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Do You Still Print Your Boarding Pass?

by joeheg

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.


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.


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


Aron October 23, 2018 - 5:34 pm

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!

amy October 25, 2018 - 12:34 pm

Always print it out-and have it in the airline’s app in my phone too.

Melanie June 9, 2019 - 11:25 am

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!

StAugustine November 17, 2019 - 6:37 pm

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.

Me November 17, 2019 - 6:44 pm

Most gate scanners are not designed to have you wrist stuffed in. Don’t ask me how I get to know it LOL

Carl WV November 17, 2019 - 7:03 pm

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).

Jon Ben November 17, 2019 - 7:14 pm

Heres the thing, you can always print it up in the airport if your phone dies.

Carl WV November 17, 2019 - 11:21 pm

Would that require going back to ticketing and through security or can they do it right at your gate?

INDcornDog November 17, 2019 - 7:56 pm

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.

Ron November 17, 2019 - 8:42 pm

Print. In many airports it is needed to get through immigration.

Ray November 17, 2019 - 9:01 pm

Take a picture of your digital boarding pass with your smartphone. Then you don’t need to worry dodgy about WiFi connections.

Gizmosdad November 17, 2019 - 9:19 pm

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”

Toys Samurai (@ToysSamurai) November 17, 2019 - 10:43 pm

Not only do I print mine, I also keep a PDF copy in my Google Drive available for offline viewing, in addition to using the airline app.

Tony November 18, 2019 - 12:14 am

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

Frank November 18, 2019 - 12:29 pm

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.

Jinxed_K November 18, 2019 - 12:33 pm

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.

Guflyer November 24, 2019 - 8:56 am

For some for many itineraries, a mobile boarding pass is not an option.


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