The biggest problem with QR Codes or any form of marketing tools is, not just using them for the sake of using them. The airline industry has done a great job of figuring out how to make QR Codes helpful and useful to their customers and not just something that sends you to the company homepage.
While traveling a few times over the last few months I have noticed a big change in the way things are being done in the airports. No, I'm not going to complain about all the checking and scanning by TSA. The TSA thing went very smoothly for me.
What I did want to talk about though, was how using a QR Codes made my life easier, the airlines life easier, could potentially set up a way to build a marketing database and lastly save the world of unneeded waste.
So here is the deal, you're now able to check-in at the airport the night or morning before your flight. You just go to the airlines website and check-in on their site. Then in a few moments the airline emails you a link to your boarding pass and it looks like this (see photo below).
So you no longer have to wait in line (unless you have to check your luggage - which you can also do online, but this is not as smooth at the airport, at least not yet). So you just go through the gates, show your phone, scan it on their bar code reader, show your license and walk through. It was very easy and everyone was happy to see we were prepared.
So you no longer have to print out your boarding pass. Think of how much waste the airlines were creating with paper boarding passes/tickets and the little folders to carry them in. This will be a huge paper use reduction for the airlines. It be nice if we could get free baggage again for this cost savings. Don't you agree?
The reason I wanted to share this is because QR Codes are so miss used. Many times they just point someone to the homepage of a website. This is not useful to your customers and prospects. Why not take some time and develop a strategic way to use QR Codes so that the end user doesn't even think about it. They just do what they got to do, scan their code and get something of value in return. Some sort of offer or an easier way to check-in.
This is the first use of the QR Codes that I have scanned and been impressed with. It actually was useful to me, not just some lame self promo gimmick! Brandwise too is guilty of using QR Codes as more of a gimmick than useful tool. Stay posted though. We are looking for other uses and when we find a solid use for us our one of our clients, we will share it with you.
The iphone is even more valuable on flights. I use it for listening to music or audio books, play games, reading already downloaded emails and now to get on the plane! Who would have thought? Way to go airlines, you have finally done something in the last 10 years that actually made my life easier instead of more challenging. Keep up the good work!