The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently made the announcement that cell phones could soon be used as boarding passes for flights.
Southwest and Continental Airlines have both expressed interest in the new system.
Under the IATA proposal, text messages, which will include boarding pass bar codes, will replace paper tickets. IATA Director General and Chief Executive, Giovanni Bisignani, sites the growing demand for a paperless world as the catalyst for this new system: “This standard is an important step in getting rid of paper that bogs down processes and drives up costs.”
How it works: Passengers register their mobile phone numbers with the service, and electronic bar codes carrying horizontally and vertically encoded information are sent to their phones.
By 2010, it is the IATA’s aim to abolish boarding passes with magnetic strips.