For someone whose life is all about travel technology I occasionally worry about who is actually using it? This is the first in a series of posts where I will explore the use of technology in the travel process, in this instance, the mobile boarding pass.
Not having the exact statistics to hand (and being too lazy to research it for now) I'm going to base this post on my own experience, that of my family and friends and my casual observation of people I've travelled with.
So lets have a look at mobile boarding passes (see my post on The Hierachy of the boarding pass). At one extreme we have my mother who still struggles with the concept of not having a ticket to hand over at check in let alone a boarding pass on her phone! At the other end is my middle brother who, for an accountant, is more technically savy than me. In the middle is me who has airline apps on every device and a couple of spare batteries "just in case", and my older brother who has the app but will print the boarding pass "just in case they don't accept mobile boarding". Interestingly when I travelled with my fiancee, she considered it more likely that I would lose all of my gadgets that a printed boarding card, so that's what we took!!!
On a recent trip to Paris I watched others both inbound and outbound and concluded that only about 10% of the people I saw were using mobile boarding passes. Most seemed to have self printed ones and the rest had either kiosk or check-in agent printed ones. The interesting part is that the number of mobile boarding pass users seems to have doubled in the last year, so if that rate continues hen wide spread use isn't far away.
What is your experience or view of the use of mobile boarding passes and what more needs to be done to get them used more?