Alaska Airlines prepares for NFC

Alaska Airlines is to install 320 BGR135 boarding gate readers, supplied by Access IS, which can be easily upgraded to support NFC.

Access IS's BGR135 reader is upgradeable to NFC

The airline was the first in North America to adopt 2D barcodes for boarding passes and, says Access IS, “now sees the potential of near field communication technology throughout the passenger experience for everything from car park access and ticketing to retail outlets and boarding the aircraft.

“Its enthusiasm for NFC is only tempered by the realization that it is not yet a technology for which interoperability standards have yet been established, and it is not yet widely used,” the supplier continues. “Furthermore, adoption of the technology will require the approval of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Partly because of these circumstances, the BGR135 was a suitable choice for handling the boarding gate requirements of today and, via a simple 10-minute upgrade, those of an NFC-enabled future.”

Next: Visit the NFCW Expo to find new suppliers and solutions

2 comments on this article

  1. I find this update confusing. Alaska Airlines is preparing for NFC by deploying boarding gate readers that do not have NFC readers inside of them?

    If they really had enthusiasm for NFC they would have purchased units with an NFC reader already built in (which do exist) or deployed with the upgrade option.

    1. What I found interesting is that the airline has chosen an upgradeable path rather than a non-upgradeable one, that it is aware it’s still early days for NFC and so wants to keep its options open, and — most interestingly — that government (TSA) approval may be needed before the airline can use NFC. So while Alaska Airlines hasn’t bought NFC-enabled products, it is well positioned when they are needed.

      This seems like a sound strategy, avoiding spending too much up front or getting stuck with kit which turns out to be unnecessary, obsolete or unusable.

Comments are closed.