How to skip airport lines: Alaska Airlines latest to debut mobile check-ins for iPhone users

Alaska Airlines has been soaring to new heights when it comes to technology offerings, replacing paper flight manuals for pilots with iPads and rolling out free wi-fi to smartphone users on flights. Now, the Seattle-based carrier is introducing a new feature that should be well received by those who hate to get stuck in airport lines. The company today introduced the ability to check-in to flights from its iPhone app.

“Our new iPhone and iPod touch app makes travel more convenient and simpler than ever,” said Curtis Kopf, Alaska Airlines’ managing director of customer innovation, in a press release. “This powerful app is like a personal concierge service — it knows where you are at each stage of your travel and provides you easy access to the travel information that matters most.”

In addition to mobile check-in, travelers also can track flight status; change seats and set up email/text message alerts.

The electronic boarding passes are not accepted at every airport (full list here). And they do come with a few restrictions, such as the inability to check-in multiple travelers from one device. (That shouldn’t matter to business travelers, but could be a pain for families).

The newly-created iPhone and iPod app was built by Seattle’s Ubermind, with an Android version slated for later this year. It is an upgrade from the airline’s first mobile app which was introduced in March 2010. A number of other airlines also offer mobile check-ins.

John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews and Facebook.

  • Guest

    These don’t work very well at TSA at SeaTac.  I was there last week and a guy had one of these QR codes on his iPhone.  TSA couldn’t scan it using their device, and told the guy that he had to go back to check-in and get a printable version.  30 minutes wasted…

  • Guest

    The iPad app may be new, but Alaska has had mobile check-in for iPhone users for over a year.  The QR codes are tricky. They key to getting the readers to read the codes is to crank the brightness up on your phone before you get tot he code scanner.  Once I learned that trick I never had a problem again with scanners not reading them.