I still remember when airlines first started to ditch physical tickets in favor of virtual ones. It wasn’t even necessary to print out a confirmation email anymore, because all you needed to present to the check-in counter was your passport and a confirmation number. I haven’t come across an airport that does virtual boarding passes yet, so I guess Delta is leading the charge with their latest innovation.
The pilot project is being run at LaGuardia Airport in New York. Instead of having a physical boarding pass to present at the gate, it will be possible for you to just whip out your cell phone and let the reps scan the on-screen barcode. The phones can be used to check in for flights and also at security checkpoints.
Delta, to my knowledge, is the only one to have officially launched such a program thus far, but Continental and Northwest are working on similar applications. Save time, money, and trees. Sounds like a good deal to me.