First there were e-tickets. We love e-tickets. What if we didn’t have to print the dang things?
American Airlines has taken air travel to a new level of digital convenience with mobile boarding passes. Electronically delivered boarding passes (to phones or PDAs) are hoped to streamline the travel process by saving the time it takes to print out and present a paper boarding pass at the airport.
I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t really take me that long to print. And I can usually do something else at the same time. Although, I think the mobile boarding pass is a great backup.
The system is being tested at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Los Angeles International (LAX) and John Wayne Orange County (SNA) airports as well. If the airline and the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) deem the trial successful in trial cities, mobile boarding passes could go nationwide in a matter of months.
If customers choose the all-digital option, they receive an e-mail with a link to their boarding pass. This mobile boarding pass contains a 2-D barcode that is accepted at TSA security checkpoints and at American Airlines gates by having the customer scan their cell phone or PDA screen at security and at the gate.
Just remember to keep that phone charged.
It’s just one more way the airlines are competing for business class fares. Maybe they’re trying to make up for blocking the porn on in-flight wifi.