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You see passengers here and there using mobile boarding passes at the airport these days, but their use is hardly omnipresent. That could change over the next few years, however, as mobile boarding passes become a staple of third-party apps.

Airlines are rapidly increasing the availability of mobile boarding passes through their own apps, and through third-party services, including Apple Passbook, Samsung Wallet and Google Now.

By 2016, 80% of the roughly 200 airlines participating in the SITA/Airline Business IT Trends Survey.plan to offer mobile boarding passes through their own apps, up from the current 53%., the survey found.

And the use of third-party apps for mobile boarding passes is slated to be the norm for 62% of global airlines by 2016, up from the current 21% of carriers, the survey found.

Airlines thus are showing no qualms about in a sense outsourcing the distribution of their mobile boarding passes to companies such as Apple, Samsung and Google, and passengers are getting more convenience as their boarding passes through these apps will pop up on their smartphones when they reach the environs of the airport.

In other mobile developments, while a majority of airlines currently offer mobile check-in and flight search, over the next three years a majority of airlines will add missing bag reporting (60%) and rebooking capabilities (63%), the survey found.

Both missing bag reporting and rebooking capabilities, if they are handled adeptly through mobile offerings, will save travelers lots of wasted time at the airport or on the phone trying to get relief from customer services agents.


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