iOS 6 isn’t even out yet, but one airline is already taking a leap of faith on Apple by getting a head start on Passbook integration for customers who prefer to store their airline tickets on their mobile devices.
Australian Business Traveler reports that one of its readers, Shaun Lorrain, checked in to a Virginia Australia flight using the mobile website. His iPhone was running the developer beta of iOS 6 and the website detected this and alerted him with a message that read: “It appears that you have Passbook installed on your mobile device. Would you like to add this boarding pass to your Passbook?”
This marks the first time anyone has noticed that an airline has integrated with Apple’s new Passbook feature, which signals high adoption rates once iOS 6 goes public. For some background, Passbook is a new app that comes with iOS 6 that can store all of your loyalty cards, movie tickets, boarding passes, coupons, etc. It offers live updates as well such as flight delays or changes. With the news that the iPhone 5 most likely won’t have NFC technology built-in, Passbook looks like its Apple’s own proprietary alternative.
It won’t be long before many other airlines jump on board with Passbook integration. NFC is great and plenty of people use it, but it brought mobile payments to mainstream popularity the way most of us expected. A year from now, a lot of people will be paying for coffee or checking in to flights from their smartphones thanks to Passbook — and it all started with one airline.