Popular online travel agent Cleartrip has now added Apple's Passbook support to its travel app for iPhone and iPod touch devices running iOS 6 or higher and any Mac running OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2 or later). Cleartrip is offering Passbook integration for air tickets, train bookings and hotel reservations.
These passes are also supported on Android through third-party apps such as PassWallet and other third-party apps available from the Google Play store.
The app features a clean and simple design displaying various trip details on the front and back of the pass. Once users have gone through with their ticketing process, all confirmation e-mails sent by Cleartrip will now have a separate pass file attached in addition to their regular PDF ticket.
Travellers can also access these passes from within their Cleartrip Account through desktop or mobile browsers, from where they will be able to e-mail these passes.
The passes will basically offer details through QR codes which can be used by Airlines for checking-in passengers before boarding. This is possible after a recent government order that permitted paper-less entry into airports, though there has been some confusion around the same. However, paper-less boarding passes are currently not supported in the country. Paperless travel in trains has been possible for a while now.
For those unaware, Passbook normally allows users to keep their boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more in one place. With Passbook, they can scan their iPhone or iPod touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie and redeem a coupon.
When you get to a Starbucks, for instance, the device will bring up your gift card if you have one and if you have the location feature turned on. Likewise, when you get to a movie theatre or baseball stadium, the ticket will pop up. Passbook will also alert you to gate changes and flight delays once you have a boarding pass stored.
The move from Cleartrip to support Passbook is highly appreciated. Though it may take a while to get rid of paper boarding passes, getting rid of paper printed tickets can be easily achieved by Airport authorities to save costs and paper making it more environment friendly and convenient for passengers. We hope to see other Indian vendors follow suit.
Analysts predict that Passbook will be the foundation for a digital commerce hub that Apple is trying to implant on its mobile devices starting with the next iPhone.