German carrier Air Berlin has announced that it will launch mobile check-in for its flights through an MMS check-in facility.
Passengers with the airline will have their boarding pass sent directly to their mobile, with the MMS containing a bar code that can be scanned in from the mobile phone at the departure gate, as well as passenger information such as name and flight number.
British airline bmi has this week announced its own plans to trial barcode booking and boarding via mobile devices in Belfast, adding to a trend in paperless boarding initiated by SAS, Spanair and Japan Airlines and recently trialled by Continental.
The Air Berlin scheme is also introducing seat reservation capacity through mobiles, involving an option for SMS seat reservation upon booking which will allow participating passengers to receive a text message on the day prior to their departure offering them the possibility of booking a favoured seat.
Tipped as a major time-saver at busy hubs, new mobile boarding procedures could help Air Berlin handle increased passenger numbers as it continues to grow. March 2008 data shows the airline carrying a full 2.1 million passengers over the course of the month, meaning a 5.5 per cent year on year increase.
The airline is expanding its destination list as well as its passenger numbers, with Air Berlin this month announcing new flights from Dortmund and Hanover to the North Sea island of Sylt, starting from May 1st.