Print Indigo flight ticket
A boarding pass is a document provided by an airline at check-in that gives a passenger permission to enter the restricted area of an airport and board the aircraft for a specific flight. At the very least, it identifies the passenger, the flight number, the date and the scheduled departure time. In some cases, leaflets can check in online and print out boarding passes yourself. A boarding pass may be required for a passenger to enter a secure area of an airport.
Generally, a passenger with an electronic ticket only needs a boarding pass. If a passenger has a paper flight ticket, that ticket (or flight coupon) may need to be attached to the boarding pass in order for he or she to board the aircraft. In the case of “connecting flights”, a boarding pass is required for each new route segment (with a different flight number), regardless of whether another aircraft is on board or not.
The paper boarding pass (and possibly a ticket) or parts of it are sometimes collected and counted in order to check the number of passengers by gate agents, but are more often scanned (via barcode or magnetic stripe). The standards for barcodes and magnetic strips on boarding passes are published by IATA. The Barcode Standard (BCBP) defines the 2D barcode that is printed on paper tickets or sent to cell phones for electronic boarding passes. The magnetic stripe standard (ATB2) expired in 2010.
Most airports and airlines have automatic readers that check the validity of the boarding pass at the jetway door or at the gate. This will also automatically update the airline's database indicating that the passenger has boarded and the seat is occupied and that the checked baggage for that passenger is allowed to stay on board. This speeds up the paperwork process at the gate, but requires passengers with paper tickets to check in, hand in the ticket and receive the digitized boarding pass.
The boarding pass usually contains the following information:
the identifier (the two letters in front of the flight number on the flight ticket, sometimes also referred to as the airline code)
the flight number
the flight number (gate)
The seat number (previously including the specification as a smoking / non-smoking seat) is omitted for low-cost airlines such as Ryanair (or by additional payment)
the planned time of boarding.
Unless it has already been handed over separately as a "baggage tag", the passenger receives information about his check in the form of a sticker on his boarding pass pass (tear-off of the perforated boarding pass as evidence of his entry permit), if necessary with an additional handwritten baggage slip (not his Hand luggage that the passenger can bring).
In the case of access control at the gate, in which the passenger is often repeatedly identified using his identity card or passport and the boarding pass, the passenger is deducted from the control section of his boarding pass. This is also used to check whether everyone checked in at the check-in counter is actually doing the flight. The evaluation is carried out automatically by a small device that electronically manages the passenger list and issues the boarding pass section at the back or by staff.
In connection with an electronic ticket (e.g. ETIX from Lufthansa), many airlines offer the option of checking in online or by mobile phone, smartphone or similar and then printing out the boarding pass at home on the PC or on the mobile phone, smartphone or other device. This boarding pass contains a 2D barcode (Aztec code) that is scanned when boarding. In this case, you can also organize your boarding pass at check-in machines, some of which are also available with luggage. In many large airports there is quick boarding, in which the passenger automatically scans the boarding pass with the barcode and thus enables access to the aircraft. Since no airport staff can draw attention to this method if the seat should have changed, the passenger can receive an automatic printout notifying them of the new seat.
For domestic flights or flights within the Schengen area, identification using the identity card or passport is completely unnecessary, but is usually still carried out for security reasons.
BCBP (barcoded boarding pass) is the name of the standard used by more than 200 airlines. BCBP defines the two-dimensional (2D) barcode that is printed out on a boarding pass or sent to a mobile phone for electronic boarding passes.
BCBP was part of IATA's “Simplifying the Business” program, which gave an industry mandate to barcode all boarding passes. This was achieved in 2010.
Airlines and third parties use a barcode reader to read the barcodes and capture the data. The barcode is usually read when boarding the vehicle, but it can also happen when entering the security checkpoint.
The standard was originally published by IATA in 2005 and updated in 2008 to include symbologies for mobile phones and in 2009 to include a field for a digital signature in the mobile barcodes. Future developments of the standard will include a near field communication format.
In recent years, concerns have been expressed about the security of boarding pass barcodes, the data they contain, and the Passenger Name Record (PNR) data they refer to. Some airline barcodes can be scanned using mobile phone applications to display names, dates of birth, source and destination airports, and the PNR locator code. This code is a 6-digit alphanumeric code, sometimes called the booking reference number. This code and the traveller's last name can be used to log into the airline's website and obtain information about the traveler.
Paper boarding passes
Paper boarding passes are issued either by agents at check-in counters, self-service kiosks, or an airline's web check-in website. BCBP can be printed at the airport by an ATB (Automated Ticket & Boarding Pass) printer or a direct thermal printer or by a personal laser printer. The symbology for paper maps is PDF417. The IATA gubernatorial mandate stated that all IATA member airlines would be able to issue BCBP by the end of 2008, and all boarding passes would contain the 2D barcode by the end of 2010. The BCBP standard was published in 2005 and was gradually adopted by the airlines: at the end of 2005, 9 airlines were BCBP-enabled; 32 by the end of 2006; 101 by the end of 2007; and 200 by the end of 2008 (source: IATA).
Mobile boarding passes
Electronic boarding passes were “the next major technological innovation in the industry after e-ticketing”. According to SITA's Airline IT Trend Survey 2009, mobile BCBP accounted for 2.1% of usage (compared to paper cards), and the forecast will increase to 11.6% in 2012.
Many airlines have issued electronic boarding passes where the passenger checks in either online or via a mobile device and the boarding pass is then sent to the mobile device as a text message or email. After completing an online reservation, the passenger can tick a box with a mobile boarding pass. Most carriers offer two ways to get them: they have to be sent to the mobile device (via email or SMS) when checking online, or they have to be used an airline app to check in. The boarding pass is displayed in the application.
