While one of the great features of the new Apple Watch is its ability to sync with the iPhone’s Passbook app, allowing users to display airline boarding passes right on their wrist, Qanta passengers are find that their wrist won’t fit under the airline’s gate scanners to scan the digital boarding pass!
The Apple Watch, together with a wrist, doesn’t seem to fit in many of Qantas’s fixed scanners at boarding gates and in lounges when presenting digital boarding passes in the form of QR codes sent across to the Passbook app by the Qantas app.
The issue was first pointed out by a few users on Twitter, one of which says he wasn’t allowed to take a photo of the terminal he was unable to use his Watch with. Qantas has since acknowledged the issue. Unfortunately it hasn’t announced a time table for a fix.
The issue partially rises from Qantas’ having to develop the Apple Watch app without an actual Apple Watch for testing. The app’s lead designer, Gabriel Santos. expressed his dismay at having to develop without a device to test the app on:
“We initially locked in a concept but when trying it on the actual device, it didn’t work as well as I thought it would,” he said.
“It proved that designing without testing on the actual device can compromise the user experience. Good enough just isn’t acceptable. I wanted to bring the Apple Watch experience to a whole new level.”
While the use of a smaller, handheld scanner would fix the issue, it would likely be an expensive fix for the airline, which would require installing the handheld scanners at every airport it flies in and out of.