Chat Commerce

Chat Commerce: The New Way to Deliver Digital Boarding Passes

Picture this: Your customer has barely arrived at the airport terminal on time, ready to board their flight for a client meeting a few states away. They can’t stop thinking about their outfit wrinkling in their carry-on, and are starting to suspect that they forgot to pack deodorant. As they frantically scroll through their smartphone looking for the airline’s mobile app, trying to remember their password, they get an SMS notification  with their boarding pass.

Phew. Crisis averted. 

When you send a digital boarding pass to a traveler in messaging channels, they won’t need to sign into their account on a web browser, open your app, or head to a kiosk. All they have to do is open the message and head to the security line. Digital boarding passes offer convenience and service, contributing to experiences that build loyalty (and decreasing traveler stress).

But how can airlines get started in the digital boarding pass world? We’re breaking down why more travel brands are making messaging boarding passes their default, why customers are enthusiastic about messaging commerce solutions, and how to start sending electronic boarding passes via text today.

In this article:

  • Why send boarding passes by text?

  • Customers, messaging, and travel brands: Research insights

  • How to send SMS boarding passes

  • What you’ll need to get started

  • Sending mobile boarding passes via SMS with Clickatell

Why send mobile boarding passes by text?

Why are so many travel brands embracing digital boarding passes and Clickatell’s Chat Commerce platform?

  • To keep customers happyCustomers want to use SMS to get in touch with travel brands. Creating a seamless travel experience for them involves providing as much convenience as possible. And it doesn’t get more convenient than sending a text to the device and messaging platform they’re already using. We’ll break down the stats from our Chat Commerce Trends Report in more detail in the following section. 

  • To optimize staffing – Your airline is likely no stranger to the skilled worker shortage uniquely impacting the travel and tourism industries. Leveraging automated technologies like digital boarding passes delivered by messaging can free up staff for more critical tasks like one-on-one customer support.

  • To reduce customer service instances – Digital boarding passes eliminate physical copies that can easily be forgotten at home or lost at the airport. For travelers, this can be a distressing or frustrating experience that affects their perception of the trip or your airline. But with boarding passes instantly delivered to their phones, fewer travelers will need to contact customer service over lost or forgotten passes, reducing overall volume.

  • To save money – Innovations like two-way messaging and chat commerce help businesses save on overhead. The use of more digital tools means less money spent on kiosks, supplies, customer service staff salaries, and more.

Digital boarding passes provide airlines with immense opportunities. In addition to the tasks above, leveraging mobile boarding passes (and messaging commerce innovations in general) can help you achieve peak customer loyalty, increase revenue, and build marketing strategies that convert.

Customers, messaging, and travel brands: Research insights

In case you needed more proof that boarding passes delivered by text message are the way to go, check out these impressive results from Clickatell’s recent research:

  • 87% of consumers want to use messaging as their primary channel for communicating with travel brands.

  • Travelers want to use messaging to get booking updates, check-in notifications, flight status info, and boarding passes.

  • Messaging preferences transcend the generational divide. Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers all want to use mobile messaging to manage their trips.

While airlines can leverage messaging to boost customer satisfaction in countless ways, even using it just to send boarding passes to flyers can make travelers’ experiences more convenient and efficient. 

How to send digital boarding passes

So, how can you get started sending boarding passes by message? The following tips will help you start onboarding and avoid turbulence. 

What you’ll need to get started

To send a mobile boarding pass to a customer, you’ll need:

  • A chat commerce platform with boarding pass functions enabled

  • A basic HTTP API or another API solution

  • The customer’s phone number (and their consent to receive texts from your brand)

  • The customer’s boarding pass

Before you start sending digital boarding passes to customers, you’ll also need to test and troubleshoot the system internally to ensure it works.

In addition, consider enabling your mobile messaging platform to automate:

  • Two-way messaging to answer and reply to customers’ questions

  • Seat upgrade offers or other up-sell and cross-sell opportunities

  • Itinerary updates for travelers

Sending mobile boarding passes via messaging with Clickatell

Sending mobile boarding passes with Clickatell’s all-in-one Chat Commerce platform is simple: 

  1. Register your account and login

  2. Activate the messaging channel and add a new automation

  3. Set up an API using our REST-based solution

  4. Test and publish the integration

  5. Start sending, receiving, and tracking SMS messages with customers

We’re sticking with the basics for this guide. If you’re ready to learn more about using Clickatell to send mobile boarding passes, reach out to us.

Partner with Clickatell for Chat Commerce

Chat Commerce platform is a powerful tool. Airlines can use it to send digital boarding passes, provide self-service customer support options to travelers, market new products and services, and so much more.

Today’s travelers are looking for convenient, valuable, and tech-savvy services from airlines. With Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform, your brand can meet all of these benchmarks and turn one-time customers into frequent flyers.

Whether you leverage SMS for customer service, marketing, transactions, or all of these, Clickatell can help your travel brand optimize mobile messaging for peak customer engagement and cost-effectiveness. Get in touch to learn more.


Step into the future of business messaging.

SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.