IT system problems mean Australia’s newest budget airline Bonza is not currently allowing customers to log in to their accounts through its app.
Given that Bonza only allows flight bookings through that app, that’s slightly embarrassing, and makes it harder for passengers to book.
I discovered this when I made a booking on Bonza for the first time today, some 8 months after it began flying.
While I’m a discount airline freak, the fact that Bonza doesn’t yet run any flights to my home town of Sydney means it has taken this long for it to make sense for me to try it out.
Booking my flight (on its newly introduced Melbourne Tullamarine-Tamworth route) was fairly straightforward. As part of that process, I was asked if I wanted to set up an account. I specified a password so I could do that.
However, when I tried to sign in using those same details, I just got an error message.
Attempting a password reset also didn’t work. So I ventured onto the app’s support chat, where a helpful Bonza person quickly explained the issue:
Bonza has temporarily disabled the account feature on the app due to some IT issues. To search your future booking, you can search this under ‘My Trips’ by entering your booking number and surname on your bookings.
I can confirm that checking the booking with the reference works.
The bug highlights a problem with being app-based: it’s really hard to update customers on issues like this, since that generally means you need to roll out an update to the app itself.
That’s typically not a straightforward process, not least because you’ll have to wait on approval from Apple and Google’s app store overlords before the new version becomes available.
There’s no obvious estimate on when the feature might return. Bonza likes to boast that its target audience is “infrequent flyers”, so maybe it figures not being able to sign in doesn’t really matter.
That said, no sign-in makes repeat sales trickier – and it contributes to my cynicism about whether Bonza can survive in Australia’s tough aviation market.