Meeting Planners: Are You Using Mobile Boarding Passes Yet?

Speedy airport check-in is a big advantage for attendees traveling to meetings

As Corporate Meeting Planners who log a lot of air miles, we are big fans of anything that helps speed up the process of getting through long lines at the airport! Enter the Mobile Boarding Pass, our new friend. It’s important to note that the TSA refers to this new technology as the Paperless Boarding Pass Pilot, the keyword being “pilot”. Translation: bring a printed copy of your boarding pass as a back up until the kinks are worked out! Although we feel confident that mobile boarding passes will quickly reach critical mass and become the norm, who wants to get stuck in line when the airline’s scanner breaks down or your iPhone’s battery dies? That said, we still think it’s a great thing and fits in nicely with our green meeting goals.

How It Works

The electronic boarding pass contains a two-dimensional (2-D) barcode encrypted with specific passenger information, such as the traveler’s name and flight information.

At the checkpoint, passengers present their cell phones or PDA to a TSA travel document checking officer. The officer will scan the encrypted barcode using a handheld device to verify its authenticity. Passengers will still be required to show photo identification so officers can validate that the name on the boarding pass matches the name on the ID.

As of June 22, 2010, the pilot was operating at 66 U.S. airports, plus Frankfurt, Germany, with five airlines: Continental, American, Delta, Alaska, and United. From the TSA website, here’s a comprehensive list of which airlines and airports are offering the service.

Are you using the mobile boarding pass system? We’d love to hear your feedback.

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