Launching as a trial program for Houston based Continental Airlines, passengers will be able to sign up and receive their boarding passes electronically on their mobile phone or PDA. The Transport Security Administration and Continental Airlines have been working on on this system for years and have seen the adoption of this boarding process by other non-U.S. carriers. TSA believes that this will help enable screeners to prevent fraudulent tickets and passengers from getting through security adding yet another level of protection.
The graphic is sent to your mobile phone as a two-dimensional bar code picture which is an encoding of the passenger’s name and flight information. Passengers are still required by TSA to provide photo identification but this provides, what Continental deems as a quicker way to get your aircraft.
Because this is only a trial program, the system still has its caveats. This service is only available if you are traveling in and out of Houston Intercontinental Airport and if you happen to be traveling with your family and are listed on the same itinerary, you will not be able to use this feature as it only supports individuals traveling. As the industry tries to become more efficient, paperless travel through cell phone images is just the first of many initiatives that airlines are taking to please the public. Air Canada has been using the system for a couple of months and are seeing their customers rapidly embrace this new technology.
via USA Today