Jetstar to allow passengers to check-in on flights via text message

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Sydney, Aug 5 (ANI): Aussie airline Jetstar has come up with a novel way to reduce the amount of time wasted before allowing passengers to check-in on flights-a text message-based system.

Jetstar will be using the invention of 22-year-old tech entrepreneur Aaron Hornlimann, who created the mobile phone scanner, and whose company is based in Melbourne.

Hornlimann said that the machine aimed to reduce waiting times for airline passengers by allowing them to head straight through departure gates with the simple swipe of a phone handset.

"Jetstar sends a message to your phone with a special code in it - just a standard SMS message - and as you go up to the boarding gate, you scan your phone and it prints out your boarding pass," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hornlimann as saying.

"The text message just looks like random numbers and letters to a normal person but the computer analyses (the sequence) and prints out the ticket.

"You can go straight to the boarding gate and go to the plane if you don't have any baggage. Right now you have to be there half an hour beforehand and you've got to wait around," he said.

Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan said that the technology was a first for the industry, and would reduce waiting times, making flying easier.

"These new world first technologies will make the Jetstar airport experience more convenient, hassle free and simpler," he said.

"Importantly, it will also improve service levels from Jetstar Airport Customer Service personnel by freeing them to get on with the job of processing checked-in baggage," Buchanan said in a release.

Despite concerns over the security of mobile phones, after a security conference recently revealed Apple's highly popular iPhone was vulnerable to cyber attacks via SMS, Hornlimann insists the text ticket is safe.

"It's as secure as any current message," he said.

"(At the moment) you can print out your web check-in in PDF and if someone else gets their hands on it and, unless the airline asks for identification at check in, they could board the aircraft.

"There are validation processes. If you come up and someone else has already boarded with that ticket, a customer service person from Jetstar would ask for identification," he added.

Hornlimann said that the device could be used to provide ticketing in a variety of different situations, including at sporting events or concerts.

The mobile phone scanner will be live tested at Melbourne's Avalon Airport in a month's time, and it is expected to be rolled out across Australia in November. (ANI)

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