I hate paper, so don’t love paper boarding passes – whether printing them at home or queuing up at the airport. Since I mostly fly American Airlines domestically I use their mobile app. One catch though is that I always pull up my boarding passes when I check in for a flight, even my connecting pass, in case I don’t have great connectivity (or there’s some other glitch) when I go to board my flight. The app saves the boarding pass so I can use it even if I can’t update it.
I don’t usually download apps for carriers I fly less frequently though, so I’m stuck with paper since I don’t want to clutter my phone.
The move from check-in counters to kiosks to mobile boarding passes has been huge over the course of my travel lifetime. But the future will no doubt progress even further.
One man has now boarded a flight by scanning his hand at the gate. He had an NFC chip implant injected into himself.
SAS supports EuroBonus frequent flyer IDs in such chips, and the Stockholm airport is equipped with readers, so his hand gave him clearance through security as well as lounge access too.
SAS has provided NFC tags to EuroBonus Gold members for a long time. The tag contains only the EuroBonus ID, in an encrypted format. Only SAS can write valid EuroBonus ID data to NFC tags. When traveling, you are always required to provide a valid ID when requested.
A few weeks ago I had an NFC chip implanted into my hand, just beneath the skin. In this video I use the chip to pass through Stockholm Arlanda airport, through security, at the lounge, and finally through the gate to the aircraft.
My NFC chip contains my Scandinavian Airlines EuroBonus member ID, and since the airport has NFC readers all the way from security to the gate, I can use the chip instead of ordinary boarding passes.
No airline has plans to formally support this technology. And few travelers will want to inject themselves in order to fly. At least today.