onto my phone, and had transferred itself to my wrist automatically so I thought I’d give it a go.

Entering the secure area of the airport went smoothly. Here passengers have to place their boarding card on the scanner, look at the camera and the gate would open. I’ve done this with A4 paper, a phone and now my Apple Watch all with success! Now to the departure lounge.

My gate isn’t up for another 20 mins but conveniently my watch vibrates and the EasyJet app is delivering a push notification telling me where to go.

plain sailing so far!

Now at the gate, for some reason gate 55D has two checkpoints, one to enter ‘gate 55’ and the other to board your aircraft at the particular letter. Here’s where it went wrong for me.

The boarding card scanners here are overhead ones. Meaning your pass or phone sits under the scanner to be read. My wrist won’t fit! No ones wrist would fit! So the watch has to come off, and then it goes to sleep, and waking it up means my pin needs to be entered again. DRAMA! with a queue of people behind me.

Onboard EasyJet flight from Gatwick to Edinburgh

I did eventually make it, through both of the boarding pass checks and took my seat on my flight.

My conclusion…

Boarding pass integration on the watch is super handy, but Gatwick Airport isn’t quite ready. Having your pass on your phone is still the best way to zip through the airport. But having it on your wrist too is super handy. Walking down the plane waiting for people to put up their bags, and I’m hands-free, phone is in my pocket, the screen on my wrist showing me my seat number.

I’ll try it on my return journey from Edinburgh too and see how it goes. I suspect the same.

(I failed with my non-traditional ticket journey getting a tram ticket at Edinburgh airport, I should have pre-purchased one in the iPhone app!)


So at Edinburgh airport, because the boarding pass on your watch is identical to the one in your phone, my return journey used both. My wrist at the security checkpoint and then my phone at the boarding gate. Seamless!


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