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Major airlines to allow check-in via cell phone

GENEVA (AP) — Major airlines have agreed on a standard that will allow travelers to check in using a bar code sent to their cell phones, the International Air Transport Association said Thursday.

Passengers will register their cell phone number when buying a ticket and receive a bar code by text message, the group representing most commercial carriers said.

Check-in staff will scan the bar code directly from cell phones, doing away with the need for a boarding pass. Alternatively, passengers can also received the code by e-mail and print it out.

IATA said the move would help the industry phase out paper tickets by 2010 and save more than $500 million a year.