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Airline Boarding Passes on Passbook With iOS 6


Apple has released their answer to the Google Wallet with Passbook. The success of the app largely depends on a large quantity of businesses embracing it. Let’s take a look at major airline carriers in the US and their willingness to adapt their boarding passes on Passbook. While some are already onboard, others are not interested.

Southwest Airlines

Passbook Support – No

Southwest Airlines is the largest low-cost carrier in the United States operating more than 3,400 flights a day. We reached out to Southwest about any future plans to include Passbook compatibility on iPhone. Unfortunately, you’ll have to stick with your boarding pass for now:

“Although we allow our Customers to check in for their flights via their mobile devices, we do not currently participate in paperless boarding, and Customers cannot board the aircraft without presenting a paper boarding pass at the gate. That said, we understand that many people who use their mobile devices to check in for their flights often do not have access to a printer, which is why we advise them to use an E-Ticket Check-In kiosk at the airport to request a reprint of their boarding pass.”

Since Southwest now runs newly acquired AirTran, it’s safe to say this applies to them as well.

United Airlines

Passbook Support – Yes

Boarding Passes on PassbookCurrently, United Airlines is one of the few carriers with compatible boarding passes on Passbook. You can download the app by clicking on the App Store link within Passbook or searching for it manually. No surprise here; United Airlines boarding passes were used in Passbook promotional materials since the beginning.

American Airlines

Passbook Support – Yes

The American Airlines app has been updated to import mobile boarding passes to Passbook. The app description includes the following hint:

“To successfully scan your pass always hold your Mobile device still and allow at least two seconds for the bar code to read. At the gate, hold your mobile device 6 to 8 inches away from the scanner and be sure to hold your phone at the same angle as the gate scanner.”

Delta Airlines

Passbook Support – Probably

Delta Air Lines and Delta Connection carriers offer flights to more than 340 destinations throughout 60 countries. We’ve reached out to Delta through Twitter and email about future Passbook support, the carrier remains quiet on the subject. According to promotional materials, however, a Delta boarding pass can be seen tucked among other coupons and cards within the Passbook app.


Passbook Support  – Yes

JetBlue will join the small group of airline carriers adapting boarding passes on Passbook for the latest Apple handset.  They have responded with this statement via email:

“We’re working on our mobile boarding pass offerings now and look forward to making this available soon.”

Other Boarding Passes on Passbook

Hopefully more airlines will jump on the Passbook bandwagon. Lufthansa and Virgin Australia have compatible apps already available. With countless more carriers left, it may be just a waiting game to see how successful Passbook may really become.

To start using mobile boarding passes with Passbook, launch the specific airline app and purchase or access your boarding pass screen; the iPhone’s iOS will automatically export the necessary information onto Passbook.

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