Cult reader Gary Gale recently blogged about his positive experience of using an iPhone as an electronic boarding pass during a flight from Amsterdam to London.
It seems that this is now a standard option from KLM:
“KLM’s online check-in system offered me the option of having my boarding pass on my iPhone, which duly arrived as a link in an email,” wrote Gary.
This isn’t a new idea – airlines all over the place have been conducting tests and experiments with electronic boarding passes for a year or more – but this is the first report I’ve seen of the system actually working smoothly.
In the past we’ve read about various experiments that individuals have tried elsewhere – usually by displaying a PDF of their boarding pass on their phone, and usually with very mixed results. But airline and airport staff have found themselves suffering a certain amount of inertia. It seems that the entrenched process of checking, monitoring and auditing paper boarding passes is one that’s hard to change. But as more smart phone users demand this as an option, pressure will grow on the airlines to change the processes.
Even so, the best advice for anyone trying this on almost any trip with any airline is: take a printed copy of the pass too (see the comment here). If you’re lucky, you won’t need it; but if you don’t take it, officialdom might just get in the way and force you to miss your flight.
Have any Cult readers tried using an electronic boarding pass on their iPhones? We’d love to hear your stories – positive and negative.