Let me comment on a news item again:
“Vodafone Spain and Spanair signed a partnership agreement launching a “two-dimensional code system that will enable passengers to receive their boarding card on their mobile phone and proceed directly to security and boarding.””
The news above is not considered as break-through technology or extra special, we have heard about such plans, trials and working solutions before, which offer bar-codes on a mobile and then use that for boarding. I believe this solution will become a standard sooner or later all around the airline industry, or at least it should. As many of you had probably experienced when flying, it’s much easier and quicker to check in for your flight from home using the internet, or from your mobile, using mobile internet, or WAP. However, most of the solutions used on a bigger scale today still require you to proceed to the self-check-in kiosk at the airport (or maybe at the airport train terminal downtown) to claim your standard, ATB2 (magnetic stripe paper) format boarding pass. The time you spend at the kiosk is shorter when you have checked in earlier, but you still need to go there (even stand in a line sometimes), identify yourself at the machine, wait for the printing and then continue to security. But you need to visit the check-in kiosk, can not save time on that, it’s a “must do” part of the check-in experience. (And of course the paper may get stuck in the machine, or any undesired situation may arise, which is a risk for you when you’re running to catch your flight.)
To eliminate the need to go to the kiosk at the airport even when you’ve checked in by yourself earlier, a solution is needed that does not require special printing. And this solution is the 2 D Bar Code. The most important advantage of such a bar code is that it carries the same information as the magnetic stripe on the back of the “traditional” boarding card, but in a much more flexible way. The bar code only needs to be displayed somewhere (a piece of normal paper, a mobile telephone screen, or even as a tattoo on your body) it doesn’t make a difference where or how it is shown, as long as it stays readable for the reader – no need for special, “magnetizing” printers. This last thought takes us to another task to be carried out: bar code readers need to be deployed at all points of an airport (or even aircraft?) where a boarding card is to be checked/used or acted upon. More and more airlines and airports are deploying these readers, so as time flies by, this service will become more and more wide-spread.But why I like the news quoted here, is that an airline teamed up with a mobile provider. This guarantees a professional solution from the gsm side as well, and will provide more publicity when the service is launched, I’m sure. The backside may be, that for some time only Spanish Vodafone subscribers may be able to use this particular comfortable solution, but even though, I think this is an example to follow for airlines.
DEAR READERS, please share your personal experiences with bar coded check-in – if you have ever done it – by leaving a comment for this post! Please let us know which airline offered it, at which airport, and whether if you liked it or not? Did you print it yourself at home, or did you receive it as an MMS on your mobile?