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Japanese Airline Rolls Out Wireless Chip Check-In 86

Posted by Zonk
from the no-lines-no-fuss-wave-of-the-future dept.
ThinkPad760 writes "Early in September All Nippon Airways (ANA) of Japan will complete their rollout of a ticketless check-in and boarding pass service called SKiP! You book the ticket online thru either a computer or your mobile phone. Prior to arriving at the airport, you 'place' the ticket onto your IC-chipped ANA Mileage card, or have the booking dowloaded into your IC-enabled phone. When you get to the airport you just wave your mobile or IC card at the reader. It confirms your booking, the light turns green, and off you go to the gate. At the gate it's the same thing. I've been using this service out of Haneda to Osaka for the past year. It is fantastic. Since I never have to check bags, I turn up to the airport just short while before my flight, walk straight through security and onto the plane."
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Japanese Airline Rolls Out Wireless Chip Check-In

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  • Not new (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sam_paris (919837) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:38PM (#20431167)
    Ticketless check isn't new i've done this with British Airways for every flight i've taken this year.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kneuk (1150573)
      BTW, ANA's SKiP! service is started last year Sept 1 2006, not today.
    • I fly out of San Francisco Airport frequently, which is a hub for United Airlines. United lets me buy a ticket online, then actually "check in" for the flight on their Web site before I leave home, a process that allows me to print out my own boarding pass. I bring that printout with me to the airport and proceed directly to the security queues. The TSA agent who looks at my ID is the first human I ever speak to. Also, if for some reason my printer is out of toner, I need only run any card in my wallet thro
    • (Slightly offtopic)

      Keh, Indian airports could do with some of these...among other things.

      I have Indian heritage, but live in Australia. First time I really got to see India when I wasn't a newborn was a couple of years ago when we went for holiday. We came into Chennai/Madras airport (which is considered a 'big' airport).

      The big bottleneck there was the fact everyone from the flight I was on, and another flight, were lining up behind like...two counters for customs (I think). Took hours just to get out of t
  • TFA doesn't mention security much, but I'll assume (dangerous, I know) that you still have to present a photo ID and get strip searched to get to the gate. If so, then this is hardly an advance on the printable tickets already is use for some time.

    What I'm waiting for is a speedier security pass, like the Registered Traveler Program [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by cptdondo (59460)
      I've flown in Japan. The security is far less intrusive, far more professional, and far more efficient than in the US. And typically friendlier and better looking too...

      • I bet smarter too, here only the idiots take such kind of jobs.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by markov_chain (202465)
        Then again, Japan does not have military bases in a bunch of Middle Eastern countries, or give billions in aid to a certain Mediterranean country...
        • by hajus (990255)
          They do have their own hostile countries though; one of them has sent missiles overhead.
        • Then again, Japan does not have military bases in a bunch of Middle Eastern countries, or give billions in aid to a certain Mediterranean country...
          I think it's less that, than they have a public that's less reactionary than in the U.S. It's not as if Japan is exactly a stranger to terrorism -- both of the international and home-grown variety. They just didn't go absolutely batshit insane as a result of it.
      • by CaptDeuce (84529)

        The security is far less intrusive, far more professional, and far more efficient than in the US. And typically friendlier and better looking too...

        ...but not any easier to get to go with you on a date, unfortunately. [sigh]

      • I live in Japan, and while I agree that their security is far less intrusive, it's mainly because they're not being as thorough. Granted, one could argue that they're being *reasonable*, but with the Japanese, it's more likely due to their lingering naivety in the face of an increasingly nasty world, and the fact that they really hate to inconvenience people.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:56PM (#20431225)
    too many terrists
  • by dfm3 (830843) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:58PM (#20431237) Journal
    I don't know how it is in many other parts of the world, but on domestic flights in the US, usually the biggest bottleneck is not at the ticket counter (unless you're checking a bag) or at the gate, but at security. If you already carry on all of your luggage and print your boarding pass at home, would this technology really speed things up that much?
    • by kneuk (1150573)
      Maybe this tech will not resolve the bottle neck but will definitely reduce irritating steps before you take your flight.
      for example you can do this: you let your secretary book your flight online while you head to airport, driving. when you arrived at airport, you just go straight to security gate.
    • I was going to comment on this, as well. In Europe, the security check is time-consuming and generates long queues, especially in HELLthrow.

