The airline is allowing passengers with enabled smartphones to take part in this trial service.
Certain passengers on specific flights with Air France and who own smartphones that are NFC technology enabled will be able to take part in a trial boarding system for a span of six months as the airline tests the program.
The near field communication boarding will be available only on flights between Toulouse-Blagnac and Paris-Orly.
The service will take advantage of the Touch&Pass app from the airline that will use NFC technology to make it possible for a boarding pass to be used directly through smartphones. The passenger will then be able to tap his or her smartphone on dedicated readers at those airports in order to make their way through airport security, to gain access to the lounge, and for actual boarding.
The main advantage to using NFC technology is that it the boarding passes will work even if the smartphone battery is drained.
On a global scale, near field communication technology has struggled to achieve any level of widespread adoption on smartphones and has created a limited degree of confidence in terms of its ability to succeed in the long run. However, in the European market, devices equipped with this tech have been achieving a growing popularity.
The trial system is a pilot effort that is being run as a part of a partnership between Air France and Orange, the French leader in telecommunications and technology, as well as SITA, the aviation IT and transportation experts in communication. Also taking part in this effort are, of course, the Toulouse-Blagnac Airport and RESA Airport Data Systems.
The Orange vice president of mobile payments and contactless program, Thierry Millet, spoke of the NFC technology use, as a whole, at a recent gathering, and was quoted to say that “It’s simpler and faster. The new solution relies on two industry standards: an IATA standard from the air transport industry and an NFC standard from GSMA for the mobile industry. This opens the door to a large-scale industrial roll-out.” A few hundred members of the Gold and Platinum Flying Blue program members from Air France will receive invitations to participate.