Japan Airlines has announced that it will be launching a new NFC-based service that will help consumers board planes faster. The airline has partnered with mobile operations company KDDI in order to create NFC-enabled boarding passes. Japan Airlines is not the first to adopt this type of boarding pass. Last year, Scandinavian Airlines began experimenting with similar boarding passes they called Smart Pass. Now, the Japanese company is looking to expound on this idea and make it popular with travelers.
The Smart Passes will be able to track travelers wherever they go. The passes will function as a form of prepaid, mobile payment system, allowing consumers to make purchases with the funds added to the Smart Pass. Travelers will also be able to use the passes with their smart phones to find information on their flights as well as directions to nearby restaurants and shops. Bearers of the Smart Pass will be able to book hotels and transportation as well.
Airlines have been experimenting with QR codes for some time. The codes had proven useful to some extent, but were ultimately considered to be, ironically, one dimensional. Airlines are beginning to turn to more advanced technologies, such as NFC, to better serve travelers. Consumers have already shown their interest in more technologically advanced options coming from businesses, but only time will tell if NFC technology will be successful in the travel industry.