It’s all about smartphones now. First mobile phones could only make calls and send text messages. Now our portable communication devices are able to surf the web, connect on social networking sites, act as an mp3 player, video player, and even better, act as mobile boarding passes replacing the need for paper documents during air travel. An initiative has been rolled out in March by Singapore Airlines for a new way of airport security scan before the immigration area. Instead of paper boarding passes, the electronic bar code data sent to the mobile phone directly by the airline is said to be secure to a greater extent.
While all this sounds like a peek into the futuristic world of speed and efficiency driven by technology, bubbles are burst when travellers encounter an extra step at Singapore’s Changi Airport, required by security. This extra step involves a paper receipt that has to be printed and used after the mobile boarding pass has been scanned. This seems very much to defeat the purpose of using a more secure and efficient method of mobile scanning. If mobile is “definitely the way forward” as said by Arinc and Amadeus, two firms that was reported in the paper that work closely with airports and airlines, why are we still using the paper method?