Cell-phona check-ins on the way
ARIS: The trade association
the IATA placed its final
international airlines announced afor 16.5 million paper tickets. global standard Thursday that could 35 The popularity of so-called electronic tickets
speed the adoption of cellphone check-in services using bar codes, andeliminate paper
has soared, and printed paper is now used for
Airlines have been slow to adopt a system based on mobile technology because of competing regional formats. The formatspermit a 10 passenger to register a phone during booking to.receive a text message containing a bar code that becomes a boardinq pass. The bar code can then be read directly from the
phone's screen.The International Air Transport Association standard will enable new scanning equipment to read several regional code formats, including Aztec and Datamatrix, which are available now in Europe andNorth America, and OR in Japan. 20 "This standard is an important step in getting rid of paper that bogs down processes and drives up costs," Giovanni Bisignani, chief executive of the IATA, said in astatement. The group aims to shift entirely to bar code boarding passes by 2010. Among the few airlines that now offer mobile check-in services are Air Canada, Air Berlin and Spanair. "This issignificant because without a global standard you really can't roll this product ro out," said Lorne Riley, a spokesman for the IATA. "What this does is that it lays the foundation."
about 1 6percent of tickets. Eric Léopold, project manager for the IATA campaign pushing the shift to bar codes, said a +o bar code scanner cost about €300 or abourt $400, much less than the €3,000 price tag for amaonetic strip scan ner. Some countries, particularly in Africa, have raised concerns about the ootential for creat+s ing counterfeit bar codes. But Léopold said the scanning equipment would detect...