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bmi test mobile phone boarding pass

24.05.08

UK airline bmi is testing a bar code boarding pass that allows passengers to pass through security and board their plane paperless, using their mobile phone. It is the first British airline to use the technology, which is being trialled for a three-month period. bmi hopes the system will substantially cut airport waiting times and allow those without luggage to bypass check-in.

The airline has launched the new system which enables customers who check in online to have the boarding pass delivered to their phone or blackberry. The trial allows for a totally paperless flight process; instead of the traditional printed slip, the system delivers a barcode boarding pass to mobile phones that can receive picture messages.

The barcode is scanned twice - once at the security checkpoint and again at the boarding gate - while written flight information contained in the text is checked by cabin crew. The new check-in service was launched just over a week ago on services between Heathrow and Edinburgh, Manchester and Belfast. If the pilot project is successful, the airline plans to roll out the system to more destinations on its network, including Glasgow Airport.

A spokesman for bmi said the service is part of its commitment to reducing time spent at the airport and will help it maintain its position as one of the UK's most punctual airline. In addition, it will mean that passengers will no longer need to have a printer when they check in online.

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