MMS boarding passes cut airport wait

Airline passengers travelling to destinations within the UK will be offered the option of receiving their boarding passes via mobile phone in a trial of a system designed to speed up their journey.

UK airline BMI, the second largest to operate out of London̵7;s Heathrow airport, is piloting the FirstPass system created by Scottish IT firm Real Time on domestic routes including Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast City.

FirstPass encodes passenger details within an industry standard 2D barcode that can be sent by MMS and is sized correctly for any handset, PDA or similar device on the market. At the terminal, this is read directly by scanners already installed for paper-based ̵6;print at home̵7; boarding cards.

It removes the need for passengers to carry any type of paper-based boarding pass, and means they can check in at home, in a hotel, or at a conference centre without having to find a printer.

The three-month trial, after which BMI says it will consider rolling FirstPass out across its entire network, is claimed to be the first in Europe of new standards being developed by industry body IATA for use by all airlines.

According to Real Time technical director Alaistair Deacon, a single MMS can give a passenger everything they need to pass through airport security, with additional information displayed as text for inspection once on board. ̶0;Put simply, a passenger using FirstPass no longer needs to queue to check in, use a kiosk or even find a printer to print an online paper boarding pass,̶0; he said.

Further information:

Image: BMI passengers will have less paperwork to keep track off

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