Upwardly mobile


It sounds surreal, but this system is being trialed by Lufthansa and BMI as technology grips its jaw around more aspects of travel and tourism.

The industry is not 100 percent certain where the boarding pass swipe and bar code idea will lead. But the mobility of the world is being matched by future trends centered on the mobile telephone.

You can check in while lazing on the beach with your children building sandcastles, revealed Chris Carmichael, British Airways’ innovation and planning manager.

He told World Travel Market technology and online travel audience: “I have a young family and 24 hours before the flight I could check in, choose good seats together, and do all that without leaving the beach.

“This asset is a great boon for the business traveler, too. There is a lot of potential for this. We had 3,000 unique users in our first week on introduction.

“There are so many of the population with a mobile phone.”

He added: “As for boarding, I am watching at the moment to see what develops.
“On the one side you have the technology there today allowing this to happen; on the other you have regulators wanting more and more stringent checks on visa and things.

“The customer wants to walk in the airport flashing his phone and getting straight through, whereas the government wants you to have had the passport and credit card checked and every detail about you looked at before you get on that aircraft.

“I think the use of mobiles in travel is, in the next few years, to become an expected part of the scene – just as everybody expects you to have a website these days. But I don’t think the fact that people can do things on their mobile is going to drive a sudden boom in travel.”