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Mobile Phones Could Help Airlines Save Tens of Millions Annually

Research carried out by the Cambridge University and IT Provider Specialist SITA showed that passenger's mobile phone could be used as a snooping device by companies and inform passengers of any delays or changes that could occur during their trip at the airport, which could save the airline industry more than £300 million annually.

Mobiles could supplant physical check-in boxes and in two years' time, it is estimated that More than two-thirds of airlines will offer some kind of mobile check-in, either through a dedicated service or by accessing the company's website.

By 2010, more than four fifths of airlines will offer notification services on mobile phones which will make this little nifty gadget even more vital although it won't replace your passport anytime soon.

The research paper also proposes that mobile phones could be used as personal travel folders to hold boarding passes, baggage tracking information and payment data, effectively meaning the end of paper tickets.

By combining Near Field Communication technology (NFC) with Bluetooth or any short-ranging wireless networking technology, the prospects could be endless although this could also mean that you will have to take extra care of not dropping it in the pool when on holidays.

Obviously, this will also give rise to a number of privacy concerns, especially over the use of personal data for marketing purposes; Computerweekly (opens in new tab) reports that a trial at Manchester Airport saw a 45 percent increase in sales when e-vouchers were sent to passengers' mobile phones.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.