Yesterday, American Airlines announced on Twitter that their mobile boarding pass system has been expanded to 19 new airports.
The system allows you to receive an email link to a mobile boarding pass on your (smart)phone, and to save the image to your device. At the security checkpoint and boarding gate, you simply show your phone, and allow the bar code to be scanned.
Now, this all sounds great on paper, but I’ve had my fair share of problems getting it to work correctly – the scanners at the checkpoint don’t always work, and when you are in line at the gate waiting to board, you’ll need to be sure you can pull up the image quickly.
When your phone goes into standby, it can take 20 seconds or more to get back to the image. Also, on the iPhone I’ve noticed that the image needs some zooming to work correctly. Back in 2008, our very own Grant Martin was one of the first to take the system for a spin – and had similar issues.
Still, paperless boarding is the future, and eventually the minor issues will be resolved, which means you no more late night hassles to find a working printer at your hotel.
The airports participating in the mobile boarding pass system are: Albuquerque (ABQ), Atlanta (ATL), Austin (AUS), Charlotte (CLT), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Cleveland (CLE), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Denver (DEN), El Paso (ELP), Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), Jacksonville (JAX), Las Vegas (LAS), Little Rock (LIT), Los Angeles (LAX), Memphis (MEM), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Oklahoma City (OKC), Orlando (MCO), Phoenix (PHX), Santa Ana/John Wayne/Orange Counte (SNA), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Antonio (SAT), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), Tulsa (TUL), and Washington Dulles (IAD) airports.