Air Canada Introduces Electronic Boarding Passes

Air Canada (AC/B) customers can now get an electronic boarding pass sent to their mobile phones, eliminating the need for a paper printout to show gate agents and security personnel.

Passengers on the country's largest airline can go to the carrier's Web site, log on and receive a message on their phone or other wireless device with a bar code. Users then show the onscreen message to airport workers as they check in for flights, the Montreal-based carrier said today in a statement.

Air Canada (AC/A), a unit of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. (ACE/H), said the technology will reduce costs and save time for workers and flyers. The mobile-phone check-in is available on all domestic routes and international flights, except those to the U.S.

The carrier hasn't introduced the program in the U.S. because it's still in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said. FAA spokesman Les Dorr didn't immediately return a call for comment.

The International Air Transport Association, an industry group, has set a goal for eliminating all paper tickets by May 2008. That will save the industry $3 billion a year, compared with using only paper tickets, the group estimates.

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