For as long as I can remember, United Airlines has always had those long, narrow metal magnetic stripe readers at the gate where you would insert your boarding pass into one end, the machine cuts the stub off and spits it out the other end. When I flew UA in July and again last week, I noticed that all of these machines have been replaced with glass scanners. The gate agent now just lays the boarding pass on the glass top, which scans the barcode, and the boarding pass is then handed back intact. How long have they not been using the magnetic stripe readers? I also remember for a while that UA still had them, but didn't use them.
I assume this is another feature of all the electronic/paperless-ness that all airlines are going the way of. Am I correct?