BA extends mobile boarding passes

BA mobile boarding pass

British Airways has extended its paperless boarding pass scheme to Android and BlackBerry phone users.

The airline claims 30,000 passengers have used mobile boarding passes since BA launched the service in mid-July. The system replaces the need to print a boarding pass before travelling, or to use a kiosk or check-in desk at the airport.

Travellers first need to download British Airways' app for their chosen smartphone. Then, once they have booked and checked in for a flight, BA sends a boarding pass to the smartphone. The electronic boarding pass includes a 2D bar code, which the passenger then uses to clear security and for boarding.

Currently, British Airways is accepting the mobile boarding passes for UK domestic flights, as well as to all short-haul European destinations. The boarding pass can also be used for the return leg at key European destinations such as Paris, Barcelona, Zurich, Berlin and Amsterdam.

Travellers wanting to use the mobile boarding pass do need to be members of the Executive Club, BA's frequent flier scheme.

In Europe, Austrian Airlines was the first carrier to offer mobile boarding passes, although several large international airlines, including American, Continental and Air New Zealand, also support the technology. However, some airlines rely on SMS links for downloading the passes, instead of using a dedicated smartphone app.

The app "gives our customers increased control and makes travelling on British Airways even easier and smoother," said Chris Davies, BA's head of digital marketing. BA claims that more than a quarter of a million customers have downloaded its smartphone apps across the three mobile platforms since launch.

BA has created a webpage with details on how to download the app, including information for Blackberry Enterprise Server users.