It's always a challenge to keep track of paper boarding passes while negotiating endless security lines and juggling awkward carry-on luggage. And there's always the guessing game about whether the TSA agent will want to check it after you walk through the magnetometer.
Travelers can avoid this inconvenience by taking advantage of a recent move by U.S. airlines to allow them to download boarding passes directly to their smart phone. (This includes iPhone, Droid and Blackberry users.) In the last few weeks the service debuted at many of the nation's busiest airports -- mostly hubs for carriers like American, United, Delta and Continental.
The roll-out is made possible by a push by airlines worldwide to shift from boarding passes that store a passengers' information in a magnetic stripe, to a system that encrypts the travelers' name and flight itinerary in a two-dimensional square by the end of this year.