I mentioned last month that Air Canada had began allowing customers to check-in using their mobile phone. (Sadly it didn’t work for me, but that’ll be in my trip report later on.) Now, IATA has come out with a standard barcode that will be used on all paper boarding passes as well as mobile phones. Here is what the boarding pass would look like:
I know – one of the most exciting pictures you’ve ever seen, right? Yeah, right. But as long as this bar code is displayed on your mobile phone, you’ll eventually be able to check in for any airline from your phone.
Right now, there are three barcodes that are used in different parts of the world. You can liken that to the fight between HD-DVD and BlueRay. Nobody knows which one to buy because we don’t know which one will survive. Well, with the new standard determined, that means that airlines and airports can start developing their applications without fear that they’ll become obsolete.
IATA wants to have a bar code on every boarding pass by 2010, but of course that doesn’t mean everyone will have mobile check-in by then. It just makes it more likely.
UPDATE 10/17 @ 755a: Ok, so I guess I was wrong here. The boarding pass barcode standard came out 2 years ago. They’ve just now decided on the mobile standard, so I guess my picture is wrong. Oops!