What you never knew about Boarding Pass? Getting boarding pass is always confusing whether you are a first-time flyer or travelling after a long time. Without a boarding pass, air flyers cannot proceed through airport security checkpoints in the airport nor board their flights from their departure gates. This shows how important they are! So, let us get much deeper into the topic to know more about boarding passes. You may be surprised to know what they really mean.
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What is a Boarding Pass?
A boarding pass is an official document provided by a particular airline after check-in, giving a passenger permission to enter the restricted areas of the airport and to board the plane. It contains the information about the passenger, the flight number, boarding times, and seat assignments for that flight. Sometimes, a boarding pass may also include the information about the perks a passenger is entitled like lounge access and priority boarding etc.
When do you receive a boarding pass in the airport? I know this is the next question raised in your mind! In the airport, you will receive a boarding pass after your successful check-in. You will be asked for your boarding pass at the security check and at the boarding gate.
If there is a mobile check-in option available for your flight, please do not hesitate to get your mobile boarding pass in advance. Because mobile boarding pass saves your time and stress associated with increased security at airports. Now-a-days, many airlines are providing mobile check-in, allowing flyers to obtain and print boarding passes before going to the airport. Please note in your mind that there are some guidelines and documents to be submitted in order to get mobile boarding pass.
But how do you get boarding pass!? Directly visit your flight’s website, get online check-in information and access your mobile boarding pass. Depending on the country you are visiting, your boarding pass is issued. A part from the obvious details (passenger details) here are some of the codes regarding boarding pass you often hear or may not aware of.
Sequence: This is the number showing in which order you checked in to your flight, e.g. if your sequence number is 066, that means you’re the 66th person to check in to that particular flight.
SSSS: We see this rare but definitely we come across such situations near security check. This code says that you’ve been selected for extra security checks. Secondary Security Screening Selection picks passengers either at random or due to red flags, such as buying a one-way ticket with cash.
PRN reference: This is a six-digit alphanumeric reference code that’s unique to you, called your Passenger Name Record.
S/O: S/O in your boarding pass refers to your stop over or lay over. Sometimes, it is represented as SPTC as well. If your stop over lasts longer than few hours, then the airlines arrange a hotel booking to make your travel comfortable.
How to Get Your Boarding Pass at the Airport
This information is very much helpful for everyone who are travelling by air especially for first-time flyers. Follow the below mentioned steps as a reference before you go to the airport.
Step-1: Arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before your flight
2 hours earlier is enough for domestic flights whereas 3-4 hour prior arrival is required for international flights. It is also important to check with your airlines for any specific arrival guidelines. Time required for check-in depends on the airport’s size, travel season, day of the week, and other factors. So, I suggest to give enough time for yourself than you actually expect you need.
Step-2: Find your airline’s check-in counter and get in line
Generally, different airlines provide different and preferential check-in services lines for different types of air flyers like first-class passengers, business class etc. so, make sure you go to the right line to get boarding pass.
Step-3: Provide the check-in agent with identification and flight information
Mostly, flight bookings happen online and in that case do not forget to take print out of your confirmation email. Because you will be asked to provide all your flight information to the airline staff during check-in. For international flights passport is mandatory and without passport you cannot move an inch forward in the airport!
Step-4: Drop off your check-in bags and receive your boarding pass
The airline staff check your bags for appropriate weight and size as per the guidelines or rules mentioned. If everything is fine then they print you your boarding pass. Make sure to take the baggage tag receipt which is useful when you pick up your bag at your destination.
Step-5: Check your Boarding pass
Check your boarding pass for your right details and if everything is appropriate, proceed to security check following the airport signs.
What is the use of Boarding Pass?
Boarding pass gives the information about the passenger’s identity, flight number and seat number, gate number for boarding the flight etc. The airline staff gets all the information and status of passenger boarding when they scan. In simple words, the staff knows automatically whether the particular passenger boarded the flight or not and his details.
It is also useful to show to some passengers that they are occupying your window seat. On the other hand, the airline companies uses boarding pass whether the passenger is boarding on the correct flight or not and also the airport. If the passenger lands in wrong airport, the airline company will get to know on checking boarding passes. In this way, boarding passes are useful and enables the airlines to put more important information of the passenger.
Commonly, we see four types of boarding pass i.e.
# Boarding pass printed at the airport check-in counter
# Boarding pass in PDF format
# Mobile boarding pass in QR code format
# Pass Book or Pass Wallet
What does the bar code on the boarding pass tells?
Bar code is the one of the most recognizable things on the boarding pass. If the boarding pass consists of bar code, it is often called bar-coded boarding pass or BCBP. A bar code appears as a magnetic strip and we see on the bottom right side of the boarding pass. But there is no any specific hard and fast rule regarding the bar code placement. The representation of bar code is 2D and should meet the standards of IATA (International Air Transport Association). IATA is an airline trade group that sets criteria for consistency across the airlines and countries. The 2D bar code is scanned at the boarding gate to speed up the boarding process.
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Now-a-days, boarding passes are coming electronically in addition to paper tickets. An e-ticket is the one which is sent through email confirming your flight booking. A boarding pass is a document issued at the airport during check-in. For international flights, check-in in person is compulsory because the airline staff will the passenger’s passport and confirm the rest of the details.
A child over 14 days old and under two years of age (not occupying a seat) may be carried free of charge when traveling with an adult (12 years of age or older). Although a boarding pass is not required for the infant, you will need a Boarding Verification Document.
After successfully completing the check-in process online or at the airport airline desk, you need to take the print out of your boarding pass. In case you are not accessed to any printer or smart phone, you can print your boarding pass once you reach the airport.
Yes, absolutely!! Sometimes you can show the confirmed e-mail showing your flight booking on your phone, sometimes you may use the airline’s app, or you can check in on your phone, but not display the boarding pass. Check each airline’s website for boarding pass guidelines.
No matter if you lose your boarding pass before or after your security check. It’s absolutely no big deal at all!! You do not need to worry until you have your passport with you. You can ask the airlines to re-issue it, as long as you can verified yourself by having your passport.