bmi braves barcode booking and boarding in Belfast
Belfast City Airport and leading UK airline bmi are set to break through the next frontier in paperless travel.
Avoiding the need for printed boarding passes, passengers on BMI flights from the northern Irish capital will be able to trial the system in May on Belfast-Heathrow flights, with the service set to be rolled out to the rest of BMI's UK flight network should the pilot prove successful.
American carrier Continental has recently trialled a similar system at its Houston hub, joining the ranks of SkyEurope, SAS, Spanair and Japan Airlines, all of whom have experimented with sending details to mobile phones or PDAs at check-in.
A BMI spokesman said: "The system will be completely paperless and will fast track anyone who wants to use it. We have made a huge investment in the technology for the scheme. We are the first airline to offer it and we are confident it will roll out to the rest of our flights. It is an exciting development in technology and will certainly cut down on airport waiting time."
He added that the system would be particularly convenient for business travellers who can arrange for a new barcode to be sent if delayed when meetings overrun.
The trial will allow for a totally paperless flight process, with BMI sending a barcode straight to the mobile phone of passengers at booking stage – and the same code allowing them to process through security.