In 2004, the International Air Transport Association began pushing airlines to issue electronic tickets. Prior to that, most passengers received their tickets through the mail from a travel agent or from an airline ticket office.
Soon we may not even need electronic tickets or scans on our smartphones. Delta is testing a pilot program at Reagan National Airport for SkyMiles members to use their fingerprints to check bags and board their flight.
JetBlue is testing facial recognition technology that uses images verified through the US Customs and Border Protection database to allow passengers to board flights from Boston to Aruba.