Continental Airlines Testing Self-Boarding In Houston

While it’s been used overseas for years, Continental Airlines has become the first airline to try out self-boarding — i.e., scanning your own boarding pass as you board a plane — at a U.S. airport.

The airline is currently testing out the process at one gate at Houston Intercontinental. Instead of handing your boarding pass to an airline staffer for scanning, passengers scan their own passes at a turnstile-like device. If the passenger has problems or wishes to have their pass scanned by a gate agent, the option will still be available.

The Transportation Safety Administration has “determined it does not impact the security of the traveling public” since passengers are already all screened at the security gates before arriving at the gate.

German airline Lufthansa has been using self-boarding at several gates in Europe since 2003. A rep for the airline says that while it has made boarding “a little faster,” it has mainly functioned to free gate agents to handle more pressing tasks than scanning barcodes.

Does this sound like something you’d prefer?

Continental tests ‘self-boarding’ at Houston airport [USA Today]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.