A third of flight boarding passes will be on a mobile come 2019

Some new research from the folks over at Juniper has found that mobile boarding passes for flights will soon – no, we’re not going to say it… must resist… ahh – take off. Sorry. Couldn’t stop ourselves.

In short, come the year 2019, the number of airline boarding passes facilitated by a mobile will reach 1.5 billion, meaning a third of all boarding passes will be on a phone. Growth is particularly strong in the US, Far East and Europe.

The number for this year is 745 million, so things are essentially expected to double up over the course of the next four years. The passengers using them are, in the main, frequent air travellers, who are obviously more likely to be aware of developments in technology.

That said, not every airline offers boarding passes via mobile apps right now, by any means, and indeed SITA’s figures (airline IT experts) show that 53 per cent of airlines have implemented these apps – though that percentage is expected to rise to 91 per cent come 2017.

Nitin Bhas, author of the research paper, commented: "The ultimate position that NFC can reach in the airline industry is 'the extinction of the boarding pass' whereby boarding pass, baggage tickets and identity information can be stored on the phone and simply accessed using NFC readers.

“However, this transition will not only be delayed by the success of barcode but there is the need to gain agreement and investment from airlines and airports around the world.”