07/27/2010 02:00 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Continental 'Self-Boarding': Airline Testing Tech-Heavy Process At Airports

Continental Airlines is testing "self-boarding" at gates at Houston Hobby Airport, according to USA Today.

Instead of seeing an airline agent at the doorway, self-boarding passengers will swipe their boarding passes at a kiosk to open the door to the airplane (just like the subway!).

A Transportation Security Administration spokesman said that they are "determined it does not impact the security of the traveling public."

Self-boarding has been around at foreign airports for a few years: as of 2009, 14 airlines worldwide were using self-boarding gates.

Aviation analyst Michael Boyd takes a negative tact: "It's a great idea," he told USA Today. "Any reduction in human contact between employee and customer is good these days."

"As long as you have someone to tell grandma where to stick the paper," he says, "you're fine."

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