Fellow travellers, meet your new favourite form of plastic.
Step aside, Visa, AMEX, Metro, Oyster and Octopus: Your other coveted cards can’t take you to the heights a Penguin will.
This new “pay-as-you-go” card for flights will reportedly operate much like a typical public transportation card. For £50, you’ll be able to purchase your own card and refill it whenever you want – either online or at a Penguin kiosk at certain airports. Just fill up and fly.
Our minds = blown.
You can use your Penguin to pay for your ticket ahead of time (if you want to secure a seat). The card will have a corresponding app that will transform your smartphone into a digital tap pad, so passengers who’d like to prepay for their flights can use the app to tap their Penguin to their phone.
If you don’t want to pay in advance, just show up at the airport, tap your card at the check-in desk (pads are slated to be installed over the next few months) and head to the gate to catch the next flight to your destination. So, if you’re flying along a popular route, you could easily spend an extra few hours soaking up that weekend getaway — then just head to the airport and grab a seat on the next flight.
When you tap your Penguin card – either on your phone or at the check-in desk – the price of your flight will be deducted based on one flat rate per mile traveled. Any required taxes or fees will be added when you tap, too.
Cheapest day to fly? Who knows! Best day to book? Who cares! It looks like a Penguin is about to swoop into your life and swipe all those nitty gritty flight booking worries away. And so, the days of wrestling with fluctuating airline prices might just be a thing of the past.
You’ll also be able to use your Penguin to cover any additional fees. Need an in-flight snack? Or an extra leg room seat? Just tap your Penguin to pay up.
More than a dozen airlines around the world have already signed on to offer Penguin’s “pay-as-you-go” bookings, and card holders will get some key benefits including one free checked bag on all flights, the ability to store miles and reap loyalty rewards across carriers, and periodic deals on mileage along certain routes.
Pass the Penguin, please.