In the world of travel, smartphones have become one-stop mobile travel agents. With a smartphone and an internet connection you can take care of just about any travel arrangement necessary (and unnecessary). That single device you own can be used to book everything from flights to hotels and can also be used to take care of everything in-between (directions, restaurants, bars and attractions). As more and more travelers look to simplify their hectic travel itineraries, businesses try to keep up by offering various mobile conveniences. One convenience that airlines have been testing the waters with is that of the mobile boarding pass. With a mobile boarding pass, travelers receive an encrypted 2D barcode boarding pass on their smartphone which can then be scanned and used at all access points throughout an airport.
One company that has been piloting this system for months now is US Airways. While the program began with just a couple airports, US Airways is proud to announce that mobile boarding passes are now accepted at fourteen major U.S. airports with more on the way. Passengers of US Airways who find themselves departing from any of the following airports will now have the option to use mobile boarding passes:
- Las Vegas
- Houston (IAH)
- New York – LaGuardia
- Orange County/Santa Ana
- Washington DC (DCA)
Mobile boarding passes are available to single person reservations with domestic flights originating at any of the above participating airports. To get your mobile boarding pass all you have to do is:
- Check in on usairways.com
- When asked ‘How do you want your passes?’ check ‘Send my passes to my smartphone’
- At the airport, use your mobile boarding pass at the kiosk (to check a bag), at the TSA checkpoint (to get through security) and at the gate when you board.
While the mobile boarding pass seems fast and convenient, I can’t help but wonder about the embarrassment should you receive a phone call at the exact moment of them trying to scan your phone, not to mention them trying to scan your phone. Then there’s always the dead battery or random reboot; imagine the looks on the angry mob of travelers behind you as you try to reboot your phone — deadly! That aside, the option is available and continues to be made available as more airlines, airports and smartphone users advance into the mobile future.
[spoiler show=”Press Release”]US Airways Passengers Can Now Use Their Mobile Phone as Boarding Pass
NCR Mobile Boarding Pass Solution Improves Passenger Experience for US Airways Customers in 14 Airports Throughout U.S.
DULUTH, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–US Airways is helping speed up the check-in process and improve convenience for its customers with mobile boarding pass technology from NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR).
“Consumers increasingly expect more control at their fingertips”
Following check-in, customers receive an email containing a digitally signed and encrypted 2D bar code that is compatible with current imager-based airport scanners and boarding gate readers. Customers are able to scan the mobile boarding pass at the kiosk if necessary or bypass check-in lines and head straight to the security checkpoint where the electronic bar code is scanned and validated. The bar code can then be used at the gate for boarding.
US Airways first piloted NCR Mobile Pass at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C. starting in December 2010. It is now available in 14 U.S. airports, including LaGuardia International Airport in New York and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., and plans to further expand the offering in 2011 are underway.
According to a 2010 survey conducted for NCR by Buzzback Research, 48 percent of U.S. travelers who use their mobile phone for travel information and transactions also use their mobile phone to check-in for flights, and 45 percent access itineraries and reservations. In fact, according to Juniper Research, one in every seven bar-coded boarding passes worldwide will be delivered to passengers’ mobile devices within two years.
“Consumers increasingly expect more control at their fingertips,” said Tyler Craig, vice president and general manager, NCR Travel. “By expanding its self-service offering beyond kiosk and web to include NCR Mobile Pass, US Airways is furthering its commitment to providing a seamless and convenient passenger experience.”
US Airways has distinguished itself by deploying the most advanced self-service solutions for travelers. The airline was recognized at the annual KioskCom Self-Service Expo as the 2010 Self-Service Excellence Award winner in the “Best Travel/Hospitality Deployment” category for improving the passenger experience by extending self-service check-in outside the terminal.
NCR is the leader in mobile check-in, issuing more than 1.2 million mobile boarding passes in July, 2011, as well as the industry leader in Common Use Self-Service (CUSS) airline kiosks.
About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a global technology company leading how the world connects, interacts and transacts with business. NCR’s assisted- and self-service solutions and comprehensive support services address the needs of retail, financial, travel, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, gaming, public sector, telecom carrier and equipment organizations in more than 100 countries. NCR (www.ncr.com) is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia.
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NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.[/spoiler]