[nfb-talk] Paperless Boarding Passes

Michael Hingson info at michaelhingson.com
Sun Jan 25 16:09:09 UTC 2009


I understand and agree with your concern.  However, this effects much more
than blind people since most people look for and can only afford the free
phones offered.  Those free phones are becoming smarter and more
sophisticated over time.  I wonder how many of the free phones today will
drive Talks or MobileSpeak? 

Michael Hingson,
The Michael Hingson Group
84 Bahama Reef
Novato, CA 94949
Phone Direct number (415) 827-4084
Fax number (415) 883-6220
Mobile/Pager (888) 965-9191
info at michaelhingson.com
info at michaelhingson.com>
For information on Michael's speaking topics, his availability, and his
consulting services on Diversity and Access Technology for blind persons
visit <
For information on Guide Dogs for the Blind please visit <

-----Original Message-----
From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Wm. Ritchhart
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2009 7:05 AM
To: nfb-talk at nfbnet.org; nfb-indiana at yahoogroups.com; indiana-l at acb.org
Subject: [nfb-talk] Paperless Boarding Passes

I just finished reading an article on coming changes in the airline industry
in 2009.  Here is a quote from the article that should concern all of us.

Five Big Changes Coming to Air Travel in 2009 By Jessica Labrencis,
SmarterTravel.com Staff "


Paperless Boarding Passes
Paperless boarding passes are the wave of the future, and will become more
widespread this year. You'll soon be able to download a boarding pass to
your PDA or cell phone, and scan the barcode at an airport security
checkpoint scanner, eliminating the need for a physical printout.
Continental was the first U.S. airline to test paperless boarding passes in
late 2007, and has since expanded its Mobile Boarding Pass option for
departures from Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Houston, New York's LaGuardia
airport, Newark, San Antonio, and both Reagan and National airports in
Washington, D.C.
Other carriers, including Air Canada, Alaska, American, Delta, and
Northwest, are also beginning to introduce paperless boarding options for

The problem with the airlines providing the paperless boarding pass option
develops when what starts as an option becomes a requirement.  I have been
pricing cell phones and the mobile Speaks software lately.  My Talks card
for my Nokia 6620 died nearly two years ago.  So the phone is useless to me
for all it's features other than telephoning.  Think about this paperless
option.  When it becomes required, as it surely will over time.  You will be
charged extra for using a paper boarding pass.  

At the same time you are expected to use your cell phone not just to board a
plane, you will be expected to also use it to complete transactions in every
other imaginable and yet unimagined area of your life.  The cell phone is
already being used like a credit card and/or bank debit card in Japan.  It
is just a matter of time before this
convenient way of doing things takes hold here in the United States.   

My next question for us all to contemplate is how many blind folks do you
know who have the $300.00 to $600.00 to purchase a cell phone and software
to make it translate the text into speech.  The carrier that I work for cuts
you a discount on the software.  But none of there phones cost less than
$149.00 with a two year contract.  Any sighted person has numerous phones to
choose from that are free with a 2-year contract and
less than $100.00 with no contract.      

Clearly one of our top priorities as a group of concerned activist of and
for the blind should be to get the Telecom act passed with a provision that
all cell phones that are offered for sale by the carriers be useable by
whomever buys them, be they sighted, blind or disabled.


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