the first cuckoo of spring and its not even Christmas yet.
Michael Chertoff, the US Secretary of Homeland Security, reckons that putting boarding passes onto mobile phones will stop terrorists boarding planes with forged documents, and make the skies a safer place for all. Boarding passes are easily forged, as demonstrated by The Atlantic magazine last month, But the electronic …
You don't have to be a luddite to decide not to carry a phone. I am on the way to totally deaf. I decided against a phone because I don't like texting. I did have a BlackBerry from an employer, and that was really great, but I can't afford one personally. So the solution for me is, apparently, to hitch across country.
LAST CALL!! LAST CALL!!
All passengers for the TerrorPork Express, please board now! Bring your unproven, propietary technology, your pricavy-invasive methods and your unrealistic proposals ... all aboard, all aboard ... hey wait, how come there's more people on the train than booked ?
My 2 year old does not have or need a mobile phone but apparently needs a seat so will therefore need a boarding pass.
Great holiday that will be, "now sweetie, Mummy and Daddy are off to florida to see Buzz Lightyear but you will have to stay with Nanny and Grandad as mean old Uncle Sam says you are a terrorist."
What a clinically insane misapplication of technology. Any phone which can check-in online and retain the boarding pass should be able to load an application that can send the signed version of that boarding pass over bluetooth once it has been queried by the departure gate.
I have a mobile (I work for a mobi operator and contractually I have a mobile phone) but it stays switched off, sitting on my desk. Since they cause brain tumours and other forms of cancer I foresee a time when people will start suing the USA because they got cancer flying in/to/from the USA.
The other problem (applicible to business users only), is you get your PA to book the flights, maybe a group booking. She normally then just offloads it to an agency. Now that seems to be a data protection breach in the making if the agency gets my ex-directory number. Others might get hacked off when said agency "loses" the data to spammers.
What happens when I make a booking and get my mobile stolen (obviously not me specifically but you get the jist), said perp. can now get a free flight from London to Scotland or whereever.
All in all, typical Paris Hilton - all show for the media but nothing practical as an outcome.
I use a Nokia 3330. It's a phone that makes and receives phone calls and sends and receives text messages. It does not have a camera (I have a much better camera than any phone). It does not store and play music (I have an iPod nano, it is much smaller than the phone). It will not surf the net (a chap nees a break now and again, even from the temptation).
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't they still tell you that you're legally obligated to TURN OFF your mobile phone while on the plane? Even if this is only used at the boarding gate, before getting on the plane, it sounds to me like it'll encourage more people to leave their phones turned on (or forget to turn them off). And then you have the issue of incompatible phones, cracked screens that a barcode reader won't be able to read, people who don't have a mobile phone, etc.
I swear, the government (and by extension, it seems, the aviation industry) is doing everything in its power to make sure people don't use airplanes anymore. Sure, it may be great for the environment, but not too good for vacations or business.
The usual half-informed stuff here....
LH - If you have been getting on aeroplanes without boarding passes then you are more or less unique. They have not gone away. In many cases they look different to the way they used to. Lots of them are printed at home on A4 or Letter paper, complete with bar code. Others are printed from a kiosk using thermal paper. So, you may not have had your old familiar ATB2 mag striped boarding pass for a while - depending in which airline you use - but you most certainly have a boarding pass.
As to the main thrust of the piece, mobile phone boarding passes are not being introduced as a security measure. The airlines have wanted them for a long time because they expect them to increase the use of self check-in, which costs pennies, in place of check in at an airport desk, which costs dollars (substitue pounds, euros, zlotys or dongs at your preference). The security issue is that various authorities, including the TSA, have not been prepared to accept them until they could be at least as secure as printed boarding passes. Which is not all that secure, but as part of a managed process including searches and profiling and all the other "security" measures is deemed to be an acceptable risk.
And, to all the other Chicken Lickens, no airline that I have ever talked to has any intention to go for exclusively mobile phone boarding passes. All the Luddites, children, users of non-standard devices and all the rest will still have the option of old-fashioned paper.
And what if the terrorist just buys a sea on the plane instead of trying to sneak on? If they've invested enough to mount an attack like this, why risk the operation for a few hundred dollars? The perpetrators are unlikely to be known terrorists, more likely volunteers with no criminal record whatsoever.
This is a crap solution to a problem that doesn't really exist, except in the minds of those selling the solution.
Oh and another thing. Gate and Check In Systems are the same system in the vast majority of cases. Where there is a case for better integration is between the airline Departure Control Systems which include check-in boarding, baggage and a bunch of other stuff, and the security screening systems used by TSA, Immigration authorities etc. To some extent this does happen but there are some real issues of technological compatibility (which are largely soluble) and data protection/privacy which on the whole are less tractable, as regular Reg readers will be well aware.
Stupid people coming up with stupid solutions to problems that get worse the more you pick at it with creams and/or salves, magical healing crystals, manly bits of praying mantis etc. Basically the more random 'security' measures that they come up, the worse they make the whole problem hmmm.
As others have pointed out, if this was somebody forging a copy of somebody else's boarding pass then the head count would pick it up. If people go back to the original Atlantic Magazine article they will find the exposee is how to bypass the US government's no-fly scheme by creating a second boarding pass matching other identification (like a driver's license or passport). The airlines don't check the "no fly" list immediately before you get on the 'plane - they only check the other ID you have.
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