Airline tests boarding via mobile phone

Check in made easier by your mobile
Check in made easier by your mobile

Delta Airlines is testing a new system allowing customers to check in up to 24 hours in advance via a mobile browser service.

Once the passenger has visited, an electronic pass will be downloaded to the phone with an electronic bar code, which can be scanned through the boarding process.

Handheld scanners

Handheld scanners will be used to verify the bar codes, and will help significantly speed up the check in and boarding times at the airport.

Techradar spoke to British Airways, which confirmed it is also interested in using similar technology.

"The potential for being able to use mobile phones to check in and as a boarding pass is just one of many potential avenues we are investigating," said a spokesperson for the airline.

"It is very early days regards these investigations and should the potential be of interest we would look to run small scale preliminary trials towards the end of this year"

However, BA did go on to say details of any such trial have not been finalised and will only go ahead should the preliminary investigations prove worthy.

Mobile help

The option could especially attract the business segment of the market, which is exceedingly looking for ways to save time.

Users can already check in using a mobile phone, but have to print out their pass at the airport. The new system will allow a completely paperless passage, which also has environmental benefits.

BMI is trialling a similar system in the UK, allowing those without luggage to bypass check in.

The service is currently only offered for internal flights, but could be extended further if successful.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.