Heathrow Express treats iPhones as tickets
Shame too few airlines do
Travellers on the Heathrow Express can now use their iPhones as tickets.
Hex's new app, announced today and available here, provides the usual pay-by-card ticket booking, but here your purchase yields an on-screen barcode the ticket inspector can scan when you travel.
It's the first app of its kind in the UK, say the press release, even though Hex released an Android version - along with apps for BlackBerrys and Java phones - in December 2010.
Still, it's about time this kind of scan-phone-to-travel tech became more widespread. It's just a shame that most of the airlines you'll be travelling to Heathrow to fly with don't offer boarding passes the same way.
British Airways is a notable exception, though its boarding pass app - for iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys - only works if you are an Executive Club member and you're travelling anywhere but New York. Flying back, you can only use the app from certain European and Canadian airports.
It is undoubtedly these limitations that are stopping other airlines from releasing their own boarding pass apps. ®
News because it's an app?
I'm sorry El Reg, but this story is utter tripe.
As all the commenters above have noted, this is tech that has been in frequent use around the world for years. Finnair has offered SMS boarding for years and Lufthansa, KLM and others have offered 2D bar codes on ALL mobiles using THE INTERNET rather than some Jobsian-controlled binary interface to a subset of smartphones.
Maybe other airlines are not releasing boarding pass apps because THEY ALREADY HAVE ONE . it's called a browser.
The only innovation I see here could be the ability to buy the ticket while on the go, but any detail on that real news seems to have been cut in favour of Cupertino eye candy.
That's unpossible! The iPhone wasn't even released 5 years ago!
I'm sorry inspector, my battery died. I do have a ticket, honest!
Not much point, is there?
Neither Paddington Station nor Heathrow suffer from shortage of ticket terminals. It takes about 20sec to buy a ticket, plus, if you're afraid to miss a train you buy the ticket on-board. So, unless you just want to show off your iPhone, what really is the benefit? After all you still have to carry your credit card with you, right? So, is the process of taking it out of the wallet somehow less energy-efficient than taking your iPhone out the your pocket (or wherever you keep it)?