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Two more major airlines to set to roll out Passbook support, report says

post #1 of 18
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A representative from American Airlines confirmed on Friday that its digital ticketing system will soon provide integration with Apple's Passbook app, while Delta is rumored to also be rolling out support following the debut of iOS 6.

According to travel website Skift, the two airlines will be offering support in the coming weeks, though it is unclear if the added functionality will be ready in time for the unveiling of Apple's next-generation iPhone and subsequent iOS 6 debut, both expected to be announced at a special event next week.

An American Airlines representative said the carrier will be ?rolling out an app update in the coming weeks in support of Passbook. In the meantime, customers can still access their mobile boarding passes in the current version of American?s mobile app.?

The publication said Delta is also "actively working" on Passbook functionality, noting the airline's first travel app was released for iOS in 2010.

The news comes on the heels of a report claiming Virgin Australia has unofficially implemented Passbook compatibility. In what is thought to be one of the first instances of a successful airline-supported Passbook transaction, a Virgin Australia flier checked in to and used a boarding pass stored in Passbook to get on a recent flight from Adelaide.

Boarding Pass
Safari prompt asking to add a Virgin Australia boarding pass to Passbook.


Shaun Lorrain, a frequent flier with Virgin, told AppleInsider that he checked in to his flight through the airline's mobile site on his iOS 6 beta-running iPhone, which recognized that a boarding pass was found and asked if he would like to store it in Passbook. The prompt hints that Virgin is using .pkpass files, an Apple-defined mime type that allows Safari and email clients to recognize boarding passes and send them to Passbook for processing and storage.

"Today after checking in last night and adding it to Passbook, I went straight through Adelaide Security to the lounge," Lorrain said. "Had my breakfast and then proceeded to the gate. They took my iPhone and scanned it the exact same way they would have if I was using the web URL that they text you for a boarding pass."

While Lorrain's experience may not be typical, it illustrates that major air carriers are already preparing Passbook compatibility. United, for example, is the only major airline to officially support Apple's organization app for barcode-based coupons, membership and other digital assets.

Passbook and a host of other new features are scheduled to debut in iOS 6 when the sixth-generation iPhone is announced. Apple on Tuesday sent out invitations to a Sept. 12 special event all but confirming the unveiling of its new handset.
post #2 of 18

now if they could ever put passport fast cards on passbook. given how often I'm between the US and Canada that would be awesome. Not more panicky when the blue van pulls up over whether I have my card or not

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post #3 of 18
I'm curious how this is supposed to work with TSA, who always seem to have to write on my paper boarding pass before allowing me into the security check. I'll be pretty mad if they write on my iPhone screen!
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimgh View Post

I'm curious how this is supposed to work with TSA, who always seem to have to write on my paper boarding pass before allowing me into the security check. I'll be pretty mad if they write on my iPhone screen!

That''ll be interesting. It's not like the TSA are tech savvy or up to date on the latest tech news. Remember the TSA incident after the first MBA launched?

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post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimgh View Post
I'm curious how this is supposed to work with TSA, who always seem to have to write on my paper boarding pass before allowing me into the security check. I'll be pretty mad if they write on my iPhone screen!

 

There's a scanner at the TSA checkpoint similar to the ones at the gate. You hold your phone (showing the mobile boarding pass) over the scanner, and the scanner verifies the pass and displays your name for the TSO. I did it this past weekend in Denver and Chicago with United's mobile app; Passbook will operate the same way.

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rare View Post

There's a scanner at the TSA checkpoint similar to the ones at the gate. You hold your phone (showing the mobile boarding pass) over the scanner, and the scanner verifies the pass and displays your name for the TSO. I did it this past weekend in Denver and Chicago with United's mobile app; Passbook will operate the same way.

That is good to hear.

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post #7 of 18
New format sucks. Soli's link doesn't work.
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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
That is good to hear.

