New Mobile App Could Transform Air Travel Forever

August 22, 2014 1:04 PM

One of the most stressful things about flying are the tedious and unwelcoming queues in order to pass customs. Those of us who have travelled internationally will know this all too well; stepping off a long flight to be greeted by a slow-moving line with no end in sight, all in order to simply show your passport to an officer and answer a few easy questions.

Airport queues to pass customs are a problem for almost everyone. Airports who see hundreds of thousands of passengers arrive every day don’t like them as they slow down operations. Meanwhile, it is one of the most common grievances that customers have, often calling complaint lines via directories like Number Direct to make their annoyances about the lengthy queues heard.

However, a new mobile app developed by Airside Mobile alongside US Customers and Border Protection might have found a way for travellers to avoid the frustration of airport queues.


Mobile Passport is currently available on iOS platforms and allows airline passengers to fill in their own profile, take a photograph of themselves, and answer the questions they may be asked at customs. Users will then submit this information to the border agency for review. Once you have landed and get to the customs desk, you just have to scan the QR code provided by the app to pass the border. Mobile Passport is expected to cut the waiting times at airports by 25 to 40 per cent by doing this.

Currently, the Mobile Passport app is only available for those travelling in the United States. The app being trialed at the busiest airport in the country, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta where 250,000 people pass through every day (almost twice as many as London’s Heathrow), and it will roll-out across the States in full before the end of the year. Furthermore, an Android app in the works and many other USA airports are planning to accept the technology in the near future.

But what of other places like the United Kingdom? Unfortunately, we will have to hope that the UK Border Agency witnesses the success and makes an app of its own. However, with many businesses and industries currently finding ways to use mobile technology to make their operations run smoother, it would be a surprise if apps like Mobile Passport aren’t commonplace worldwide by next year.