Flying Delta is now an application in mobile. Checking in for flights from Salt Lake City and other cities is now available on most web-enabled cell phones.

I received a Delta email a few weeks ago. I assumed it was an update on my travel itinerary to Hawaii. I was excited to go on my first real vacation in a few years, and I was secretly hoping to read that I was generously upgraded to first class. I was not, unfortunately, elevated, but I was invited to download a Delta application for my mobile phone. The email informed me that the application would allow me to keep track of my frequent flyer miles, check for flight status updates, and check-in for my upcoming flights. The email even promised to add 1,000 miles to my account to download and use the application, so I decided to try it.

Check-in was a breeze.

Before leaving for my flight, I checked Delta’s Mobile Check-in instructions. I checked in to my flight from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas on my cell phone, downloaded my boarding pass, and proceeded through TSA. I wasn’t sure what to do when I approached the security agent, so I handed him my phone and driver’s license. He verified my information and then instructed me how to scan my phone under their electronic device. Getting through the first checkpoint was hassle-free.

As it came time to board the airplane, I showed my phone to the agent at the gate. She helped me scan my phone. There wasn’t anybody behind me, so I asked the agent how many people use this E-boarding Pass. She said she sees maybe ten passengers use smartphones to check-in and download their boarding passes a day. So I was the first passenger to use my phone as a boarding pass for the day.

Check-in from Las Vegas to Los Angeles—yes, I had many connecting flights in this boarding pass experiment—was just as smooth. Unfortunately, when it came time to board for my flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, I could not log in to the application. After a minor panic attack, I wondered if I would be stuck in the airport and not be able to continue to my vacation destination. I got in a long line to talk with a ticketing agent, but then it dawned on me—my frequent flyer number is listed on the application’s login screen. I could quickly go to any one of the ticket kiosks, type in my number, and print out a paper ticket for my flight. The issue was resolved in a flash.

E-boarding Pass 

As it turns out, the boarding Pass is currently available in approximately 70 airports serviced by Delta Airlines. Passengers who choose to use their smartphones for their travels would be wise to check Delta’s website before checking in through their phone. Another downside of this service is the cell phone reception and service availability at different destinations, but Delta continues to have traditional check-in desks and kiosks at all airports.

The boarding pass is available on most web-enabled phones and PDAs through the following service providers: AT&T, Alltel, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon within the United States. In addition, applications can be downloaded to many Android and iPhone smartphones. Unfortunately, I haven’t received my 1,000 frequent flyer mile bonus for downloading and using the application yet, but I hope to see it added to my account soon.