I'm not one who particularly enjoys traveling. Let me clarify, I enjoy my destination, but I am not fond of the process of travel. This sense of blah increases by an order of magnitude when it comes to air travel.
This past week I traveled to Toronto for work. Also my first trip to Canada. I was prepared to have to use paper boarding passes as it is an international flight. Passbook has only worked for me on domestic flights in the past. But to my surprise and delight, United's app allowed me to check-in in advance, and take a photo of my passport for verification. And then I saw those three glorious words: Add to Passbook.
What's even better is that the boarding passes were also available on my Apple Watch. For departure, I entered the airport, skipped United's desk, and walked straight to the security checkpoint. The agents scanned the barcode off my Apple Watch for my boarding pass, examined my passport, gave me the customary greeting of a patdown, and I was on my way.
Upon arrival in Toronto, I took a quick train to the station nearest my hotel. I was within walking distance, so I opened Maps on my watch, spoke the name of the hotel, tapped walking directions, and felt like I wasn't a complete foreigner as I turned when he watch subtly tapped my wrist in its left/right sequences. It worked perfectly, and I never had to take my phone out of my pocket.
Finally, Canada has been a bit more civilized in regard to payments for some time now. NFC is present just about everywhere. Using my Apple Watch to pay with Apple Pay just worked. Also, it was kind of fun to see the slight jealousy of Canadians when they realized I used Apple Pay, as it is not yet available in the Great White North.
As time goes on, I am finding the greatest thing about aw is the convenience it brings to my life. It is still by far not a necessity, as my iPhone can do just about everything the Watch can, but having the essentials of what I need available to me quickly and easily is terrific.