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Unlocking Boarding Pass Secrets, You Shouldn't Miss

Travelling by air can be both exciting and stressful. While most of us focus on packing, getting through security, and boarding our flight, a small piece of paper holds more importance than we might realise: the boarding pass.

When it comes to your boarding pass, it’s more than just a ticket to enter through the airport. In fact, hidden within lies crucial details that every traveller should pay attention to.

Before You Get, Set & Go

For those embarking on their first-ever airplane trip, especially those who are new to the concept of boarding passes, it’s necessary to know the importance of this paper. Paying close attention to every detail on your boarding pass is essential to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

Let’s check out the details you shouldn’t miss.

What's a Boarding Pass

A boarding pass is a document provided by an airline during check-in that grants a passenger permission to enter an airport’s restricted area and board the airplane for a particular flight. The boarding pass will contain all your personal information, such as the passenger’s name, Frequent Flyer Number, flight details, seating information, boarding information, and security features like barcode or QR Code and PNR.

Functions of a Boarding Pass

A boarding pass is required to pass through airport security checkpoints. It confirms that the passenger has a valid reservation for a flight departing from that airport. It grants access to the boarding area and the specific gate from which the flight will depart. Airline staff scan the boarding pass at the gate to verify the passenger’s identity and ensure they are boarding the correct flight. The boarding pass also proves the passenger’s seat assignment and class of service. For loyalty program members, the boarding pass can accumulate points or miles for the flight.

Difference Between Boarding Pass and Flight Ticket

Boarding pass

A boarding pass and a flight ticket are different. A boarding pass is a passenger’s identity that allows them to board the aircraft, whereas an airline ticket is evidence of purchasing a flight or airfare. An airline ticket is the paperwork you buy in advance to secure your seat on a specific plane. On the other hand, you receive the boarding pass before boarding the plane. It provides particulars regarding your flight, like the departure time, gate number, and boarding group, and confirms your seat. To sum up, your boarding pass is your actual ticket onto the aircraft, whereas your airline ticket verifies your reservation.

Don’t Throw Away Your Boarding Pass

After a flight, do you just throw away your boarding pass? Or do you like to share a picture of your boarding pass on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram? Be careful! Your boarding pass contains more personal information than you might think. It’s not just your name and flight number; it includes your booking reference, frequent flyer number, and possibly other sensitive data. With this information, someone could access your airline account, view your future travel plans, or even steal your frequent flyer miles. Be mindful of where you leave your boarding pass and be cautious about sharing photos of it on social media.

The Barcode: A Treasure Trove of Data

Your boarding pass’s barcode or QR code is a digital key to your personal data. With a suitable scanner, someone can quickly access your itinerary, passenger name record (PNR), and even passport details if they are linked to your booking. To prevent unauthorised access, avoid leaving your boarding pass in public places and refrain from discarding it carelessly.

Boarding Groups and Seat Information

inside of airport

Your boarding group and seat assignment might seem trivial, but they can significantly affect your travel experience. Boarding groups determine the order in which passengers get on the plane, impacting your chances of finding overhead bin space for your carry-on luggage. Knowing your seat assignment in advance can help you plan for comfort, especially on long flights. If you prefer an aisle seat or extra legroom, checking in early or selecting your seat at the time of booking is advisable.

Proof of Travel

In some situations, you might need to provide proof of travel after your journey. Whether it’s for work reimbursement, travel insurance claims, or loyalty program disputes, having your boarding pass can be critical evidence. Losing it might complicate these processes, leading to delays or even denial of claims or reimbursements.

Potential Upgrades and Rewards

If you’re part of an airline’s loyalty program, your boarding pass might be necessary to claim missing points or miles. Sometimes, airlines have technical issues, and your miles may not be automatically credited. Having your boarding pass allows you to provide the necessary proof to claim your rewards. Additionally, some airlines offer promotions that require the boarding pass as proof of travel for entering contests or claiming special offers.

Customs and Immigration

For international travellers, it’s advisable to keep your boarding pass until you have cleared customs and immigration at your destination. Some countries might require you to present your boarding pass and passport during entry. Discarding it too soon could lead to unnecessary complications and delays at border controls.

Travel Discrepancies and Disputes

Occasionally, travel discrepancies can occur, such as issues with your flight time, delays, or cancellations. Your boarding pass is a vital record that can help resolve these disputes. Whether it’s proving that you were on a delayed flight for compensation purposes or validating the time you spent in transit, having your boarding pass can be invaluable.

How to Properly Dispose of Your Boarding Pass

The best way to ensure your personal information is not accessible is to shred your boarding pass. This destroys the data and prevents anyone from retrieving it. If you prefer to keep it for record-keeping, store it in a secure location such as a locked drawer or a safe. This is especially useful for frequent travellers who might need to reference their travel history. You can also opt for digital boarding passes whenever possible. They reduce paper waste and are less likely to be lost or discarded irresponsibly. Ensure that digital copies are kept secure, such as within a password-protected account.


Your boarding pass is more than just a piece of paper; it’s a gateway to your personal data, travel itinerary, and much more. By understanding the secrets it holds and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure a smoother and safer travel experience. Next time you receive your boarding pass, take a moment to secure it, review the information, and keep it handy throughout your journey.

If you need help booking flight tickets, obtaining a visa, or obtaining other travel-related services, Unimoni is here to help. Visit our website or contact us for more details.

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Safe travels!