How to Use a Mobile Boarding Pass

Use an electronic ticket to board your flight

A mobile boarding pass is, as the term suggests, a version of the traditional boarding pass designed to be used on a smartphone, tablet, or other smart device like an Apple Watch. This digital boarding pass, sometimes called an electronic ticket, is represented by a barcode that can be viewed from an app.

The barcode used on a mobile boarding pass is identical to that on a paper boarding pass and can generally be used anywhere the paper version is accepted. Most commercial airlines such as United Airlines, Air Canada, American Airlines and Qantas accept all mobile boarding passes. Even Disney is using this technology to create mobile boarding passes for Rise of the Resistance and other popular attractions at its Disneyland and Disney World theme parks.

How to get a boarding pass on phones and tablets

Airlines and other companies that support e-tickets and digital boarding passes often email you the corresponding barcode. In this case, the barcode image usually appears in the body of the email itself or in an attachment, such as a PDF file.

Some barcodes included in emails from airlines can serve as a receipt or proof of purchase. They cannot be used as a boarding pass.

Some airlines use a mobile boarding pass that looks identical to the paper version, while others may use a single barcode.

The barcode can be a common rectangular code or a square QR code. Many airlines direct you to click a link in your order confirmation email to view your boarding pass on the airline’s website or app.

Screenshots of an airline email and mobile boarding pass in the Qantas iPhone app.

Is there a boarding pass app?

There is no official smartphone app dedicated solely to boarding passes. However, most airline apps have apps that allow you to access and view your boarding pass and other important travel information.

If you received your boarding pass or e-ticket barcode via email, you can simply use it at the airport. No additional app is needed.

Apple and Google offer their own respective apps that collect e-tickets and boarding passes from various companies in one place. Apple’s iPhone has the Wallet app and Android smartphones use the Google Pay app.

How to add an electronic boarding pass to Google Pay

Google Pay is an app installed on most new Android smartphones. It can be used to make payments over the phone and store membership cards, e-tickets and airline boarding passes. If your boarding pass was sent to a Gmail email address, your boarding pass may have already been automatically added to the Google Pay app.

Otherwise, you can add your boarding pass to Google Pay by doing one of the following:

  • press the Add to Google Pay icon in your airline’s email or app.
  • Take a screenshot of the boarding pass barcode, touch Add to Google Pay > Save > see boarding pass.

How to Add a Boarding Pass to the iPhone Wallet App

The iOS Wallet app is used to manage gift cards, e-tickets, club memberships, and boarding passes and, like Google Pay, can be used to make digital purchases. Mobile boarding passes can sometimes be automatically added to the Wallet app if your device detects them. If not, just press the button Add to Apple Wallet on the airline’s website or in the email or app.

Do I need to print my boarding pass?

You shouldn’t need to print your paper boarding pass because all the necessary information is available in the mobile version of the code, the airline’s app, and the various emails they send you.

Mobile boarding passes are more secure than traditional cards because they are stored on your smart device away from the prying eyes of fraudsters. If found, paper boarding passes can be used to hack into your frequent flyer account and potentially steal your points and financial information.

If for some reason you are unable to use your mobile boarding pass at the airport due to a technical failure, airline staff will print a traditional paper version for you to use. It’s not something you have to worry about.

What should I do with a mobile boarding pass?

The exact procedure for what to do with a boarding pass differs depending on which airport you use, whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, and which airline you’re traveling with.

Fear of an app or a technical error? Take a screenshot of your mobile boarding pass barcode. This way you can quickly access it from your device’s photos app.

Usually, all you have to do is show your boarding pass to airline and airport staff when prompted by opening the app you stored it in on your smartphone. Depending on your airline, your boarding pass may even appear automatically on your smartphone screen when you arrive at the airport. To make sure everything goes smoothly, turn up the brightness on your device screen and, if it doesn’t appear automatically, access your boarding pass barcode while waiting in line. ‘airport.

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