GENEVA, Oct 11, 2007 (AFP) - Airport queues could become a thing of the past under a new scheme for travellers to check-in with mobile phones, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday.
Mobile check-in already exists in Japan and some airports in Canada, Spain and Germany, but up till now there has been no global standard which has prevented the technology's wider use, IATA said in a statement.
Mobile check-in enables airlines to send 2D bar codes to passenger's phones, which then 'become' the boarding pass and is read directly from the screen of the mobile device, IATA said.
"This standard is an important step in getting rid of paper that bogs down processes and drives up costs," said IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani.
The new IATA standard uses three existing technological formats in use in Japan, Europe and North America. All three can be read by a single scanner type which is readily available worldwide, the association said.
The airline industry has set a deadline of the end of 2010 to implement full bar coded boarding passes, which are expected to save over 500 million dollars (350 million euros) annually, it added.
The IATA has 240 airline members who together account for some 94 percent of global air traffic.