Heathrow has become the first airport in the UK to start using Continental Airlines’ paperless boarding pass system.
The American airline has been using the system in the United States for some time, but until now it has not taken off in the UK.
Now customers flying from Heathrow to the US on Continental Airlines will be able to show their boarding pass on their mobile phones. It consists of a bar code, flight information and passenger information, and there is no way that it can be duplicated.
Continental Airlines has the system in place at 42 airports throughout the US, but due to technology and security issues it has yet to become a common feature of air travel around the world.
However, it is thought that in the future it could become the main method of boarding identification.
On top of acting as the boarding pass, the new phone passes also provide passengers with further information. They allow passengers to track the status of their flight and look up the amenities on board the aircraft.
Continental Airlines currently runs five flights per day to Heathrow, and this is set to go up to seven per day later in the year. As the paperless boarding system becomes a common feature for passengers travelling to and from the US, it could well start to catch on with other airlines.
Martin Hand from Continental Airlines said that “customers have told us this is the type of product improvement they want,” adding that the airline will “continue to expand the self-service technology” to more destinations.