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Smartphones will replace airport check-ins: report

Airlines will develop 'intelligent' tickets that update people on delays
The Business Times - January 12, 2012
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Smartphones will replace airport check-ins: report Photo: Bloomberg News

(LONDON) Airport check-in will become the exception rather than the rule within 10 years as terminals and airlines boost connectivity with smartphones, a study from reservation systems provider Amadeus IT Holding suggests.

The report, titled From Chaos to Collaboration, also says airlines will develop 'intelligent' tickets that update people on delays and tags that track individual bags around the world.

Computer game and 'augmented reality' technology could be used to enhance airport transit, and airport shops will tap digital spending records to help lure passengers, it says.

'We're just starting to realise - the industry is starting to realise - the impact the mobile will have,' Denis Lacroix, Amadeus's vice-president for product development, said in the report. 'The fact that literally everyone within three to five years will have the rough equivalent of an iPhone or lightweight smart device will profoundly change the way a trip takes place.'

Airlines are already using wireless links. EasyJet, Europe's second-biggest discount airline, last month introduced a smartphone application allowing clients to search and book flights on their handsets, as well as check their flight's status. In August, British Airways issued Apple iPad tablet computers to its crews loaded with information on frequent flyers with the aim of providing a bespoke in-flight service.

Security concerns are likely to restrict the use of wireless applications. 'If you talk to a technologist they will tell you it's perfectly possible to have a chip in your arm, or use facial recognition technology and walk on to a plane or a vehicle without checking in,' Tim Jones, a technology consultant, said.

'But it seems as if the regulators or border control staff are intent on adding extra layers of security, rather than removing them.' - Bloomberg





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