      That said, not having to wait at the checkin counter (or electronic check-in machine (and then do the button-ticket-CC tango)) and at the gate is great! I hate waiting in queues, so anything that can reduce them is welcome.
    • Sucks to live in the US if you fly on planes regularly, apparently. Maybe they could eliminate the theatrics...
    • by rockout (1039072)
      I don't know about "usually" - I usually thank the gods that I don't check a bag, because the ticket counters at my friendly local airport (one of the top 5 busiest in the country) have literally hundreds of people in line when I arrive for a peak-hours flight, and security is usually 10 minutes or less waiting in line; they seem to have enough people at the x-ray machines to handle the large numbers of people.

      That being said, you're right in your second sentence. I'm not sure that this chip would speed m

    • Yeah, I noticed this when I was in holiday in the US. We were at LAX heading back to Melbourne and god, did security take inefficiently long.

      I remember before we checked in our bags, we needed to get them cleared by security.

      They dumped all our bags on a big trolley with hundreds of other bags and took it behind a screened area (with other such trolleys). Then they had like two guys checking it all. Took 3 hours until we got our bag back...we had to sit around waiting because they didn't automatically check
  • New tech, old idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    They've had print-the-barcode-and-scan-it check-in here (Australia) for years now. You print your barcode when you book your flight and scan it at a machine at the airport, which then confirms and even lets you do things like change seats if there are others available. Then you just walk on through (or check bags and walk on through... and I can't see how you could get around that, bags being physical objects and all).

    OK, so no fancy ic+mobile+rf thingy, but it seems to me that scanning a barcode might ac
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drsmithy (35869)

      They've had print-the-barcode-and-scan-it check-in here (Australia) for years now. You print your barcode when you book your flight and scan it at a machine at the airport, which then confirms and even lets you do things like change seats if there are others available. Then you just walk on through (or check bags and walk on through... and I can't see how you could get around that, bags being physical objects and all).

      The only other downside is if you're 6'2 and want to sit in an exit row, you can't alloc

      • by samh004 (979276)
        I always get my seats booked in an exit row if possible at the time of booking. It's easier that way, although you have to use a travel agent. Luckily tall people who haven't bothered to check where they're sitting have less and less asked to sit in my seat when already on the plane too... it's a sad life, but mostly when that happens the cabin crew could bump them or me to business for convenience, but they don't, so your not getting my exit row seat that I've been looking forward to for the past 2 month
      • by Phroggy (441)
        You can have your exit row seats. It depends on the plane, but they often don't recline. Not that regular seats recline a whole lot anyway, but it's something.
        • by jamar0303 (896820)
          For future reference, United Airlines 747 jets do have exit row seats that recline.
          • by ncc74656 (45571) *

            For future reference, United Airlines 747 jets do have exit row seats that recline.

            Ditto for Southwest's 737s. A better question might be "which aircraft have exit-row seats that don't recline?" I've not come across one; the last time I was stuck in a seat that didn't recline was on a A3something (319? 320?), and it was all the way in the back of the plane against a bulkhead. (Getting stuck in such a seat for a cross-country redeye was a Bad Idea.)

        • by kobatan (1103577)
          In my experience, it's the row in front of the exit row that doesn't recline.
      • Vueling (spanish low cost airline) sells the emergency seats for extra euro's.
        Usually it's the seats one row in front of the Emergency Exits that don't recline, I think.
        I'm not tall, and I can do without the legroom, my priority is to sit in the front of the airplane.
        I want to get off as quickly as possible & catch my connecting bus....

        And the trolley with sandwiches & drinks arrives earlier too :)
      • Unfortunately, a lot more people seem to know about the extra leg room in exit rows these days, so it's gotten to the point now that arriving any less than an hour before departure means there's none left :(.

        I feel for you there...

