Air New Zealand app

Once travel restrictions lifted in 2021, Air New Zealand wanted to make traveling with even smoother. The focus of this initiative was the outdated Air New Zealand app. The new app would need to streamline tasks like storing passports, managing accounts, making the Koru membership experience even better, accessing boarding passes, and modernising the app's overall look and feel.

It wasn't all smooth sailing, though. A major challenge was figuring out what everybody needed and how we could build an app that was both simple to use but capable of doing a large variety of things. Air New Zealand has many customers – from once-in-a-while flyers to jet-setting elite. One customer may open the app once to access their boarding pass on the day of their flight, another may be a Koru member and wish to preorder a coffee in an Air New Zealand Lounge. The app had to do it all.

An area for improvement, identified early in the planning, was managing travel documents, IDs and more. The new app makes it easy to deal with travel documents, such as visas and passports – providing travellers with a place to securely and privately store these to present at airports. Additionally, highlighting pathways to key tasks in the app's settings simplifies travel document management, account settings and app preferences.

Koru members have been able to preorder coffees and other beverages through the app for a long time and have come to enjoy the luxury of checking in, then arriving in the lounge with a hot drink waiting. The experience of doing so was not such a joy though. The experience was elevated to an interactive, stepped-out process where customers could essentially "build" a coffee: choosing its strength, milk (dairy, oat, almond and soy of course) and flavour shots. Connecting with the software used by the baristas, an estimated wait time is displayed in the app and a notification informs the user when their coffee is ready.

By far the most important flow is checking-in and accessing boarding passes. There are several scenarios that add friction: users may have multiple passengers on their booking (a family for instance), users may have multiple flights on their booking (connecting flights, etc.) and understanding the difference between a ticket and a boarding pass. Solutions to the first and second challenge involved clear typography to increase awareness of who and when the boarding pass was for (we also relegated boarding passes for departed flights), in addition to identifying who was the 'captain' of the travel party and stacking the passes in order of passenger age. The final challenge was solved by making the two documents visually distinct – the boarding pass has a giant QR code so we made a feature of this.

The new Air New Zealand app is all about making journeys smoother and the airport experience enjoyable. With its easy-to-use design and new features, it's like having your own personal travel assistant. The app lays the foundation for major new features in the future.