It took a long time to the airlines to figure out that you can use your iPhone (or any mobile device for that matter) as a boarding pass. American Airlines is now the first airline to officially offer mobile boarding passes at a few airports but it shouldn’t take long for this to be available at all airports, across all airlines.
I tried several times to show my iPhone as a boarding pass at the gate and it never worked. They always told me that was not approved so I had to show them the paper version. I’m always annoyed at having to print all these boarding passes and itineraries (note: I travel quite a bit, both domestically and internationally). I mean, I have my iPhone in my pocket and it is so much more convenient to show your iPhone screen rather than looking in your backpack for the right piece of paper.
Is this hassle going to be over soon? Yes! American Airlines started to make this mobile boarding pass option available to people who travel from Chicago O’Hare Airport, LAX, and John Wayne Airport, and it is leading the way for all other airlines.
From American Airlines website:
When you are traveling on select itineraries from Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Los Angeles International (LAX) and Santa Ana John Wayne/Orange County (SNA) airports, you now have the option to have your boarding pass sent directly to your mobile phone or other mobile device – saving paper and time. Eligible itineraries include non-stop flights with only one passenger listed in the record locator*. Follow the easy steps below for your next applicable flight from ORD, LAX or SNA:
How to use the new Mobile Boarding Pass
1. Check in on AA.com (or AA.com Mobile). Choose “Email for use on Cell Phone or other Mobile Device” option and include the e-mail address for your web-enabled mobile phone and/or mobile device.
2. Check your email from your mobile device. Follow the link on the email to retrieve your Mobile Boarding Pass.
3. Save the boarding pass to your device. Click the “Save Boarding Pass” button directly below the barcode to save it to your phone for easy access at the security checkpoint (check your phone/PDA manual to locate where the Boarding Pass will save).
4. Proceed to Security. When you arrive at security, make sure the entire barcode is visible on the screen of your mobile phone or mobile device and have the backlight setting set to the brightest mode possible. If you have any problems, you will be given the opportunity to print a paper boarding pass at the self-service machines.
The new boarding passes are now available for Chicago O’Hare outbound flights and will become available for Los Angeles and John Wayne outbound flights starting on November 17.
I do believe this is just the beginning. Soon, all airlines will offer this feature and to be honnest, I am surprised that SouthWest or Virgin America haven’t figured this one out yet…
I also believe that more places will let you use your iPhone as a “pass”, such as hotels, restaurants, car rentals and much more.
Props to American Airlines!