        Being 6'3" myself (193 centimeters) tall, I have seen it get a lot more difficult to score an exit row seat over the past few years. The thing that irritates me a bit is when you are denied an exit row, and upon entering the plane you find that a lot of the exit row seats are occupied by people less than 5'8" (172 cm) in height. Last time this happened, one of the gentlemen in the exit row isle had legs that barely even reached the ground!

        So, a public service announcement: Sla

    • by kneuk (1150573)
      barcode was and still being used for ANA today. it's been there for years as well. ANA made it even easier that you don't even have to print barcode to check in.
  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Friday August 31, 2007 @11:42PM (#20431403)
    Cool, this makes 100% sure that the correct cell phones fly on the planes. No terrorist cell phones will ever make it past this system. I feel safer already.
    • Exactly, as it makes much more sense, that the correct piece of paper is on the plane. No terrorist piece of paper will ever make it past the normal system, oh, wait, it already did. I don't see what the tickets relevance is towards "terrorists".

    • by jamar0303 (896820)
      Yeah, and 0% of cellphones currently sold in America will get through either- the necessary RFID technology only exists in Japanese cellphones. Go get yourself an unlocked Toshiba or Sharp if you're on GSM in the States- you'll love it. If you're on CDMA- tough for you.
    • by kneuk (1150573)
      I'm not 100% sure if it is safe but those IC chips in Japanese cell phones can be used only when you subscribed to IC Chip credit card service(which makes it a little bit more reliable, I guess..)
  • This won't work in the USA because we are too freaked out(the soda isn't soda it is a bomb). When I can't even bring a single 4oz bottle on a plane you know you have a problem and even with the 3-1-1 thing(3oz bottles, 1 quart size bag, 1 bag per person) anyone determined enough could bring a liquid based bomb on a plane. Because of that reason the security measures in America will be doomed to only increase until travel almost stop entirely or we force reform and more efficient ways of security. When we
  • by drDugan (219551) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @12:28AM (#20431537) Homepage
    and the people will want the controls placed on them.

    because it seemed easier

    because it seemed faster

    because it seemed safer

    because I was afraid

    because I thought I had to

    because it was more expensive if I didn't let them do it

    becuase it wasn't worth fighting any more for freedom

    because if I refused, the terrorists would win

    because everyone else was doing it

    and in the end it won't matter how they get you to give up your humanity and your freedom, you will not be able to get it back once you are chipped, tracked, and recorded. Other people will "manage" your finances, your access rights, and your permissions -- all electronically and under one central system. It will make 1984 look appealing: at least they could hide from the telescreen in some corners of their world. The idea of dissent will fade from the collective understanding.

    If you have not seen it yet, the Zeitgeist movie http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/ [zeitgeistmovie.com] covers this pretty well. Like sheep herded in the yard, dumb people who just can't seem to stop the TV long enough to figure out that centralized control of their life makes them no longer free.

  • Airport security (Score:3, Insightful)

    by STDK (1084535) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @12:29AM (#20431541)
    I travel in Europe, Asia and the US. And trust me, even "the rest of the world" is wasting huge amount of money on useless security features. My home carrier (SAS) write on there homepage under security "...in order for you to feel safe ..." basically admitting most of it is useless.

    Let us take the two most annoying rules:

    The Liquid rule:
    The 100ml of water rule is an EU rule to prevent us from smuggling large amount of liquid (uh uh) on-board. Can't have all that water. Anyhow, lets say we - evil terrorist group - want to bring 2 liters of, I donno, liquid nitroglycerin onboard. I buy 19 tickets from Helsinki to Munich and 1 from Helsinki to New York. Inside the "safe" zone I bring out my legal 2 liter empty coke bottle and collect the stuff from the other 19 people.

    The Drop-Belt-Shoes-Jacket-screening:
    IF I am committed to blowing up a plane, which will eventually most likely course my own death, I might be able to accept swallowing 40x5g C4 in condoms. Puke them up once in the plane or time it with the natural urge. And if I dislike puking, let me just stick a few sticks of dynamite up my ass and use my MP3 player to blow the fucking thing up.