Funny thing is, I was thinking the same thing as kimgh--are they going to write on my screen, or what?! lol.gif Not to worry, neither the TSO nor the gate agent seemed to want to even touch my iPhone, instead motioning for me to hold it over the scanner myself.

 

Unfortunately, not all airports are yet equipped for electronic boarding passes. There's a (possibly incomplete) list of those that are so equipped on the TSA website.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rare View Post

Unfortunately, not all airports are yet equipped for electronic boarding passes. There's a (possibly incomplete) list of those that are so equipped on the TSA website.

 

I would imagine if your flight requires you to go through security at one of those airports something will alert to that you must print your pass. Even if that sign is a sign at the start of the security area. 

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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rare View Post

Funny thing is, I was thinking the same thing as kimgh--are they going to write on my screen, or what?! lol.gif  Not to worry, neither the TSO nor the gate agent seemed to want to even touch my iPhone, instead motioning for me to hold it over the scanner myself.

Unfortunately, not all airports are yet equipped for electronic boarding passes. There's a (possibly incomplete) list of those that are so equipped on the TSA website.

I'm sure TSA checkpoints without scanners will have AirPrint printers so you can print out your boarding pass¡

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post #11 of 18
The TSA guys have scanners which check the barcode on the iPhone. I recently used the mobile electronic ticket offered by United.
post #12 of 18
While this sounds like a great idea for retailers and domestic travel, you still need your passport checked if you're flying internationally, so you still have to go through ticketing and baggage. There's still no easy way around that. You still can't get online boarding passes internationally either.
post #13 of 18
Delta has had the boarding pass feature on their app for quite some time and travelers use it all the time you just hand the device and ID to them

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post #14 of 18

I think that this all points to Apple having NFC for the iPhone 5.

 

Think about it - the iPhone hasn't had a big feature upgrade in years. Siri was a bit of a flop, and while things have been refined, competition is as fierce as it has ever been. Apple needs a big step forward. So what I think's going to happen is Passport is going to change things in a big way. With NFC, you'll be able to take your phone out - and, without even turning it on - check in to your flight, buy movie tickets, or buy something at the convenience store. I think that's what these are about. Google's been trying to do something similar with Google Wallet, but so far NFC has been restricted to Google's Nexus devices as far as I know, so it doesn't have very wide use. Apple, however, is more than capable of getting the critical mass that's needed to make something like this successful.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drealoth View Post

I think that this all points to Apple having NFC for the iPhone 5.

 

Think about it - the iPhone hasn't had a big feature upgrade in years. Siri was a bit of a flop, and while things have been refined, competition is as fierce as it has ever been. Apple needs a big step forward. So what I think's going to happen is Passport is going to change things in a big way. With NFC, you'll be able to take your phone out - and, without even turning it on - check in to your flight, buy movie tickets, or buy something at the convenience store. I think that's what these are about. Google's been trying to do something similar with Google Wallet, but so far NFC has been restricted to Google's Nexus devices as far as I know, so it doesn't have very wide use. Apple, however, is more than capable of getting the critical mass that's needed to make something like this successful.

 

Nope. 

 

The problem with all those things you listed is that NFC technology needs to be present on both sides, client and merchant. It doesn't matter how many NFC enabled iPhones there are, if your retailer doesn't have the tech to communicate with your iPhone, it's useless. And, as it stands, NFC is hardly present anywhere. So unless Apple itself provides this hardware to the merchants, which isn't going to happen, the critical mass of iPhones is irrelevant. Apple isn't one to throw in a feature into its products and advertise this feature if it  can't be used by the vast majority of people. And right now, the vast majority of people can't take advantage of NFC as it isn't present at 95% of retailers out there (wild guess). Also, your post makes it sounds as if Apple will feel pressure to add this feature out of 'desperation' and trying to keep up with bullet points. They don't need to, and they shouldn't. Competition can be as fierce as it wasnts to be. As it stands, Apple has a laundry list of advantages that still can't be touched by anyone (vertical integration/ecosystem/appstore/support/useability/build quality/etc)

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

 

Nope. 

