Your Cellphone May Be Your Flight’s Boarding Pass

With the world constantly moving towards a paperless society, we see more innovative ways of getting rid of paper transactions. The method of Electronic Ticketing is often used, and soon you may be able to board your flight using your cellphone as the boarding pass.

This technology will allow for you to have your boarding pass bar code embeded in your cellphone when you originally check in. In addition, a finger scan will be administered at boarding time to make sure the cellphone, owner, pass, and flight all belong to the same individual.

The video below demonstrates and explains this technology further.

While this may seem extremely convenient, but do you think there may be a security flaw with this idea?


22 thoughts on “Your Cellphone May Be Your Flight’s Boarding Pass

  1. Pingback: New Fingerprint Scan LCD Reader | Walyou

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  3. Doodz0r.

    The scanner that lady is holding is connected to a database of people on the flight. Only if your barcode matches one of those names, and that name matches with the name on your ID will you be allowed on the flight. It sounds no less safe than a boarding pass which somebody at the check-in counter needs to print out for you.

  4. Mike.

    The way this would get implemented in the “near-future” is via privleged customers. For example, not airlines currently have kiosk check-ins, thus eliminating the need for desk ticket-pickup.

    I imagine the same will apply for this new ticketing method. Only certain cellphones will carry the compatibility, and only certain airlines will have the scanning equipment. “Preferred treatment” so to speak. No one ever said it all has to be uniform.

  5. Law Student Blog.

    Possibility of a time in the future where we may have chips embedded in us with our personal identifiable information?

    It’s a rapidly changing and information-rich world we’re coming into – we have to know our civil rights and make sure we elect the right people that really understand these implications and expand our liberties.

    Great article and great video – Thanks Eran.

    – Mike

  6. kP.

    It is as secure as a piece of paper – you can print several copies and hand them out – but whoever tries to use one of the copies must also have the matching name on their identification.

  7. david.

    I don’t see why it would be any harder to forge the same information on paper.

    Most likely, the information wouldn’t be stored on the handheld devices. They’d just wirelessly connect to the system (aka The Matrix). A stolen unit would probably not have any way of transfering data to another device and could be denied access within seconds of any incident.

    If they use biometrics like fingerprints or in the future retinal scan or something to tie all of this information together, why can’t they just associate all of this information in the database and do the biometric scan at the gate? No more paper or electronic boarding passes. One quick scan and they should know who you are, what ticket’s you’ve bought, and which plane you should be on.

  8. phil s.

    Sounds great for boarding the plane.. but what about getting through security? Will the id checker have this finger print scanner as well? Are they assuming there will be a unified platform so the id checker does not need 10 different machines?
    Are we then empowering a device that will contain a database of millions of flight records to be easily accessable if stolen or lost by the security gentleman making 10-20 dollars an hour?

  9. dan.

    how is this less secure than printing a paper ticket at home. the airline just wants you to have a ticket to get on the plane. The TSA/Big Brother wants to make sure you are who you say you are. Why does anyone care? Why is this process more complicated than boarding a commuter train. Why does Amtrak need to be more secure than NJTransit? who are we trying to protect ourselvs from?

  10. Pingback: Your Cellphone May Be Your Flight’s Boarding Pass | Walyou « The Detached Consultant

  11. m larsen.

    Wait, why would we need a 2d barcode in ADDITION to the biometric? Couldn’t John Z. Smith just buy a ticket as John Z. Smith, and have the airline verify via previously stored biometric that he is, in fact, John Z. Smith, and cover that? Why the extra steps of sending the barcode to the cell phone, the extra time of scanning it at boarding, extra tech support staff to support and maintain it? Or, oh, wait, is it a thinly-disguised plot on the part of airlines to get ahold of your cell phone number for marketing purposes?

  12. Eran Abramson Post author.

    Hi Ananya, Wayne and AskTheAdmin (ATA), thank you for your comments.

    @Ananya: True, it does seem like a easy method to break. I hope they find additional means to secure it before simply ‘trying it out’.

    @Wayne: You’re right. Even if it was ready and full-proof, there are so many measures that would need to be taken care of ahead of time…just to allow it to work as planned.

    @ATA: I am! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Wayne Smallman.

    Such things certainly make a great deal of sense, but it’s some way off รขโ‚ฌโ€ first we’d need a unified format that all carriers (of both kinds: flight companies and mobile operators) would need to support.

    In the future, biometrics will dominate personal identification, and I don’t think a thumb print is enough.

    But it’s a promising start, none the less…


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