It looks like the International Air Transport Association has managed to get the various airlines it represents to hop on the cellphone-as-ticket bandwagon in a big way, although it appears that widespread adoption of the technology is still quite a ways off. Unlike some other systems, this new standard consists of a bar code that passengers receive as a text message, which can then be read directly from the phone's screen when they arrive at the airport. The standard, which the IATA hopes will take hold by 2010, even goes so far as to incorporate various bar code systems in use around the world, including Aztec, Datamatrix, and the ever-popular QR codes. Of course, it's more than just convenience that convinced the airlines to sign on, with the IATA estimating that change could ultimately end up saving the airlines more than $500 million a year.

[Thanks, Laura. Photo courtesy of Adam Berry/Bloomberg News]

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Airlines announce bar code standard for cellphone check-ins