I currently use the American Airlines and United Airlines apps on my iPhone. And, while those apps are serviceable, I wouldn’t label either “award winning”.
But good news appears to be on the horizon. There’s been news leaking like crazy for a while about a new iOS feature called Passbook since a sneak peek by Apple about 2 months ago. It’s supposed to keep all your travel and shopping related “stuff” in one central area. For those who are frequent travelers, think about flipping through your e-mail to find that mobile boarding pass you downloaded the night before. Or, maybe you were smart enough to click on the link so you have it in Safari, only to find out that the page reset, and you need to dig up that e-mail again?
In theory, Passbook eliminates these issues by giving developers the ability to send files in a specific format that Passbook will capture. And, Apple usually does a pretty darn good job building features such as these.
The big news for travelers is that both American (yay!) and Delta (not so yay) are ready to release Passbook compatibility for their mobile boarding passes when Passbook launches this month.
There’s even a rumor that because the United logo is shown in one of the mock-ups that they may be onboard as well. It’s a waiting game now, but I suspect this will be a plus for travelers.