Travelers flying on non-stop Northwest and Delta flights out of the Twin Cities can now get their boarding passes on their cell phones or PDAs that have wireless capability.
The Twin Cites is the latest airport to offer the paperless boarding pass option. While it's currently just available locally on Delta and Northwest flights, the service is being rolled out steadily to other airlines.
Jackie Astelford, who oversees the Northwest and Delta Web sites, says the new boarding pass option will be apparent to customers when they check in for flights online.
"It'll ask you at check-in time, 'Do you want to print your boarding pass now or would you like to have it sent to your mobile device?' You enter in your e-mail address or cell phone number, and then it's immediately sent to that device," Astelford said.
Each paperless boarding pass displays a bar code along with passenger and flight information that identifies the traveler.
TSA travel document checkers will use mobile scanners to read cell phone and PDA screens and validate passes.
Astelford says the new pass option is being steadily rolled out at other airports.
"In the next few weeks we'll be rolling it out to Atlanta. Then in January to Memphis, Orlando and San Francisco, most of the major airports, all in conjunction with the TSA."
The new technology increases the TSA's ability to detect fraudulent boarding passes while reducing paper use.