Using your smartphone for airplane boarding passes is not always ideal, here’s a tip!

When you do your online check-in for a flight, you have the option of getting your boarding pass sent in an email. This is wonderfully convenient, but it has its complications. Sometimes the email shows the information including the barcode, just as clear as day, and other times you have to jump thru a few more hoops to make it all appear. Mine came to my Gmail address and I was informed that Gmail would not display the code to scan, so I had to click a few more buttons before the boarding pass revealed itself completely.

I may love technology, but I hate fumbling with my phone when I’m holding up a line of people. This is one area I prefer the old fashioned method. I want a printed boarding pass. There’s just no doubt that I can carry that in my pocket and get it out at the appropriate time for the attendant to scan, without holding anybody up. If I’m depending on my phone to display this code, odds are it will display perfectly until I’m the next person to reach the attendant, then my screen will blank out. When I try to get it back, I need to first find the email, then determine if the boarding pass was an attachment to the email or a link to an online copy. If it’s an online copy, I’m out of luck if I have no signal.  Aaarrghh. I push buttons and swipe screens, but the elusive boarding pass is still hiding somewhere in the shadows.

Take a screenshot

Whenever possible, I do get a printed boarding pass, but I also have the emailed copy. You know, belt AND suspenders. Here’s my tip – to make it easier to display the emailed copy – when I first do get the boarding pass to display, complete with QR code for scanning, I take a screenshot. If you don’t know how to do that … most phones work by pressing the power button and the home button (or down volume). Here’s a demo of taking screenshots. Now, you have an E-ticket that is easy to find. It’s in with your photos! You can always open your photos, even with no data connection of any sort, and display the photo of your boarding pass, ready for scanning.

Happy Travels!


One reply

  1. My boarding passes with Delta and United have ended up in my Wallet app. It’s been awhile and I can’t tell you how I did it. I didn’t have to go to email and then display the pass. But I agree with you that just as I get to the attendant, the screen always seems to go blank and I have to sign back in. Paper passes rule!

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