News Continental pressing on with electronic boarding trial

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Continental pressing on with electronic boarding trial

The first US airline to trial electronic boarding passes is pressing ahead with its pilot.

The first US airline to trial electronic boarding passes is pressing ahead with its pilot – and other airlines could soon flock to the paperless mobile-based boarding system.

Continental told The New York Times that it is happy with the progress of the trial and is set to expand the service to airports outside of its Houston base later this spring.

Launching the test scheme in tandem with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Continental has joined the ranks of SAS, Spanair and Japan Airlines, all of whom have trialled electronic boarding through details sent to mobile phones or PDAs at check-in.

Commenting on Continental’s progress, Andrea McCauley, TSA spokeswoman, told The New York Times: "We definitely see this as the wave of the future. It’s something we are very enthusiastic about pursuing."

The newspaper also cited the recent findings of Forrester Research, which claimed that 42 per cent of frequent travellers are already interested in the idea of using their mobile phone as a boarding pass.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced a global standard for mobile boarding via two-dimensional (2D) bar codes at the end of last year, with the aviation industry now given a 2010 deadline for full adoption. IATA has also set a deadline of May 2008 for airlines to make a transition to 100 per cent electronic ticketing.

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