This Gadling post rang very true with me. My last 2 mobile boarding pass experiences haven’t gone that well, and I thought I’d make a brief mention of it here on the blog. I love the idea of checking in via my iPhone, receiving a link to my e-boarding pass, and cruising to the gate. And that’s just how my first few experiences with mobile boarding passes went.
However, my last 2 experiences lead me to question whether the 2 biggest stakeholders in the process, airlines, and TSA are ready to make the move….not to mention customers. Several weeks ago, I checked in with my iPhone and cruised from the Atlanta Airport Marta stop straight to the First Class security line. The gatekeepers by the door saw my mobile boarding pass and waived me through. I worked my way through the rather lengthy line, and when I finally got to the TSA ID checker guess what? Their electronic reader was down. Heck, it wasn’t just down, it was nowhere in sight! The agent asked if I had a paper backup, which I did not. She was just about to send me back to the ticket counter when I asked if the other reader (on the other side of the checkpoint) was working. I was reluctantly sent over, where I successfully scanned and went through security. As I was walking away from TSA agent # 1, I very pleasantly commented that the folks checking boarding passes out front should alert those of us with mobile boarding passes that the reader was missing in action, or direct us to the other side. The response: “that’s not their job sir.” OK…I digress.
Last Friday, same scenario, except that I was entering Atlanta through the regular checkpoint. No reader in sight. But this time I’d brought a paper backup, which defeats the whole purpose of mobile boarding passes. As it turns out, they had one reader about 40 feet away, but I would’ve needed to wait for someone to walk me over. No thanks.
I’m not going to let just 2 bad experiences deter me from trying to force the issue at every opportunity. Where it’s offered, yours truly will be using a mobile boarding pass. But unfortunately, I will have a paper copy in my back pocket just in case, and that’s the way I will travel until the airlines and TSA get their acts together on this. What have your experiences with mobile boarding passess been?