Despite the convenience of booking through aggregating services like kayak.com and the ease of e-tickets and self check-in, air travel remains one of the few experiences left behind by the mobile revolution.
Travelers still need to look up at big screens to check their gates; agents still give baggage claim tickets, and when bags inevitably don’t arrive—usually the essential golf clubs or skis — travelers must go to a desk or kiosk to learn (confirm?) their bags in fact didn’t make the connection.
That’s all about to change with Apple’s new Passbook app on its iOS 6 software available on the iPhone 5 and for download on older iPhones and iPads. Passbook digitally creates and organizes all tickets. Though Passbook’s capabilities extend far beyond plane tickets and itineraries and “will change just about all aspects of discounts, ticketing and payments,” as one Quora user noted, the app very well could begin a new wave of digital connectivity and convenience for air travelers.
Today, as well as serving as a boarding pass, Passbook notifies travelers of any delays or gate changes through push notifications. However, one could imagine Apple taking a bigger leap to integrate the travel experience with their products, thereby making flying a more seamless proposition through a personal Apple device.
From the Passbook platform, soon you might check your own luggage and track it throughout your journey. And when it’s left in Chicago, you’ll be able to message whomever scanned it to be sure the bag is put back on proper course. Or all inflight entertainment is compatible with — perhaps even driven by — your personal iPhone, so you are not beholden to the mediocre movies chosen by the airlines. Passbook will allow you to be more independent and less reliant upon the current restrictions of the airlines and airports, while eliminating undesired stress and energy — all of this in the palm of your hand.
Apple has changed the way we take photos and the way we buy, organize and listen to music. With Passbook Apple is beginning to digitally streamline the flying experience onto our iPhones. Hopefully, travelers can look forward to the day they pass through security and onto a plane with only a few swipes on their phones.
But for now, here’s to hoping airports could at least provide free WiFi.
This article is written on behalf of Cadillac and not by the Quartz editorial staff.