Mobile boarding passes for Airlines
The International Air Transport Association’s mandate that all airlines to have industry standard 2D barcodes fully operational by the end of 2010 has greatly helped along the move of digital ticketing to the mobile phone. Citing better efficiencies in processing passengers, costs, and trees saved by paperless ticketing, a greater capacity to store information, and higher capability to detect fraudulent boarding passes due to the difficulty of duplication, mobile boarding passes are an exciting development in the ever-expanding capabilities of the mobile device.
Lufthansa, Air Berlin (Germany) With mobile boarding passes available for domestic flights in Germany and many European flights, Lufthansa serves the widest range of routes. Passengers can check in up to 23 hours before their flight by receiving their boarding pass via email or being sent a link by SMS, which subsequently takes them to their pass. Over 7,000 passengers use Lufthansa mobile boarding passes per week. Air Berlin passengers can check in by mobile up to 30 hours before their flight departs. As soon as electronic check-in is available passengers are automatically sent an SMS asking whether they would like a mobile boarding pass. At each leg of the journey, a new SMS is sent. Passengers have until one hour before the flight departs to retrieve the ticket. Right now, the service is only available to users who are with a German or Austrian carrier.
Continental Airlines (USA) Continental Airlines was the first US airline to provide mobile boarding passes, beginning testing on selected routes in December, 2007. Passengers access their mobile boarding pass by logging onto the mobile website and entering their confirmation, eTicket, or membership number. Continental’s mobile initiative has been followed by Northwest, Delta, and, most recently, American Airlines. For all airlines, the mobile boarding passes are only available on selected domestic routes.
With the capability to guide customers through research, selection, purchase, and physical consumption, the mobile looks set to rapidly grow in importance as both a communication and operational tool for airlines.
What do you think….?