Problems With Passbook

Passbook stands out as one of the biggest fundamental additions to iDevices with the iOS 6 update.  Its format allows you to utilize different things that used to have to be present physically, such as tickets and boarding passes, right from your touch screen.  This is not just an operation of the iOS within the context of your iPhone, but a feature that is utilized along with other apps.  This should be relatively simple to explain, but unfortunately this function has been so difficult that we cannot give you a regular play by play of how to use it.  Here is, instead, a look at the basics of Passbook and what our experience was like using it.

When you updated to the iOS 6 you will notice that Passbook is right on your desktop.  When you open it there will be a graphic noting that you can use things like boarding passes, tickets, store cards, and coupons with this feature.  At the bottom will be a link to the App Store, and it will take you to different apps that use Passbook currently.  As of the writing of this these apps are:

  • American Airlines
  • Fandango
  • Live Nation
  • Lufthansa
  • At Bat
  • At the Ballpark
  • Sephora to Go
  • Target
  • Ticketmaster
  • United Airlines
  • Wallgreens


This list is going to increase massively in the next few weeks.  It can be pretty obvious for most of these what the Passbook will actually be used for.  If it is an airline then it will be boarding passes, and if it is an event manager like the MLB or Ticketmaster then it will be event tickets.


The way this works exactly is going to be dependent on the exact app and service you are using, if it is going to work at all.  Fandango will be a commonly used one as people tend to go to the movies more often than they fly or use other services, and many people are already used to purchasing their movie tickets online.  When you find the movie that you want there will be a little Buy icon to the right of it.  When you select it there will be a list of information about the film and you can select an appropriate show time.  When you select the show time you prefer it will look for the availability.


From here you will be taken to an ordering screen with the price of the film and the ability to purchase multiple tickets.  You will then be taken through a regular online checkout process where you will enter in credit card or PayPal information, often getting a discount and service fee.


This is all the standard process that should allow you to then use Passbook for the actual ticket display, but instead you have to simply use the more traditional form of actually having your movie tickets kept for you at the box office.  In fact, no matter how many times I tried to use a Passbook app I still could not get the display format to actually work with the independent apps.  This is not the standard for it, and it has been in use by a moderate number so far, but it is not user friendly enough to make sense for most users.  Instead it is difficult and awkward and even if successful it is difficult to figure out why it is worth the extra effort and the limiting of vendors you must use so that it will be relevant.


This is not a universal experience, and so new users should definitely try to give this a shot.  It is not so difficult to simply print off your boarding pass or pick up your ticket at Will Call if the transfer to Passbook does not work, so see if it is more useful to you than it was to us.

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