    Really, how hard can it be. We get NOTHING - except higher air fares - for the 2h wasted in airports all over the world

    STDK
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by karnal (22275)
      let me just stick a few sticks of dynamite up my ass

      Oh great, now everyone with a severe case of hemmrhoids (sp?) will be labelled a terrorist, thanks to you. You don't think you'd be walking a little bit funny with all that dynamite up your ass?
      • by STDK (1084535)

        ....You don't think you'd be walking a little bit funny with all that dynamite up your ass?...

        Practice I tell you, practice.

        That said, in history of aviation have there even been a white suicide bomber or a woman or anyone but muslims? For the sake of future mental stability, start reviewing history and learn from it.

        I've actually send my orignal post to the international airport in Copenhagen, Denmark. Now, wonder if they will answer.

        STDK

        • That said, in history of aviation have there even been a white suicide bomber or a woman or anyone but muslims? For the sake of future mental stability, start reviewing history and learn from it.

          Even if your suggestion was true (PKK, [wikipedia.org] LTTE [wikipedia.org]), you would be a sucker to fall for the base rate fallacy. [wikipedia.org]

          • by STDK (1084535)
            I am aware that there are suicide bombers among other fractions than Muslims. Though I am not aware of them using planes to get the point across. PKK and LTTE are both organizations involved in civil war, than to global war. The era where terrorists tried to hijack planes for some reason or another seems to be over.

            A point is that with a limited amount of money for security; use them where it makes sense. Screen people based on history, information and intelligence, not on "Hey, you are at the airport

            • I am writing from China so the Wikip-links are blocked - thank you golden shield. However, I can not see how the base-rate applies to my comment since I have never been in a plane, hijacked by Muslims suicide bombers.

              It applies in that you are making a probability judgment based on a single occurrence, possibly two. That's a meaningless sample size. The next argument that people hypnotized by the base-rate fallacy want to make is typically, "look at the intent" - well your criteria of 'muslim' covers a billion people. Out of which how many might possibly have the intent to blow up a plane? Somewhere in the realm of what, a thousand? I'll be generous, ten thousand. That makes your criteria for selection 99.999% i

              • by STDK (1084535)

                All your suggestion does is reduce security by building in back doors of reduced scrutiny.

                Actually I am trying to channel money where they do the most benefit.

                The rant from my side is NOT about Muslims, please by all means if it turns out after research that the most likely suspect is a Texan family of 4 with a new SUV, then by all means do full body cavity on them when they fly to Ohio for Thanksgiving.

                The technical issues of "verification of identity" is not in scope. The examples of "stolen ide

                • "Stolen identity" has nothing to do with the problem. It was just a counter to your example.

                  The problem is your focus on intent-by-proxy.

                  You seem to think that 'research' can determine some sort of reliable proxy for intent - be it muslim, be it texans with an SUV or whatever. It can not. Again, intent-by-proxy is not useful because no proxy can be made reliable for any feasible about of dollars. You can come up with a bunch of example proxies and I will shoot each on down with counter examples just lik
                  • by STDK (1084535)
                    Actually I like the El Al method (though never been a subject, I have heard some stories from people who forgot invitations and such). This add what I think is needed. The subject control aspect. You have to convince someome of your intent. Now, most places can not cough up the $$ to do El Al screening, hence we get this ineffective robot system. Now I simply suggest a "El Al - Light" where it range from no-control to extrem control depending on what the security function dictate. STDK
                • by cs (15509)

                  By not allowed to do racial profiling and suspicion picking because you might offend someone, by treat everybody equal money are wasted.

                  But by insisting on no random searches, you establish a profile (however accurate or inaccurate). And if there's a profile, it can be inferred from who gets searched, and if it can be inferred then terrorists can, with some patience and lead time, choose bombers now known to be outside the profile. And they can just walk onto the plane. Hurrah!

