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With British Airways on Monday becoming the latest airline
to issue boarding passes through mobile phones, the International Air Transport
Association told EuroBTN Tuesday that 28 of its members now offer the facility.
Unlike many other carriers, however, BA is not providing mobile boarding passes
as an option to all passengers. Only travelers who join its Executive Club
frequent flyer program and download the airline's phone app onto the iPhone can
access the service. A spokeswoman said mobile boarding passes also would be
available to Executive Club members on BlackBerry and Android platforms within
Mobile boarding passes are not available immediately on all BA flights either.
The airline expects to roll out the facility to all domestic routes by the end
of August and then introduce it for international flights. "The mobile
boarding pass feature for Executive Club iPhone users will be especially
welcome for those customers unable to print off their own boarding cards when
returning from overseas," said BA head of digital marketing Chris Davies.
BA has offered a mobile phone app for several months, but until now it has done
little more than provide airline schedules. In addition to the boarding pass
facility, the new app also allows users to check their Executive Club mileage
status. BA claims to be the first carrier to offer this service.
As part of its Simplifying the Business program, IATA has set a target of Dec.
31, 2010, for its member airlines to issue 100 percent of their boarding passes
in bar code form, whether on mobile devices or as printouts from passengers'
desktop computers or airport kiosks.