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Silverjet to streamline boarding process

UK business class airline Silverjet plans to be the first to introduce wireless technology in 2008 to streamline its flight boarding processes.

The airline plans to roll out 3M RT mobile devices early next year and introduce them to capture passenger passport details and transmit the encrypted data wirelessly to its departure systems using GPRS.

"This will enable a more personalised service either in the lounge or in the car before even arrival at the airport for those passengers using the chauffeur service," said George Henderson, IT director at Silverjet.

Bigger airlines already offer online check in and even home printing of boarding passes, but passengers still need to check in their bags and queue to identify themselves and have their passports scanned, said Henderson.

"With the seat-side or in-car service, passengers will not have to wait or queue at all before boarding their flights," he said.

The service will be the latest in a series of technological innovations the startup airline has used since it began operations  in January this year to challenge established brands.

Henderson said these include the airline's contact management system, which is the first in the industry to combine voice, fax, efax, e-mail and text messaging for logging and sending messages.

He said other forms of technology innovation the airline was considering included personal RFID tags, a mobile text flight status confirmation service, and automated customer satisfaction using e-mail analysis.

Silverjet operates twice daily flights between London and New York and is to introduce daily flights between London and Dubai this month.

by Warwick Ashford,

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