Virgin Atlantic has become the first UK-based airline to make boarding cards available through Passbook, Apple's in-built ticketing feature for iOS 6.
However rather than update its rather poor app, users will be able to add a Passbook ticket to their iPhone or iOS device during the online check-in process.
"During the online check-in process, passengers will now have the added option of sending their boarding card directly to Passbook on their iPhone or iPod touch enabling them to by-pass check-in kiosks and head straight to security or via baggage drop if carrying luggage," says VA.
“Passbook integration works seamlessly with our website – and will enable a speedy check-in and ensure your boarding card is stored safely and securely in the Passbook app on your iPhone or iPod touch," Simon Lloyd, Virgin Atlantic’s director of marketing, said in the release announcing the new feature.
"Critically, it also cuts down the impact of printing physical cards. Our trials have shown passengers really enjoy using Passbook and we’re sure many other airlines will now follow our lead,”
After using online check-in and selecting to send the boarding card to Passbook, an email is sent to the passenger containing a Passbook attachment. As the attachment is opened the boarding card is securely loaded into the app ready to be scanned at the departure gate ahead of boarding the aircraft.
Passbook stores the boarding card data in an industry standard barcode which can be scanned and read at departure gates at all Virgin Atlantic UK departure airports – Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.