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Continental Airlines announced  the expansion of its mobile boarding pass service to London’s Heathrow Airport, becoming the first carrier to offer paperless boarding passes on nonstop flights from the United Kingdom to the U.S.

The service allows customers to receive boarding passes electronically on their mobile phones or personal digital assistants (PDAs) and eliminates the need for paper boarding passes.

“We are pleased to add Heathrow to the growing list of airports we serve with mobile boarding passes,” said Martin Hand, Continental’s vice president of reservations and eCommerce. "Customers have told us this is the type of product improvement they want, and we will continue to expand the self-service technology to more of our domestic and international destinations.”

Mobile boarding passes display a two-dimensional bar code along with passenger and flight information, which scanners at the security checkpoint and boarding gate validate. The technology prevents manipulation or duplication of the boarding passes and heightens security.

In addition to boarding passes, Continental provides access to enhanced flight information through mobile devices.  Customers may view onboard amenities and standby lists, as well as track the status of their flights.

Continental was the first carrier to offer paperless boarding passes in the U.S. in a pilot programme with the Transportation Security Administration that began in December 2007.  The airline currently offers mobile boarding passes at 42 airports, including its hubs in New York, Houston and Cleveland.  Continental was the first U.S. carrier to offer mobile boarding passes from an international destination when it launched the service at Frankfurt Airport late last year.

Continental operates five flights per day from Heathrow - three to its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport, and two to Houston.  The airline announced recently that it will add a fourth daily service to the Heathrow-New York route in March and a fifth daily service in

October, bringing the total number of Continental daily departures from Heathrow to seven.  Continental also announced that effective June 2, 2010 all aircraft scheduled for its flights departing Heathrow will feature new, flat bed seats in BusinessFirst, its business-class cabin. In addition to its Heathrow services, Continental operates non-stop services to New York from Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester, as well as Dublin and Shannon, serving more cities in the U.K. and Ireland than any other trans-Atlantic airline.

Continental’s Heathrow flights operate from Terminal 4.

Continental Airlines is the world’s fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 2,500 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 133 domestic and 135 international destinations. Continental is a member of Star Alliance, which overall offers 19,700 daily flights to 1,077 airports in 175 countries through its 26 member airlines.  With more than 41,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional partners, carries approximately 63 million passengers per year.

Continental consistently earns awards and critical acclaim for both its operation and its corporate culture.  For the sixth consecutive year, FORTUNE magazine named Continental the No. 1 World’s Most Admired Airline on its 2009 list of World’s Most Admired Companies.

 

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