Do You Still Print Your Boarding Pass?

We have a difference of opinion in our household about the necessity of printing a boarding pass. While I’m satisfied with pulling up the pass on the airlines’ app, the digital wallet on my phone or from a text message link, Sharon still prefers me printing out our boarding passes before a trip.

Some things aren’t worth fighting about so I just go ahead and print the passes. It’s gotten to the points where I even print a boarding pass for flights I’m taking myself.

When we’re on the road, it’s occasionally a different story.

Most hotels have a business center, or at least a computer available, for you to print out your boarding passes. Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn or Candlewood Suites will usually have a PC for guest use.

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The only problem is if the printer is out of ink or paper or if it refuses to connect to the computer. For privacy’s sake, I always wipe clear the browser cache when I’m done, just in case.

When we were staying in London at the Great Northern Hotel, they didn’t have a business center so the front desk staff helped you check in from their computer and printed the passes. A little too hands-on approach for me but I needed to check-in.

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I had an issue at another hotel that didn’t have a business center. I asked the front desk if they had a way to print a boarding pass. They didn’t but said I could email the document to them and they would print it for me. Um, that seems like a little too much work, and I’m not sure how to email a boarding pass, anyway. I mean, I checked and there wasn’t an option from my phone. I’d have to get out my laptop. Forget it.

Now I have the apps for the airlines on my phone and can see my pass when I add it to my phone’s wallet. But what about Sharon’s boarding pass? I checked and she doesn’t even have the airlines’ apps ON her phone. We’d have to download it and then set up her account, which means looking up her password, which I don’t have handy.

I’m assuming that I can go to one of the self-service kiosks at the airport to (re)print our boarding passes. This seems like a whole bunch of trouble just to have a piece of paper. However, I do see the advantage of having a pass printed. What if my phone dies? What if the airline computers have problems or their website or app crashes? Having the pass printed is a good backup plan.

What do you do?

How about you? Are you a Luddite who still prints your boarding pass when flying or are you a techie who just scans the boarding pass from your watch when getting onto the plane?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

17 thoughts on “Do You Still Print Your Boarding Pass?”

  1. I go digital… I love having my boarding pass on my Apple Watch. However, if I check a bag at curbside, they always print my boarding pass even when I tell them I’ve already got a mobile boarding pass on my phone!

  2. I see both sides, I love going digital, but I always like a backup just in case something goes wrong and I always seem to have a black cloud over my head!

  3. I’m an old guy. I remember going to the airport with a paper ticket! I always print out a physical boarding pass because, well, you have to have that piece of paper. Then it stays in my carryon and I use my phone.

  4. I’ve waited behind people that have their app time out, or they lose connection, or whatever. Nothing is going to happen to my printed pass as long as I don’t lose it (and then I’ll try the app).

  5. Recently, while in flight, I was approached by the flight attendant and asked to show my boarding pass. Seems there was some doubt I was in my reserved seat. The airline, Spirit, does not offer in-flight Wi-Fi service. I was so glad that I had printed my boarding pass and was able to show it to the attendant to verify my seat.

  6. I use the electronic boarding pass on my phone, but I take a screen shot of it as soon as I check in. That way if there are future connectivity issues, I still have an image of my boarding pass on my phone.
    If I am doing a complicated set of international flights, I do print out boarding passes from an airport kiosk “just in case”

  7. i feel like the only people who print boarding passes are the ones who like to take pictures of it to brag where theyre going or that they’re flying business/first class

  8. I love the convenience of the app, but if you ever have a problem with the miles crediting correctly, you will need to provide a copy of your boarding pass. I always take a screenshot of my boarding pass and keep it until the miles are credited just in case.

  9. Digital if I can, but some foreign airlines don’t have apps that I can bring up a boarding pass in that I can use with a NA based login or FF account so I end up checking in and printing the boarding pass at the airport.

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