United's and Lufthansa's first-mover advantage with Passbook support in iOS 6 will be very short-lived as other airlines will undoubtedly be joining the party in the coming days.
Updated: While American Airlines and Delta Air Lines are gearing up to support the new mobile boarding pass features in iOS 6, United Airlines and Lufthansa were among the first out of the gate with Passbook updates to their apps.
As iOS 6 became available to users September 19, both United and Lufthansa pushed Passbook-ready app updates into iTunes.
@Lufthansa was not shy about spreading the word on Twitter regarding its new Passbook-ready capabilities, tweeting “Apple’s new iOS 6 “Passbook ” app saves all your travel documents – including your LH boarding pass.”
And, United, too, updated its iOS app to provide Passbook support for mobile boarding passes.
After getting their mobile boarding passes from the airlines, travelers arriving at the airport for their flights will see iOS 6 with Passbook automatically surface the mobile boarding passes on their iPhones without having to fumble around trying to find them.
American Airlines believes that eventually Passbook could be used for other boarding-related services such as seat upgrade notifications.
In addition to enabling travelers to “just scan your pass at the gate and go,” Passbook supports movie and event tickets, loyalty cards from stores, and coupons, meaning “discounts and offers on just about anything,” it states.
Undoubtedly other airlines, including Delta and American, are readying updates to their apps, as well, as travelers start whipping out their iOS devices with mobile boarding passes at airport gates.
Update: While Lufthansa and United updated their apps September 19 to support mobile boarding passes through Passbook in iOS 6, American Airlines has come on board with Passbook support this morning, September 20.