JetBlue Airways begins its approach to a completely paperless process

The airline is issuing mobile boarding passes within its iPhone app.

Bill Siwicki

JetBlue Airways has begun issuing paperless mobile boarding passes through its iPhone app in a bid to rid itself of paper and heighten convenience for consumers, the airline says.

JetBlue customers who check in for a flight in the iPhone app can elect to have a paperless boarding pass. The app generates a QR code, a form of two-dimensional bar code, that airline workers can scan at gates in eight airport, including Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, San Francisco and San Juan. The airline will expand paperless boarding passes to more airports throughout 2013, it says.

“The availability of and demand for electronic boarding passes has increased significantly over the past few years along with the introduction of more advanced smartphones into the market, so we felt that it was important to offer this easy-to-use product to our customers,” says Jonathan Stephen, head of mobile and emerging technologies at JetBlue Airways. “Travelers can produce a JetBlue mobile boarding pass upon successful completion of checking into their flight.”

JetBlue is working on an integration with Apple Inc.’s mobile wallet, Passbook, which would allow customers to store their mobile boarding passes in the wallets on their Apple devices. It also says mobile boarding passes will be available through its Android app in a few weeks.

Other airlines, including American Airlines, United and U.S. Airways, offer mobile boarding passes.

In addition to its iPhone and Android apps, which together have been downloaded nearly two million times, the airline says, JetBlue offers an m-commerce site and text message program. Stephen reveals the company is at work on a tablet app.

“We do have a tablet strategy in place and are looking forward to offering this product to our customers in the near future,” Stephen says. “In fact, just last fall, we launched a program called Think Up on Facebook where we invited our customers to submit their ideas for the JetBlue tablet app. This program ran through the fall into the winter and we received hundreds of submissions.”


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