                  It is not enough to insert

    • by hajus (990255)
      What we get is people having to BUY their bottled water at inflated prices from the shops WITHIN the airport past security rather than bring their own. The last airport I flew from (Philadelphia), there wasn't even a single water fountain past security. It's the same reasoning as in the theatres, stadiums, etc. If it was truly about security, lobbying would have it changed already.
  • "Ticketless"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Saturday September 01, 2007 @01:06AM (#20431693) Journal
    Are there any airlines that still issue actual, physical tickets? I haven't touched one of those multi-coupon, red inked tickets since at least 2001 and I fly eight to ten times a year. I should mention that I am in Canada and haven't flown internationally in about five years, but I have friends flying to Japan and Bali and they weren't issued physical tickets either. Everything appears to be either web or electronic kiosk based check-in these days.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      Are there any airlines that still issue actual, physical tickets? I haven't touched one of those multi-coupon, red inked tickets since at least 2001 and I fly eight to ten times a year.

      LOT Polish. I had a flight out of Warsaw at 10 am and I needed to get there from Krakow in the morning. The other choice was a slow overnight train, so I went to the airline office on Basztowa and bought a ticket for the 6am plane the next day. Paid 200zl (about $65) cash, and no one looked at me like I had two heads for

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by scapaman (827445)
      from next year, no airline will. IATA, the international body for airlines, has just ordered the last ever batch of the old style paper tickets. They won't be used past July 2008.
    • by Phroggy (441)
      I just found out that if you get a voucher for a free ticket on United (because you volunteered to give up your seat on an overbooked flight), you can't use it to book your flight online. You have to call their call center in India, reserve your flight over the phone, then bring the actual physical coupon to a ticket agent at the airport in exchange for actual physical tickets. Or mail it to them, and they'll mail you your tickets.

      Astounding.
    • by Alioth (221270)
      Monarch Airlines in the UK still issue the confetti-like shower of tickets (not the tracing paper red inked ones, but the greenish card ones with lots of impeneterable TLAs and the thick magstripe).

      Surprised me when I booked with them, it's the first time in years anyone's insisted on sending physical tickets.
    • by kneuk (1150573)
      I think the point of ANA's SKiP! service is not Ticketless but going straight to the security check without checking in.
    • I live in Brasil, and buy my international tickets at a travel agent, and sure enough, I still get the old style, red inked tickets. It's a hoot to present these at the gate in the US.
    • When I flew to Tanzania from the USA in 2005 I was told that all international flights from the USA to third world countries require a paper ticket. I don't know if it's changed since then but that's what the people at the ticket counter told us then.
  • How is this better than what we have in the US (and presumably elsewhere)?

    • Buy ticket online
    • Check in online
    • Print out boarding pass
    • Go straight to gate


    It couldn't get any easier.
    • by kneuk (1150573)
      you mentioned 4 steps.
      • Buy ticket online
      • Check in online
      • Print out boarding pass
      • Go straight to gate
      of those 4, you don't need step 2 and 3 if you have IC chip SKiP! service. the system will take care of checking in while you are going through security gate.
      • Well, technically I could combine steps 2/3 into a single step ("print out boarding pass"). But, yeah, I guess you don't have to print out your boarding pass. You do have to "place" it on your card, which is presumably pretty easy. Not that clicking a button on Southwest's website and hitting "print" is all that hard either.

        I guess my point is, ticketing is actually the easiest part of flying. It takes about a minute to print my boarding pass, and at least ten times that much to get through security.

        What I
        • by kneuk (1150573)
          the article is misleading but you don't actually have to "place" anything on your card.
          IC card would not need to store each flying sessions but the airline companies do. IC card will work as ID.
          so, when you buy ticket online, then airline company knows that you will use the mileage
          card to go through security gate.
          you don't have to do anything except booking your flight online before you take your flight.

          so again step 2, 3 are not required.
        • by ncc74656 (45571) *

          What I want to see is a MIDlet that lets you check in, then displays a 2D barcode on your phone screen that acts as your boarding pass.

          I don't think laser scanners can read LCDs. They're designed to work with reflective media (such as paper); LCDs are transmissive.

          Your idea might work if your phone had an "electronic paper" display, if that display delivered high-enough contrast. Most phones don't, though, as we want our shiny color displays instead.

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