America, June 22, 2010
It's not often that you can use the words "innovation" and "United Airlines" in the same sentence, without a "lack of" first - but with the new iPhone boarding pass, you can, and you will!
Last week, I was headed to Inveneo's offices in San Francisco for my bi-monthly check-in with the team. Before I ran out the door, I skipped one step that we're all familiar with - the boarding pass printing.
Instead, I just make sure my iPhone was charged up as I jump into the taxicab. While we sped down Rock Creek Parkway and onto 66, I pulled up the United.com mobile site and checked-in using my iPhone, and when done, requested the boarding pass be emailed to me.
Zap! Seconds later, I had an email with a special scan code. I showed this to the TSA at the Diamond Lane Checkpoint, who was a little confused at first, but then swiped my phone on his scanner and waved me on.
Then, at the United Airlines flight gate, I did the same - I waved my phone over the check-in desk scanner and with a beep of confirmation, I walked onto the plane. How nice!
Now it'd be nice if I could check-in online and have a mobile phone boarding pass emailed to me directly, but United has a convoluted process. You need to check-in online via your smartphone, which then emails you a link back to another webpage with your boarding pass. Annoying but worth it.
Never having to worry about printing out a boarding pass is just one small step towards United Airlines being a joy to fly again.