Do you remember the first time you flew, you were given a document with your details, flight details, and seat numbers, which you often misunderstood as the flight ticket? It’s called the “Boarding Pass” and you may not be alone in misidentification since a lot of “first-timers”, as well as some of the passengers with some experience also seem to misidentify this rather-detailed document as the flight ticket.
Let’s look at 20 things that you need to know about it.
1. What is a Boarding Pass?
It’s a document that is given to a passenger to enter a restricted area of the airport and your flight itself and consists of details such as your name, flight number, flight times, boarding times, assigned seat numbers, passenger entitlements and much more.
2. “Boarding Pass” vs “Flight Ticket”?
When you make a payment for a flight booking, what you’ll receive is the “flight ticket”. If you buy it from a ticketing office or a travel agent, you’ll get a printed one. If you purchase the ticket online, you’ll get an e-ticket.
However, you need the “Boarding Pass” to enter (or embark) the flight. You’ll only receive it when you “check-in” to the flight. If you would check-in at the airport check-in counter, you’ll receive a printed one. Alternatively, if you would check-in online, you’ll receive an e-boarding pass.
You need both documents for your journey
3. What Kind of Information is Included in a Boarding Pass?
The document contains a lot of information, much more information than you would think since some information is given in codes. These are the following information that is generally included in it.
- Name of the passenger
- Destination and arrival time
- Class (Economy/ Business/ First)
- Flight number
- Boarding gate, boarding time, boarding priority level and boarding door
- The departure airport, departure terminal and departure time
- Seat number
- Checked in sequence
- PNR Reference (Passenger Name Record – a unique identification number)
- Barcode (Used to easily scan the passes. It contains a digital version of the printed data of your pass)
4. How to Get a Boarding Pass?
You will get your boarding pass at the check-in stage. It’s easier to check-in to your flight, online, within the check-in timeframe. Then you’ll receive yours as an email, which you can print at home. Or you can even request a mobile boarding pass too, which is a digital version of the same, which you do not need to print.
Some international flights might let you check-in prior to the flight but would require you to visit the check-in counter to obtain the pass. This is due to passport inspection.
You can also get the pass printed from a self-service kiosk at the airport. Or you can do it the old-fashioned way – to obtain one from the check-in counter at the airport.
5. Is it Necessary for the Name on My Boarding Pass to Match the Name on My Passport?
Yes; that’s how they determine you really are who you say you are. Name on the boarding pass needs to match the name on your passport or ID. If you have made a typo when purchasing the ticket, better to contact the airline immediately, to fix it. You may be married and have legally changed your name. But still, if your passport or ID is not updated yet, you should use the name on your passport to book the ticket.
6. Do I Need to Print My Pass?
Printing your pass is not exactly necessary if you have a mobile pass. However, due to potential issues with technology, connectivity problems or simply due to the chance of your phone’s battery dying, it’s always advised to keep a printed copy of the pass with you.
7. Can I Board the Plane Without a Boarding Pass, If I Have the Flight Ticket with Me?
No, you can’t. You must have either a printed or a mobile pass with you, to embark on your flight.
8. What if I Lost It?
Don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. If you haven’t passed the security screening yet, you can go back to your check-in counter and ask for a reprinted boarding pass. If you have already passed security, you can ask the gate agent at the departure gate to reprint one for you.
9. Is it Okay to Post My Pass on Social Media?
Absolutely not okay! Your pass contains a lot of information about you, which any potential hacker might be thrilled to get their hands on! With a barcode reader or a QR code reader, they can easily obtain information about you, which may not even be printed with text on the pass! They also have the potential to do malicious activities such as stealing your frequent flyer miles, change your information or even cancel your ticket!
10. What Should I Do to My Boarding Pass After I’ve Completed My Journey?
Your boarding pass contains a lot of personal information that potential hackers could use for malicious activities. It’s always best to destroy your boarding pass, along with the luggage tags, after you’ve completed your journey.
Next time you’re “leaving on a jet-plane”, you can be happy that you already know more about the boarding pass in your hand, what it does and how important it is, than any of your fellow passengers and that’s for sure!