Delta implements electronic boarding passes at LaGuardia
By Dan Luzadder
Delta has added electronic boarding passes
to its services at New York LaGuardia, making it possible for passengers to use their
BlackBerrys and other hand-held, Web-enabled devices to check in, pass through
security and board aircraft, avoiding paper
ticketing or boarding documents.
The move reflects a rapidly growing use
of two-dimensional bar code technology
that has become standardized through the
efforts of the IATA, its airline members
around the world and the Transportation
Security Administration in the U.S.
IATA members “came up with a standard for a two-dimensional bar code for
mobile devices last year, and that was one
major hurdle,” said Steve Lott, a spokesman
for the airline association. “With that in
place, it really opened the door for airlines
to pursue functionality and technology.
Specifically, in the U.S., the biggest hurdle
was working with our friends at the TSA
… to make sure the bar code had appropriate security functions so TSA officers could
verify that the codes were legitimate.”
The two-dimensional bar coding, whether on mobile devices or on paper that is
printed by passengers at home from airline websites, has been the central step in
the drive by IATA to eliminate paper documents for travelers. Lott said the system was
not about closing off options for travelers
without cell phones or Web-enabled hand-helds but about offering options both for
passengers and for the airlines.
He said the airlines stood to save millions in costs by eliminating hardware, such
as document printers at airports and the
supplies they use, and other costs associated with the handling of those documents.
The electronic passes rely on software
rather than hardware, making them
much less costly to operate.
Travelers who access the bar codes
on mobile devices simply show the information on their hand-held screens
to TSA officials at airport security screening
along with their identification documents,
just as they have shown paper passes to
Delta spokeswoman Susan Chana Elliott
said Delta planned to continue to roll out
mobile boarding pass services and electronic check-in systems at its terminals at other
airports around the country. She declined to
be specific on a timetable for deployment.
Lott said the systems were rapidly gain-
ing momentum. He said the addition of
Delta to airlines using the system reflected
the success of encryption technology that
was proven effective in a pilot program that
Continental Airlines and the TSA conducted at Continental terminals in Texas. Con-
Technology allows paperless check-in
for flyers with Web-enabled devices.
tinental has since expanded the electronic
check-in to three other airports, where it is
A Northwest Airlines official said the
Minnesota-based carrier was continuing
to test the program at its facilities at Indianapolis Airport, pending expansion of the
Air Canada, Lott noted, has been using mobile device check-in and boarding
authorizations since October at airports
outside the U.S., and airlines in Japan have
been using 2-D bar code technology for
boarding and check-in at home-based air-
ports for more than a year. Inside the U.S.,
deployment of the two-dimensional bar
code technology has ramped up quickly
over the past four months.
“Airlines will see about a 40% re-
duction in equipment replacement
costs as magnetic strip boarding pass
technology is reduced and finally
eliminated,” Lott said. “Airlines want
to simplify things to give passengers more
options, to reduce crowds and lines at the
airport, to reduce lines at kiosks and tradi-
tional counters and make other significant
He said that mobile devices might also
eventually figure into things like biometric
identity clearances as technology continues
to develop, making security waits less onerous and improving efficiency of moving
passengers through airports.
Tower Travel’s Zev Melamid, 77, dies
Zev Melamid, 77, the well-known operator
of Tower Travel in New York and the Tower
Air scheduled and charter airline, died this
With his wife, Estelle, Melamid founded
Tower Travel, which specialized in travel
to Israel. He moved Tower Travel into the
airline business in 1982, becoming general
agent for Metro International, a short-lived
passenger division of the cargo line Flying
Tiger. Tower obtained an airline operating certificate in its own name in 1983 and
took over the operation, renaming it Tower
Air. It operated 747s from New York to Tel
Aviv, and also offered scheduled and charter service to Europe and the Caribbean be-
fore shutting down in 2000. Melamid also
served as president of Air America.
Melamid, born in Sadki, Poland, grew
up in Israel and served in the Irgun (Etzel)
combat unit and the Israeli army. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration from New York University.
He is survived by his wife, a son, daughter, their spouses and a granddaughter. Donations may be sent in his memory to Doctors Without Borders.
Just some of the 100 reasons why
Condé Nast Traveler readers selected us as
one of the top 100 resorts in the world.
EL DORADO ROYALE is one of the first Gourmet Inclusive
AAA Four Diamond Resorts in Mexico and was recently named one
of the top 100 Hotels in the world by readers of Condé Nast Traveler.
EL DORADO SEASIDE SUITES is a luxuriously laidback hotel
which was recently named by Forbes.com one of the most romantic
resorts in the world.
EL DORADO MAROMA is located on famed Maroma Beach,
which was named one of the top ten beaches
in the world.
Call your preferred tour operator