Delta introduces paperless boarding passes in Salt Lake


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SALT LAKE CITY -- If you fly Delta, your smartphone can now simplify your security check-in. The airline industry went to paperless tickets several years ago, now the next step is paperless boarding passes. You basically pull up your boarding pass on your Web-enabled mobile device.

Delta Air Lines and the Transportation Security Administration recently launched the time-saving innovation for Salt Lake International Airport. Delta thinks paperless boarding technology helps put you in control.

"You can go to any Web-enabled device -- a cell phone, an iPhone -- and go to Delta.com or NWA.com and, through a few screens, check in for your flight for that day," explained Brett Rydalch, Delta's director of customer service at Salt Lake International.

It's pretty simple: Go to Delta.com on your smartphone and select "check in." Type in your name and either your Skymiles number or confirmation number. "Once it brings up my reservation, it will ask me if I have any bags that I'm checking," Rydalch said.

The final screen reveals your code for security check-in. Hold your phone under this scanner at the security checkpoint, show your ID, and you're on your way.

The paperless system is also more secure; trying to copy that code on your phone is tougher than even trying to copy that code on paper.

"It's an encrypted message so that it can't be manipulated easily. And certainly if it is, it would alarm our folks here and let them know there's a problem," said TSA spokesman Dwayne Baird.

It won't get you through security quicker, but it can save you time before you get to the airport, and it saves paper.

"The business traveler is going to be very happy with this tool. It's going to enable him to, if he's flying in to Salt Lake City for a meeting and as he's driving in the taxi cab back out to the airport, he can check in for his flight," Rydalch said.

Paperless boarding started in Salt Lake about 10 days ago; five carriers use paperless boarding at 20 other airports. Delta will expand the technology to all hubs and major locations by the end of the summer.

E-mail: jboal@ksl.com

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