Travellers embracing smartphones

When sales rep Joelle Carpentier is at the airport, she holds up her iPhone to have her electronic ticket scanned.

MONTREAL — When sales rep Joelle Carpentier is at the airport, she holds up her iPhone to have her electronic ticket scanned.

She is among travellers who use their smartphones to get real-time information about their flights and travel plans.

Air Canada (TSX:AC.A) announced Thursday that travellers with BlackBerry smartphones will now also have their own application, saying it is the first North American airline to offer this service.

Even though travellers don’t need the software to use electronic tickets and check flight information, the apps for the BlackBerry and iPhone bring all the information plus some additional features together for users with one tap of their fingers.

“There’s this expectation they will get this information on the spot,” said Patrice Ouellette, director of Air Canada’s customer service platform.

The BlackBerry app will also provide information for Jazz flights, the Halifax-based regional carrier.

It will also will give travellers notification of flight changes and allow them to book flights, select a seat, rent a car and access other travel links such as a restaurant guide.

Technology analyst Duncan Stewart said the software should help improve customer satisfaction and save travellers time.

“It’s just the natural evolution of notification and ticketing,” said Stewart

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