 

The problem with all those things you listed is that NFC technology needs to be present on both sides, client and merchant. It doesn't matter how many NFC enabled iPhones there are, if your retailer doesn't have the tech to communicate with your iPhone, it's useless. And, as it stands, NFC is hardly present anywhere. So unless Apple itself provides this hardware to the merchants, which isn't going to happen, the critical mass of iPhones is irrelevant. Apple isn't one to throw in a feature into its products and advertise this feature if it  can't be used by the vast majority of people. And right now, the vast majority of people can't take advantage of NFC as it isn't present at 95% of retailers out there (wild guess). Also, your post makes it sounds as if Apple will feel pressure to add this feature out of 'desperation' and trying to keep up with bullet points. They don't need to, and they shouldn't. Competition can be as fierce as it wasnts to be. As it stands, Apple has a laundry list of advantages that still can't be touched by anyone (vertical integration/ecosystem/appstore/support/useability/build quality/etc)

 

That's what I think these partnerships are about. With Passport, the big problem is that QR codes are pretty clunky, which NFC would change in a big way. Certain players here - Airports, movie theaters chains, convenience store chains, etc., will have no problem getting the hardware distributed, and Apple would have no problem manufacturing it. While you might not think so, Apple does need to stay hungry - the scariest thing about Apple getting big is that they get complacent. That's not called desperation, that's staying ahead of your competition proactively rather than reactively. The iPhone hasn't had a big feature update in a couple years, other than Siri, and while it's still ahead of the competition in terms of refinement and the app store, Microsoft and Google are putting a ton of effort into their mobile products, while Amazon is quickly moving into the tablet space. Heck, RIM might even release a new BlackBerry in the next few years.

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drealoth View Post

 

That's what I think these partnerships are about. With Passport, the big problem is that QR codes are pretty clunky, which NFC would change in a big way. Certain players here - Airports, movie theaters chains, convenience store chains, etc., will have no problem getting the hardware distributed, and Apple would have no problem manufacturing it. While you might not think so, Apple does need to stay hungry - the scariest thing about Apple getting big is that they get complacent. That's not called desperation, that's staying ahead of your competition proactively rather than reactively. The iPhone hasn't had a big feature update in a couple years, other than Siri, and while it's still ahead of the competition in terms of refinement and the app store, Microsoft and Google are putting a ton of effort into their mobile products, while Amazon is quickly moving into the tablet space. Heck, RIM might even release a new BlackBerry in the next few years.

 

"Certain players here - Airports, movie theaters chains, convenience store chains, etc., will have no problem getting the hardware distributed

 

What would be their motivation to do so? This stuff costs money. Also, there's like a billion standards. Apple will need to be cutting deals with thousands of entities to get this to work seamlessly- and even then, that will cover a very small percentage of transactions.  It's messy, and I don't see if happening. I'm more inclined to believe Apple will choose simply to bypass NFC and work out coms other concept that will not tie them to additional required hardware on the other end. Which I think is what passbook is all about. 

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drealoth View Post

 

That's what I think these partnerships are about. With Passport, the big problem is that QR codes are pretty clunky, which NFC would change in a big way. Certain players here - Airports, movie theaters chains, convenience store chains, etc., will have no problem getting the hardware distributed, and Apple would have no problem manufacturing it. While you might not think so, Apple does need to stay hungry - the scariest thing about Apple getting big is that they get complacent. That's not called desperation, that's staying ahead of your competition proactively rather than reactively. The iPhone hasn't had a big feature update in a couple years, other than Siri, and while it's still ahead of the competition in terms of refinement and the app store, Microsoft and Google are putting a ton of effort into their mobile products, while Amazon is quickly moving into the tablet space. Heck, RIM might even release a new BlackBerry in the next few years.

In the UK, next to no one has NFC. The only one I can name off the top of my head is McDonalds. I've literally not seen it anywhere else. For everywhere else there seems to be an app that displays a barcode that you scan - Starbucks is a prime example. 

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