December 04, 2007 11:00 ET

TSA and Continental Airlines Initiate Paperless Boarding Pass

Continental Is the First U.S. Carrier in Pilot Program

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - December 4, 2007) - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Continental Airlines announced today the launch of a Paperless Boarding Pass pilot program. It will allow passengers to receive boarding passes electronically on their cell phones or PDAs, which will then be scanned by TSA security officers at the checkpoint, eliminating the need for a paper boarding pass. Continental is the first U.S. carrier to test paperless boarding passes.

Each paperless boarding pass will display a two-dimensional bar code along with passenger and flight information that will identify the traveler. TSA travel document checkers will use handheld scanners to validate the authenticity of the paperless boarding pass sent to Continental passengers. The new technology heightens the ability to detect fraudulent boarding passes while improving customer service and reducing paper use.

"The deployment of the paperless technology signifies the TSA's ongoing commitment to develop and execute new technologies within aviation while enhancing security," said Mel Carraway, TSA general manager for field operations, Office of Security Operations. "We are thrilled to be able to partner with Continental Airlines to launch this new technology and we look forward to our continued partnership in the utilization of this new state-of-the-art application."

TSA created the concept of how to scan the paperless boarding passes and Continental Airlines developed an implementation plan that involved encrypting the paperless boarding pass to ensure authenticity. "We are pleased to take part in this pioneering concept that provides enhanced security and customer service to our passengers," said Mark Bergsrud, Continental Airlines senior vice president, Marketing Programs and Distribution. "Continental Airlines is committed to innovation and leveraging technology to the benefit of our customers."

The paperless boarding pass pilot is consistent with the global standard of the International Air Transport Association for bar coding of passenger boarding passes. This joint effort between Continental Airlines and TSA will enable the airline industry to look forward to a paperless check-in process.

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