The next time you are at the Toulouse Blagnac Airport, you might be greeted by a very different way of checking in – after all, it is the first airport in the world that will rely on NFC enabled smartphones in order to simplify the passenger experience. Basically, you are able to speed up the check-in process, in addition to getting pass through the airport’s controls and gates as well when you are armed with nothing but a NFC enabled phone. So far, the initial test will see 50 airport users test the new service this summer, where they will rely on BlackBerry NFC handsets that have an Orange NFC SIM inside. Air transport IT specialist Sita has worked with the Toulouse Blagnac Airport, RIM as well as Orange for this particular project.
According to Sita, “The phone will effectively become the passengers’ pass allowing them access to car parking, the boarding area via a premium access zone and to a premium passenger lounge. At the same time, passengers will receive up to the minute information such as changes to their flight times, departure hall or boarding gate.”
I wonder what happens when you smartphone gets stolen – does this mean there will be no additional layer of checking done to make sure the correct passenger gets on board instead of you? There are still many questions about this, and woe to the business traveler who has everything ready except a full battery charge on their device.