Thursday, December 16, 2010

Implementation of Bar Code Boarding Passes by Airlines


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has set a milestone in passenger traffic with the implementation of 100% worldwide with 2D bar code boarding passes (BCBP). BCBP replaces the previous generation of efficient and less costly magnetic stripe boarding pass.

"The magnetic strip boarding passes go on the way to a history museum next to the paper ticket. After the e-ticketing in 2008, switching to BCBP the next important step to the passengers more convenience and choice. Completing many tasks during the journey will now take seconds with the swipe of a bar code," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO.

The completion of the industry, offers passengers more choice in the check-in counter at an airport, at home, in a kiosk, or mobile device. BCBP also allows airlines to a single pass printing boarding several flights, simplifying travel for passengers in transit or those who travel on different airlines problem. In addition, BCBP opens the door for automated access to premium services. For example, with a scan of a BCBP, eligible passengers to access the fast track to safety or lounges.

Airlines issue over 2 billion boarding passes every year. The conversion of printed 2D BCBP was a five-year project and save the industry $ 1,500,000,000 per year. With the airlines to offer more, to receive the possibility of the barcode with a mobile device, we are well on the way to travel without papers, "said Bisignani.

Transition history

Boarding passes with magnetic strips that have been used since 1983, has several limitations for airlines and passengers that the bar code. Boarding passes expensive tape printer is at the airport check-in desk or in a cabin where passengers can receive their boarding card limits. The boarding passes with magnetic strips also expensive and exclusive role.

In the 1990s some companies to switch to one-dimensional barcodes (1D), which uses a series of parallel and perpendicular lines, similar to UPC codes, in order to identify products of the camp. This 1D was first used in the rail industry in the 1960s and are able to provide a limited amount of data.

The industry standard IATA airlines in 2005 is one of the two-dimensional (2D), known as the PDF417 code. This is more information on the basis of drawings of squares, dots and other geometric patterns. This code allows flexibility in size, ease of code reading and the support of many different types of scanners and printers. Print 2D code also allows the encryption and many functions.

The industry in 2008 agreed on a bar code standard for paperless, mobile passes. Data from the printed boarding card and mobile phone are the same, but the code looks like mobile devices is slightly different. Mobile 2D data can use the Aztec, or QR codes. About 30 airlines now offer mobile BCBP and usage should increase significantly in the short term.

After reaching the target of 100% bar code boarding passes (BCBP) was a joint effort of airlines, airports, service providers and IATA. More than 2,000 airports on board and  implementation was done by the StB Matchmaker. A secure web portal, StB Matchmaker allows airlines and airports for the exchange to prioritize, and coordinate requests for application effectively plan the use of a global standard. The tool provides information on 3,000 airport terminals and more than 200 airlines, creating a global database of over 10,000 records. The StB Matchmaker system will be expanded next year to facilitate the projects of Fast Travel and the IATA e-services.