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Oz airline Qantas breaks own WinPhone app

Microsoft showpiece won't allow travellers to check in for flights

A Qantas 737. Source: Qantas

The Qantas Windows Phone app, which featured at the launch of Windows Phone 7.5 and 8, is currently broken and doesn't allow users to generate boarding passes.

The app was shown off and/or mentioned at various Microsoft events last year and attracted development assistance from Redmond's Australian outpost. It even won an award as the best Australian Windows Phone app of 2012.

Sources familiar with the app's development process have told The Register the app is not at fault, sparing blushes for Microsoft, but that Qantas itself is the source of the problem. The airline is reportedly reworking some aspects of its flight booking systems. Those changes mean the app no longer plays nicely with Qantas' back end, robbing the app of its full functionality.

Users are grumpy. Those who have downloaded the app are regularly giving it one star reviews. Whirlpool members are declaring the application's poor performance and long update cycle for the app is indicative of the Windows Phone experience, and therefore a reason to consider other smartmobe platforms.

Qantas has confirmed the app is broken and that boarding passes cannot be downloaded. A spokesperson assured us "We’re working on the problem and expect to have it fixed in the next few weeks.

That "few weeks" means the app may well be broken for half a year, as complaints about the broken boarding pass functions were reported in February 2013. That Windows Phone users can be left to endure an imperfect app for so long may be a sign the platform doesn't make a big difference to Qantas and doesn't deserve priority attention, which isn't good news for Microsoft. An alternative analysis could suggest development work on Qantas' booking platform is not going smoothly, which seems to be the case if this report of an outage are correct. ®

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