Buried deep in the bowels of my recent Airline Business feature about how airlines can harness off-board and onboard mobile phone connectivity, British Airways planning and innovations manager Chris Carmichael is quoted as saying that the following scenario would be beneficial to passengers:
“Your meeting is overrunning, you whip out your Blackberry under your desk, check out your flight, change to the next flight, check-in and get your seat sorted all without leaving the meeting room. It sounds quite attractive.”
Yesterday, BA introduced what it claims is a “first-of-its-kind capability”, allowing its customers to check in for their flights from any Web-enabled mobile device across global markets in 11 different languages.
“No other carrier has provided mobile check-in at this global level,” says BA. “This is a perfect service for global business travellers, and is a continued validation that with the rise of the iPhone and Google phone mobile web adoption is taking off.”
By logging on to www.ba.com/mobile with any Web-enabled mobile device, customers can access the BA timetable, as well as select seats and check-in individuals, groups and families for departure or return flights in real time.
The site is powered by Usablenet, which has also developed mobile sites for many major airlines including American Airlines, JetBlue, Northwest Airlines and US Airways.
You may recall that we gave BA a big ole gold star for another recent innovation. The carrier made its application for Apple iPhone users available for free at the iTunes store, arming folks with real-time flight arrival and departure information, the full BA timetable, and enabling access to the carrier’s web site.
This is, to my knowledge, a move that hasn’t yet been duplicated by other airlines (although you can now find a number of basic iPhone web apps from airlines and travel companies).
Here at RWG we like to get a little graphic sometimes. And so a big thanks to BA for sending along the pics above right and below.