Passengers travelling through Indian Airports will now be allowed to flash just the soft-copies of their tickets to gain entry into the airports as per a recent notification from the Indian Aviation nodal agency; Bureau of Civil Aviation Security of India (BCAS). Basically, travelers can now posses just a virtual copy of their tickets on their smartphones, tablets, laptops. Bearing a physical copy along with proper identification was mandatory until now.
The endeavor to go digital friendly as per the latest notification from Indian Civil Aviation seems to have gone a bit misguided though. While being hailed as a good move, passengers have complained about the shoddy implementation at almost all the airports. Unconfirmed reports seem to indicate that neither the ground-staff nor the security personnel manning the gates have been informed about this revolutionary change. Hence people are reportedly being turned away when they flashed their tickets (along with a valid identity proof) at the gates.
While the revision is a fresh breath of air, we could not help but notice certain serious communication & security flaws. Interestingly, Airports & Airlines actually charge to get a printout of the ticket. So, was this a gimmick to make a quick buck? Certainly not. But it’s a ground reality that passengers who pay a hefty premium to travel by air, suffered.
What about security? The Indian Railways, realizing the convenience of going paperless, had long back allowed virtual copies of tickets & even allowed a mere SMS from IRCTC to be treated as a valid ticket. But, Airports are a different affair. Security concerns have always been top priority & multiple checks are an unavoidable inconvenience. These tickets, if not fortified by tamper-proof markings, could be easily forged to gain unlawful entry. In this digital age, we could instantly recommend the decades-old Bar Code or the relatively new QR code which can be easily scanned & cross-referenced with the Identity to eliminate fraud. What do you think?
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