New Delhi, Oct 11 (UNI) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced a global standard that paves the way for global mobile phone check-in using two-dimensional (2D) bar codes.
Mobile phone check-in enables airlines to send 2D bar codes directly to a passenger's mobile phone, personal digital assistant or smart phone. Passengers simply register their mobile number with their airline at the time of booking to receive a text message with a 2D bar code, or instructions to download it.
The bar code becomes the passenger's boarding pass and it is read directly from the screen of the mobile device, eliminating paper completely from the check-in process.
''Passengers want the convenience of self-service options in a paperless environment. This standard is an important step in getting rid of paper that bogs down processes and drives up costs,'' said IATA's director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani.
Historically, airline global applications for mobile phone technology have been restricted due to different regional formats.
The IATA standard uses existing codes: Aztec and Datamatrix which are used extensively in Europe and North America, and QR which is widely used in Japan.
All three are proven technologies and can be read by a single scanner type that is cost effective and readily available globally.
''The creation of a standard code is only part of the solution,'' said Mr Bisignani. ''In the next months we will be working with our members to develop standardised processes and guidelines that facilitate global implementation.'' The industry has set a deadline of the end of 2010 to implement 100 per cent bar coded boarding passes. Upon full implementation, these passes will save the industry over 500 million dollars annually.