Saturday, April 12, 2008

Forget the self-service check-in printouts, just flash your mobile at security for bmi flights out of Belfast City Airport

(c) bmi - tailfin

The Belfast Telegraph ran a story today about a bmi check-in experiment about to descend on Belfast City Airport.

It’s an extension to the online check-in and seat reservation service on Passengers on Belfast City – Heathrow flights will also be given the option of getting a barcode sent to their mobiles, which will allow them to pass through security and the boarding gate by showing the barcode on their phone.

The pilot begins in mid-May, and will initially only work for flights out of Belfast City to Heathrow. Once the kinks are ironed out, bmi say that they“are confident it will roll out to the rest of our flights.”

Details are scarce, but the service is likely to rely on mobiles being able to receive and display incoming MMS messages, and may not be available to passengers checking in hold baggage.

But soon it might be time to ditch the hassle of wandering around hotels and offices trying to find a PC hooked up to a printer that you can borrow for a few minutes to print off your electronic boarding card. Instead, it'll be a few clicks, and your mobile will go beep.

PS: still no reply from either Ryanair or Belfast City Airport about Ryanair's hard-to-believe claims that 80% of their flights use flightpaths over Belfast Lough.

Update - Sunday 13 April - Someone who left East Belfast forty years ago for the shores of Canada emailed this afternoon to point to a recent article in the NY Times highlighting Continental Airline's similar trial.

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