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Airlines to allow check-in by mobile phone

The future of air travel is here, again. Or is it?

Two carriers in Japan and one in Germany are allowing passengers to check in via mobile phone. That would be Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, and DBA. However, don’t get any grand ideas of taking the whole family to Hawaii and using just your mobile to check everybody in. If that does happen, it isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

What we’re talking about here is domestic flights only, the ones that don’t require you to show your ID. So there’s one limiting factor. And we don’t immediate choruses of Lufthansa execs voicing their approval, although they might if they see DBA ticket sales taking off in a big way.

It’s a test run, of course. We’ll wait and see how it works. It’s actually not all that far-fetched. Many U.S. airlines allow their passengers to check in using email, which requires only that you have access to your email and to a photo ID when you board the plane (since you can print out your boarding pass online). Replacing email check-in with mobile check-in might be a logical next step, although a mobile is a giant step easier to steal than email access. Still, there’s that photo ID check, right? And remember, once you get on the plane, you’ll have to turn that mobile off anyway.

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