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What Is a Boarding Pass?

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    Jonathan Chum

What is a boarding pass? This is an official travel document that allows you to board a plane that will take you to your final destination.

If you have been to the airport recently, then you understand that a lot has changed during the past 10 to 20 years. Now, it may feel like you need more documents than ever to simply go where you need to go. We have been traveling for a long time, and we have held all sorts of travel documents in our hands. Therefore, trust us as we review the basics of boarding passes with you.

What are some of the points that you should keep in mind when it comes to a boarding pass? We are going to review what a boarding pass is, how you use it, and what you should do if you lose it.

What Is the Difference Between a Boarding Pass and a Ticket?

First, a lot of people believe that a boarding pass and a plane ticket are the same things. In actuality, they are not.

The first thing you are going to have in your hands is a ticket for your plane. You are going to be awarded a plane ticket as soon as you purchase your flight. Your plane ticket will allow you to access your boarding pass; however, you cannot actually get on your plane using a ticket. Instead, you need to use a boarding pass.

A ticket is going to have a lot of important information on it. This includes the number of your flight, your origin, and your destination. On the other hand, you are going to need a boarding pass in order to get on your plane. You are not going to get your boarding pass until you check in for your flight. Specifically, your boarding pass is going to have your assigned seat. A plane ticket is not going to have your seat number on it. You can either check-in online before you get to the airport or check-in with the help of an agent at the front of the airport. Once you have your boarding pass, you will be able to get through security and board your plane.

Do I Need To Print my Boarding Pass?

It may be safer for you to print your boarding pass; however, this is not actually required. You can definitely get through security with an electronic copy of your boarding pass. For example, you may simply need to show the TSA agent the boarding pass on your smartphone. On the other hand, if you decide to go to the electronic route, you have to make sure your phone is actually going to work.

For example, you may want to take a screenshot of your boarding pass ahead of time. In a lot of cases, you may have to access the internet in order to open an electronic version of your boarding pass. If the airport is very busy, your phone dies, or you do not have an internet connection, you may not be able to pull up an electronic version of your boarding pass. Therefore, you may want to print your boarding pass as a backup option.

What Type of Information Is on my Boarding Pass?

There is a lot of important information on their boarding pass, so you have to keep a close eye on it. For example, your boarding pass contains your flight number, the time of your flight, the date of your flight, your name, and your assigned seat.

In addition, your boarding pass will also include your assigned gate; however, remember that your gate can change from the time you print your boarding pass. When you get through security, remember to check the TV to see if your gate assignment has changed. You might also get a text message, an email, or hear an announcement over the loudspeaker if your gate has changed.

Your boarding pass might also include your frequent flyer account number and any miles that you might have earned from your flight. If you do not see the miles reflected on your frequent flyer account, you should save your boarding pass for reference if you need to speak to a customer service agent down the road.

What if I Lose my Boarding Pass?

There is always a chance that you might lose your boarding pass at some point. If this is the case, you will not be able to get through security or board the plane. Fortunately, there are ways that you can replace your boarding pass. If you lose your boarding pass before going through security, speak to the airline customer service agent at the front of the airport for a new copy. If you misplace your boarding pass after going through security, you can speak to the gate agent and get another copy of your boarding pass. You will need your photo ID and your travel documents in order to get another copy of your boarding pass. Make sure you keep your boarding pass at a safe place to reduce the chances of this place in it.

Have the Right Documents When You Head to the Plane

When you arrive at the airport, you need to make sure you have the right travel documents. If you have not already checked in, you will need your plane ticket or your confirmation code in order to check-in for your flight and access your boarding pass. When you reach security, you need to have a copy of your boarding pass in your hand. If you do not have an electric copy of your boarding pass, you will need a printed version. Either option will work. This, along with your photo ID (such as your driver's license or your passport), will be enough to get you through security so you can board your plane. Remember that if you lose your boarding pass, you can get another copy from the airline’s customer service desk at the front of the airport.