TSA and Continental Airlines expand paperless boarding pass program, San Diego International Airport begins pilot

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Local Press Release
Thursday, August 13, 2009

SAN DIEGO - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Continental Airlines announced today the expansion of the Paperless Boarding Pass pilot program at San Diego International Airport. The program will allow passengers to receive boarding passes electronically on their cell phones or PDAs, which will then be scanned by TSA security officers at the checkpoint and eliminate the need for a paper boarding pass.

"The deployment of the paperless technology signifies TSA's ongoing commitment to develop and implement new technologies while enhancing security," said Mike Aguilar, TSA Federal Security Director for San Diego. "We are pleased to be able to partner with Continental Airlines to expand this program that will help our officers validate authentic boarding documents."

Each paperless boarding pass will display a two-dimensional bar code along with passenger and flight information that will identify the traveler. TSA travel document checkers will use scanners to validate the authenticity of the paperless boarding pass sent to Continental passengers. The new technology heightens the ability to detect fraudulent boarding passes while improving customer service and reducing paper use.

TSA created the concept of how to scan the paperless boarding passes and Continental Airlines developed an implementation plan that involved encrypting the paperless boarding pass to ensure authenticity. Continental is the first U.S. carrier to test paperless boarding passes and now offers the service at 18 airports.

"We are pleased to expand our pioneering mobile boarding product that provides enhanced security and customer service for our passengers," said Mark Bergsrud, Continental Airlines Senior Vice President, Marketing Programs and Distribution. "Continental Airlines is committed to innovation and leveraging technology to the benefit of our customers."

The TSA paperless boarding pass pilot is currently operating at 22 airports including San Diego. The pilot is consistent with the global standard of the International Air Transport Association for bar coding of passenger boarding passes. TSA will continue to expand the use of electronic boarding pass scanners at the pace of participating airlines.

For more information regarding TSA, see the Web site at www.tsa.gov.