LOS ANGELES, USA – At the verge of unveiling the iPhone 5 and the subsequent release of iOS6 for iPhones and iPads, several airlines have braced themselves with mobile boarding pass support for the iOS6 Passbook.
The Passbook app from iOS can store movie tickets, membership cards and boarding passes in digital form. Clients of Virgin Australia and United Airlines will enjoy the convenience offered by mobile boarding passes, as iDevices should automatically detect mobile check-ins and save boarding passes in the users’ Passbook accounts. iOS 6 Passbook will also offer live updates on such e-passes, through sources like FlightAware, including flight delays and changes to airport boarding gates.
Going beyond Qantas and other wireless check-in systems, It’s believed that Passbook would pave the way for a new “iTravel” ecosystem. Just like Apple’s iTunes revolutionized the musical industry, iTravel will probably encompass every aspect of the travel industry in the near future.
Although Apple hasn’t publicly discussed such matters, it has been making several submissions to the US Patent & Trademark Office since April 2010. Several mock-up screens included with them are known to depict the potential use of iTravel for booking flights and hotels, renting cars, securing train and bus tickets and numerous other RFID features relying on NFC.