Your Phone is Your Boarding Pass
Saturday, January 3, 2009, 10:44 PM - Computing Technology
Posted by Administrator
has begun issuing eboarding passes
for select flights from Detroit, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis. The way it works is by following the usual online checkin procedure, but you are given an additional option to use an eboarding pass. You are then asked for an email address or phone number (text message) to send the url for your eboarding pass. If you choose to use your phone, you will be asked for the carrier along with your phone make and model. This is presumably to ensure that the boarding pass is provided in a format that is compatible with your phone. My phone (Motorola Z9
) wasn't listed, but I chose a RAZR instead as they use very similar screen sizes and software and I didn't have any problems.
Upon checking in I was able to bring up my boarding pass on a third party website without a need for any further authentication. It consists of a WML format
page with a gif image of an aztec 2D barcode
at the top followed by standard boarding pass text. The barcode appears to include the standard boarding pass information without any type of digital signature.
When I got to the airport security checkpoint I never had to actually hand my phone over or even show my eboarding pass to another person. The eboarding pass scanner took about 15 seconds to boot up and I simply placed the barcode against the scanner and it displayed my name and other information for the security agent. There was an issue getting it to scan because the backlight on my phone was not on at first. He then checked my ID and I proceeded through security as normal. Next I walked through the metal detector and was asked for my boarding pass by the security officer. I simply stated that I used an eboarding pass and was allowed to continue. Therefore I question the effectiveness for only checking print boarding passes at this point.
Finally, boarding the plane was simple. I simply placed my phone against the scanner at the gate and was cleared to board.