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  • Fandango Moving to Paperless Movie Tickets

    The popular Fandango movie app for the iPhone has offered online ticket purchasing since its release back in March, and the companion website has allowed you to print tickets at home for years. Now, however, the service is planning to roll out scannable barcodes for the iPhone app that will eliminate paper movie tickets entirely.

    Were testing it now, said Darren Cross of Fandango told Leander Kahney of Cult of Mac at a breakout session on iPhone apps at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Its not too far away. Well have it pretty soon.

    The Fandango service allows you to buy tickets to more than 16,000 screens in the US. It allows you to find the nearest theater, get showtimes, see a high-quality trailer, and buy a ticket. You can also get reviews from online sources and other Fandango users. To be sure, you pay for the convenience: surcharges currently go from $0.75 to $1.50 US per ticket, with special showings such as IMAX coming with a $2 US premium.

    The current version of the app Fandango sends you a pick up code in an email, which requires you to wait in line at the theatre anyway and show your credit card, though some theatres have automated kiosks. Paperless ticketing would make the service a lot more valuable, as having to pay the extra charge and wait in line isn't all that attractive except in cases where tickets sell out quickly.

    Fandango is one of two major online advance movie ticket sale sites, along with MovieTickets.com. It was started by Regal, which includes the United Artists and Hoyts theater chains. Regal had founded Fandango as a way of blocking MovieTickets.com from creating a total monopoly on phone and online ticketing services. Fandango can only sell tickets to those theaters that are not contractually bound to MovieTickets.com.

    image via Fandango
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Fandango Moving to Paperless Movie Tickets started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. vedavis's Avatar
      vedavis -
      Since CardStar's Bar Codes has yet to work with merchant I've tried it with, the theater's scanners would have to be able to read the image. Good idea, but I'll would wait and see.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      This would be very easy over printing something out
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      I use Fandango all the time to pass the suckers, I mean other movie goers, at the ticket window all the time.

      I would love to see this work. Worst case scenario, there is a number on the barcode the ticker taker could enter to allow you to enter if your phone won't scan.
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by vedavis View Post
      Since CardStar's Bar Codes has yet to work with merchant I've tried it with, the theater's scanners would have to be able to read the image. Good idea, but I'll would wait and see.
      Agreed. I haven't been able to get CardStar to work either. It'll be great if they actually get this to work correctly...
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Wow, no wonder I have only used fandango once this past decade to purchase movie tickets. $1.75 to $2.00 is a lot on top of the already ballooning costs of tickets.

      Edit: Luckily the theaters I go to have the standing stations for credit and debit cards. You pass the lines and just swipe. I don't need to pay $1.75 extra to bypass lines. Also if a theater doesn't have them, I just go two to three hours before hand when lines are small and pre purchase tickets. Again not paying $1.75 to $2.00 extra a ticket for a convenience when I can be much smarter with my money.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      fandango is such an overpriced=joke
    1. DanTheManMS's Avatar
      DanTheManMS -
      Having worked at a movie theater, I question how this could work. They already have scanners installed at many theaters for print-at-home capabilities, so I imagine they would try to piggy-back off of that system. The question is, how well would those scanners work when reading off an LCD screen like that of the iPhone? I'm really not sure.

      Our theater had a strict policy of not allowing someone in unless they had either an unripped ticket or a ticket stub (if they went out for a cigarette, for instance). People want to be able to leave the theater and come back in a few minutes later. How do they prove they paid if all they have is an image on a phone screen? Also, how would the theater get their paper trail? With the print-at-home tickets, it prints the same barcode twice on the same page. The ticket person scans either one, then rips the paper in two and keeps one half while the customer gets the other half, and this is used for accounting purposes on the theater's side.

      Sounds like an interesting idea convenience-wise, but it all depends on if it works or not, and if these issues can be overcome.
    1. eballesq's Avatar
      eballesq -
      As others have posted, I question the ability to make this work. Using Wallet Zero on my iPhone my codes are hit or miss at merchants. One can imagine the difficulties if legitimate ticket purchasers are turned away because their iPhones can't be read.
    1. itaintrite's Avatar
      itaintrite -
      Isn't this already possible? You can already scan the barcode in the email you receive from fandango. I've done it before.

      Also, the movie theaters I go too have dedicated fandango machines that you can print out your tickets by typing in confirmation code. Takes 30 seconds and I never have to wait in line since there are just too many machines

      If not, I usually just go right up to the Guest Service and ask them to print my ticket using confirmation code.

      Nothing new, and definitely not another reason to pay extra surchage fee. We're already paying $2/ticket for using fandango :/
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      If there is an issue your tickets are linked to your credit card so if you just present the card to guest services they can print your tickets for you
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      We always buy the Entertainment Book, which has coupons for movies (depending on the theater the coupons reduce to the price to between $6.50-$8.00 any time of the day)

      I haven't ordered online or over the phone in years because of the convience fee, if the movie I want is sold out I either chose a different movie, go to the next theater a couple blocks away or wait for the next showtime. Really why pay more than you have to?

      Oh and with the entertainment book, the movie discounts pay for the book by themselves.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      ^ I agree. Movie prices are already pricey without fandango surcharges
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      could be very useful
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      That's about a 22%-28% fee depending on if we're talking regular price or matinee -- and that's PER TICKET.

      Right, I've never used them and I never will. And I thought Ticketmaster was ripping me off for about a 12%-14% 'convenience fee.' The only difference here is that Tickermaster is working to lock up as much of the ticket resale market as possible so their definition of 'convenience' will soon mean that you have no alternative: thats' what will make it so convenient.

      I also use the automated kiosk in the lobbies in about 3 different chains, in 6 states in the US and in Canada and I haven't had a problem yet: I don't stand in lines and I don't pay the extra 20%+ for the convenience.

      Sorry, Fandango, you lose.