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Scanning boarding passes with handheld device

Scanning boarding passes with handheld device

Old Feb 20, 2023, 12:10 pm
  #1  
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Scanning boarding passes with handheld device

I understand this has been around a while, but this is the first time I've experienced it (use of a handheld device to scan BPs instead of the fixed podium scanner). (Mods, didn't see another post about it - please move if there is.)

Had two flights in the last few days, one from the dreaded EWR C71 bus gates and one from GSO back to EWR. In both cases the GA used a handheld device. Clearly necessary by the bus departures where there is no fixed scanner, and useful departing GSO, where there were several wheelchair passengers. The GA just walked down the line scanning the BPs, instead of having to go back & forth to the podium. Appeared to have speeded things up. If this technology consistently works, it would be an actual boarding technology upgrade (along with the self-scan gates).
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by tarheelnj
I understand this has been around a while, but this is the first time I've experienced it (use of a handheld device to scan BPs instead of the fixed podium scanner). (Mods, didn't see another post about it - please move if there is.)

Had two flights in the last few days, one from the dreaded EWR C71 bus gates and one from GSO back to EWR. In both cases the GA used a handheld device. Clearly necessary by the bus departures where there is no fixed scanner, and useful departing GSO, where there were several wheelchair passengers. The GA just walked down the line scanning the BPs, instead of having to go back & forth to the podium. Appeared to have speeded things up. If this technology consistently works, it would be an actual boarding technology upgrade (along with the self-scan gates).
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I have seen this one or two times, but it appeared to be used as a backup due to something wrong with the podium scanner. I have also seen them do this at the UC sometimes as a supplement to the podium scanners, when they having large crowds and are trying to speed up the entry process. I'm not sure if there's a more general protocol for when they use them but would be curious to know.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by tarheelnj
I understand this has been around a while, but this is the first time I've experienced it (use of a handheld device to scan BPs instead of the fixed podium scanner). (Mods, didn't see another post about it - please move if there is.)

Had two flights in the last few days, one from the dreaded EWR C71 bus gates and one from GSO back to EWR. In both cases the GA used a handheld device. Clearly necessary by the bus departures where there is no fixed scanner, and useful departing GSO, where there were several wheelchair passengers. The GA just walked down the line scanning the BPs, instead of having to go back & forth to the podium. Appeared to have speeded things up. If this technology consistently works, it would be an actual boarding technology upgrade (along with the self-scan gates).
Now if UA provided card stock boarding passes, this could actually be a faster process.

David
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by fumje
I have seen this one or two times, but it appeared to be used as a backup due to something wrong with the podium scanner. I have also seen them do this at the UC sometimes as a supplement to the podium scanners, when they having large crowds and are trying to speed up the entry process. I'm not sure if there's a more general protocol for when they use them but would be curious to know.
I've seen it used at common use gates at some airports, where United doesn't have a permanent setup with their computer, equipment, etc.

In those situations, it can be limiting as no way to print bag tags, boarding passes, etc. They have to get you to one of "their" gates for a Gate Agent to do any printing, etc.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 3:11 pm
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Originally Posted by goodeats21
I've seen it used at common use gates at some airports, where United doesn't have a permanent setup with their computer, equipment, etc.

In those situations, it can be limiting as no way to print bag tags, boarding passes, etc. They have to get you to one of "their" gates for a Gate Agent to do any printing, etc.
The place I'm sure I've seen it is LAS, so maybe that is a factor. It feels like LAS has dedicated UA gates in practice, but as far as I understand they don't "own" them in the same way they do at hubs.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by fumje
The place I'm sure I've seen it is LAS, so maybe that is a factor. It feels like LAS has dedicated UA gates in practice, but as far as I understand they don't "own" them in the same way they do at hubs.
Yes, I have seen it several times at CVG. United has a handful of dedicated United gates there, but when they are all full for whatever reason, they use some adjacent gates that don't have any branding / equipment installed. It goes "OK", but they end up running to their gates when printing boarding passes for standbys, upgrades, etc. Biggest headache is not being able to print bag tags on full flights though.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee
Now if UA provided card stock boarding passes, this could actually be a faster process.

David
The UA mobile scanners work just as well. IME, on mobile BP, meaning no paper waste.

Originally Posted by goodeats21
I've seen it used at common use gates at some airports, where United doesn't have a permanent setup with their computer, equipment, etc.
...
Also seen them used for widebodies and multiple agents handling boarding, to speed things up, such as G gates at SFO which have regular scanners also.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
The UA mobile scanners work just as well. IME, on mobile BP, meaning no paper waste.
One of the issues I've seen with the handheld cell phone scanners + thermal paper boarding passes is the boarding passes simply flopping down or needing to be fully extended for the GA to properly scan in mid air - requiring the customer to use two hands to hold the ends of the board pass apart for the agent to complete the scan.

One of the other challenges that most folks have while standing in the boarding line is that they tend to have only one hand free - whether holding food since they're not getting anything on board and/or pulling their rollaboards.

David
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 4:32 pm
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I saw this a couple of months ago at GIG.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 4:34 pm
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Alaska has been using something like this for years already.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 4:43 pm
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I've also seen it at both DL and AA as well.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17
Alaska has been using something like this for years already.
It's not new to UA either, UA was using these last year.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17
Alaska has been using something like this for years already.
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
It's not new to UA either, UA was using these last year.
United has had MAP (mobile agent platform) devices in service at hubs since early 2016. At the time they were iPhone 6's, although the most recent model this past fall moved them to iPhone 12s. Not entirely sure if there were any other phone models utilized between those time points, but handheld devices are not new to United by any measure.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
It's not new to UA either, UA was using these last year.
Just saying Alaska uses it for all of its flights, and not just on selected flights and/or as backup.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 5:30 pm
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certainly less cumbersome than the older style fixed scanners where you put your BP face-up. those are difficult to use when your BP is on your smartwatch.
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