Use Your Cell Phone as a Boarding Pass

Houston pilot program said to add security, save paper
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2007 2:29 PM CST
A passenger prepares to board a Continental Airlines plane at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007. Passengers at Bush Intercontinental flying continental can use a PDA or cellphone...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Passengers flying Continental out of Houston today will be able to use their cellphone or PDA in lieu of a boarding pass as part of a three-month pilot program, USA Today reports. After checking in, an encrypted barcode is sent to passengers’ mobile handsets, which is scanned by a TSA screener at boarding. A successful test could lead to national expansion.

The program already exists in Canada--Air Canada has been using a similar system since September, and the number of passengers using it has doubled every week since its introduction. The bar code system apparently provides an extra layer of security from conventional boarding passes, "and we love to save paper. It is good for the environment,” said a TSA spokeswoman.