In October 2004, Finnish airline Finnair will introduce the world's first mobile phone service that enables passengers to check-in in advance for flights with a text message. The service, based on an internationally patented invention of the Finnish company BookIT, requires the customer to activate the service and then answer a text message before each flight departure.
The text message check-in will be offered to Finnair Plus members. The service will enable frequent flyers to go directly to the departure gate, by-passing the normal check-in procedure, if they are travelling with only hand baggage. If the customer has baggage to be carried in the hold of the aircraft, this must be left at a Baggage Drop desk in the departure hall.
Customers will confirm their check-in by answering the message sent by Finnair with one letter. After
receiving the customer's confirmation, Finnair will send to the mobile phone its own confirmation message detailing the gate and seat information.
The text message check-in service will cover all of Finnair's scheduled international flight departures from Helsinki and Stockholm, when the flight ticket has been redeemed and the booking contains a Finnair Plus number. A check-in text message will not be sent in the case of connecting flights or when flights depart from elsewhere than Helsinki or Stockholm.
Finnair's new text message check-in service is the first text message-based service in the world to work on all mobile phone models and all operator connections. Aerosystems, BookIT and Elisa Corporation participated in developing the service for Finnair.