A report claims that a Virgin Australia passenger using an iPhone running the iOS 6 beta was prompted to save a digital boarding pass to Passbook. An indication that more air carriers are readying support for Apple’s forthcoming app that will organize coupons, boarding passes, membership cards and other barcode-based information into one app.
According to the Australian Business Traveller, the passenger checked in to a flight using the airline’s mobile website on his iPhone, which recognized the digital boarding pass from Safari and displayed a prompt asking whether he wanted to add the digital ticket to Passbook, suggesting that Virgin Australia’s mobile site is employing Apple’s new “.pkpass” mime type.
The file type allows the Safari web browser and email clients to recognize boarding passes to be sent to Passbook for processing and storage. While the file type has been available to developers for some time, there had been little evidence of any major carriers using the feature.
Only United Airlines has officially signed on to support the iOS 6 feature, however it is believed other carriers will soon fall into line as most already offer barcode-based ticketing.
The report didn’t mention if the traveler was able to board the plane using Passbook.
I think the report misses the important part of the story. From the screenshot we can see that the passenger gets complimentary lounge entry. Those airline lounges are nice! They have free food, liquor, and Wi-Fi!
Passbook is scheduled to debut alongside numerous other features when iOS 6 launches this fall.