There’s a grocery store queue, a cafe queue, and then there’s…well, the airport hassle. And for business executives, to whom waiting lounges and boarding lines have become a usual occurrence, it would be deliverance of almost Israelite proportions to have a “back door” strategy to boarding the flight. Seems like now there is, thanks to mobile ticketing systems deployed by leading airlines such as British Airways.
Mobile Phones Replacing Paper Tickets
British Airways Executive Club iPhone users can use new “Mobile Boarding Passes” on their smartphone, which can be scanned at check-in before they board. A detectable barcode appears on the iPhone’s screen, which can be read by a scanner at the departure gate. The app’s interface will also give customers instant access to their updates on flights, check-in times, and keep tabs on their frequent flyer points.
Other established airlines across the planet, such as Delta & Continental, are also deploying such systems to facilitate passenger ease. According to Juniper Research, 1 in 7 boarding passes will be mobile in 2013, equating to almost 480 million mobile boarding passes, a motivating figure for the revolution. Using mobile from booking, to security, to check-in and boarding spells a huge win-win for airlines, passengers, as well as airports.
Transport Industry Boosted by Smartphones & Mobile Ticketing
And it’s not just the airline industry that is taking advantage of mobile technology. Orange UK has partnered with rail and bus operator Stagecoach to provide mobile ticketing services through handsets that run Orange’s Quick Tap NFC service. If the UK Department for Transport determines satisfactory levels of technological effectiveness and consumer satisfaction, the system could be rolled out across the UK by next year.
The economic impact of this technology trend is going to be of mammoth proportions, keeping in mind how travel websites fueled fare competition and passenger increase after the dot-com boom of the 90s. One thing is for sure, it’s not just the passenger that benefits, but all stakeholders involved, something that percolates from how passenger-centric apps are boosting the implementation of Europe’s Intelligent Transport System (ITS); something that is poised to put public transport at par with private.