The future is nearing. A little over a year ago I talked about electronic boarding passes becoming a reality. Today, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are launching both a mobile-friendly website and electronic boarding passes for passengers flying from Anchorage, Boise, Denver, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle and Spokane. There are already 30 airports and six airlines testing out this technology: Continental, Delta, Alaska, Horizon and American. Surprisingly, Alaska and Horizon are the first non-legacy airlines to test out the new technology.
Travellers are able to check in using their mobile phone up to 24 hours in advance of their flight. They are given an encrypted barcode along with the passenger and flight information. While going through security, TSA will be able to scan the electronic ticket, check id and the passenger is good to go.
“Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air’s electronic boarding pass and optimized mobile Web site meet the needs of today’s high-tech traveler, ” said Steve Jarvis, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing, sales and customer experience. “Starting today, our customers can expedite the airport check-in process even more and get from curbside to planeside in record time.”
In the next few months, the service will be spread to other Alaska and Horizon cities. In the future, they told me we, “will see more mobile device enhancements to make travel more convenient.”
Is this the future of airline travel? I really think so. No more having to double check to make sure you have your boarding passes. No more having to track down a departure screen to see what your flight status is. The biggest problem will be remember to charge your phone before leaving. Nothing would be more frustrating than waiting in security for 30 minutes, have your phone die, having to go wait in line to get your boarding pass, then get through security again.
Personally, I haven’t been able to test out this new technology. Have any of you been able to? What are your thoughts?