The mobile pass has the same barcode as a standard boarding pass and is completely machine-readable. The gate attendant simply scans the code displayed on the phone. The IATA-BCBP standard defines the three symbologies accepted for mobile phones: Aztec code, Datamatrix and QR code. The United Nations International Telecommunications Union has expected cellular customers to reach 4 billion by the end of 2008.
Practical: travelers do not always have access to a printer. Choosing a mobile boarding pass eliminates the hassle of stopping at a kiosk at the airport.
Ecological: Issuing electronic boarding passes is much more environmentally friendly than constantly using up paper for boarding passes.
Using a mobile boarding pass is risky if a phone battery fails (the boarding pass is no longer accessible) or there are problems reading the e-boarding pass.
Using a mobile boarding pass can also be challenging when multiple people are making a reservation, as not all airline apps go through multiple mobile boarding passes. (However, some airlines, like Alaska Airlines, can switch between multiple boarding passes within their apps.)
Airlines with mobile boarding passes
In 2007, Continental Airlines (now United) began testing mobile boarding passes for the first time. Now most major airlines offer mobile boarding passes at many airports. Airlines that issue electronic boarding passes include:
AirAsia (first offer via SMS)
Air New Zealand
Azul Brazilian Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Emirates (except USA)
LOT Polish Airlines
Sri Lanka Airlines
Swiss air lines
WestJet (first in North America)
In April 2008 Lufthansa was one of the first airlines to introduce Mobile BCBP in Europe. In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration is piloting a boarding pass scanning system using the IATA BCBP standard.
On October 15, 2008, the TSA announced that scanners would be deployed within a year and scanning from mobile BCBP would make it possible to better track waiting times. TSA is adding new pilot airports: Cleveland on October 23, 2008.
On October 14, 2008, Alaska Airlines began testing mobile boarding passes at Seattle Seatac Airport.
On November 3, 2008, Air New Zealand launched mpass, a boarding pass that was received on mobile phones.
On November 10, 2008, Qatar Airways started its online check-in: passengers can have their boarding passes sent directly to their mobile phones.
On November 13, 2008, American Airlines began offering mobile boarding passes at Chicago O'Hare Airport.
On December 18, 2008, Cathay Pacific launched its mobile check-in service, including delivery of the barcode to the mobile phone.
On February 24, 2009, Austrian Airlines started offering its customers paperless boarding passes on selected routes.
On April 16, 2009, SAS joined the mobile boarding pass train.
On May 26, 2009, Air China offered customers a two-dimensional barcode e-boarding pass on their mobile phone that would allow them to go through security procedures on any channel in Terminal 3 at Beijing Airport, making the process completely paperless becomes check-in service.
On October 1, 2009, the Swiss woman introduced her customers to a mobile boarding pass.
On November 12, 2009, Finnair stated that “the mobile boarding pass system will reduce passengers' carbon footprint by eliminating the need for passengers to print and track a boarding pass”.
On March 15, 2010, United began offering mobile boarding passes to customers with smartphones.
In July / August 2014, Ryanair became the newest airline to offer mobile boarding passes to customers with smartphones.
Print-at-home boarding passes
A home printable boarding pass is a document that a traveler can print out at home, in their office, or any other location with an internet connection and printer, giving them permission to board an airplane for a specific flight.
British Airways CitiExpress, the first provider of this self-service initiative, managed the queues at the check-in counters on its routes to London City Airport in 1999. The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) approved the introduction of the 3D boarding pass in February 2000. Early adoption with passengers was slow, except for business travelers. The emergence of low-cost carriers that do not charge any fees for using boarding passes for home printing has been the trigger to discourage consumers from traditional airport check-in functions.
Many airlines recommend travelers to check-in online up to a month before their flight departure and get their boarding pass before arriving at the airport. Some airlines offer incentives for this (e.g., in 2015, US Airways offered 1000 bonus miles to anyone who checked in online), while others charge fees for checking in or printing their boarding pass at the airport.
Inexpensive for the airline - Passengers who print their own boarding pass reduce flight and airport staff and infrastructure costs for check-in
Passengers must remember to check in before their flight.
Passengers need to have access to a printer and provide the paper and ink themselves so they don't have to pay to print their boarding passes at the airport. Affordable access to printers that come with paper and ink to print your boarding pass can be difficult when driving away from home, although some airlines have responded that passengers can check in earlier.
Print-at-home boarding pass advertising
In order to generate additional income from other sources of in-flight advertising, many airlines have turned to advertising technologies for passengers from their city of origin to their destination.
Print-at-home boarding passes display ads specifically selected for specific travelers based on their anonymized passenger information that does not contain personally identifiable information. Advertisers can access specific demographic information (age group, gender, nationality) and route information (origin and destination of the flight) in a targeted manner. The same technology can also be used to advertise airline booking confirmation emails, itinerary emails, and pre-departure reminders.
Provider of print-at-home boarding pass advertising
Ink is a leading provider of travel media and technology and offers more than 20 targeted advertising options via print-at-home boarding passes for more than 12 airline partners and advertising partners.
Advantages of print-at-home boarding pass advertising
The ability to use targeted advertising technologies to target messages to relevant demographics and routes - providing travelers with offers that are likely to be relevant and useful
High level of engagement - Research by the Global Passenger Survey has shown that travelers look at their boarding pass an average of four times over 12 key-touch points during their journey
Airline revenue from advertising can help offset operating costs and lower ticket prices for passengers
Concerns about print-at-home boarding pass advertising
Some passengers find the advertising intrusive
The advertisement uses extra amounts of passenger ink when printing at home
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