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Needed paper boarding pass this AM in Spokane

An odd thing at TSA pre✅ this AM at the Spokane Airport. The lady in front of me in the pre check line had a boarding pass on her phone. When the TSA guy put her passport in the reader he said she needed a paper boarding pass and had to go back to the Delta check in desk. I had been able to check in online for my full trip to Amsterdam yesterday including downloading boarding passes. I only stopped at the desk because it wasn’t busy and I knew they’d have to verify my passport either there or at the gate. At that time the desk agent offered me a paper pass and I almost refused because I’m trying to go all digital this trip but decided WTH…and took it. Glad I did! TSA guy said sometimes the machine does not take a digital boarding pass with a passport. Very weird.

This may not happen anywhere else but just wanted to put my experience out there as the travel season ramps up!!

Posted by
2633 posts

I always get a paper boarding pass, prefer to keep my phone tucked safely away--one less thing to fiddle with when trying to get through TSA or the final checkpoint prior to boarding the plane.

Posted by
3994 posts

Wow thanks for the info about your TSA experience today. Have a great trip. I rarely say yes to the offer of a boarding pass but I may going forward,

Posted by
4003 posts

Thanks for the heads up.we usually get a paper pass but will definately this friday when we fly.

Posted by
558 posts

This has happened to me several times, especially on my return trips back to the USA.

Posted by
106 posts

This is funny, because Alaska Airlines is eliminating the ability to print a paper boarding pass at many airports.

Posted by
11516 posts

This is funny, because Alaska Airlines is eliminating the ability to print a paper boarding pass at many airports.

Which airports? I need to be sure to avoid them. So what does one present ?

Posted by
8881 posts

It’s called “ a paper trail.” Never leave home with out one. For me it’s Plan A, Plan B is digital.

Posted by
106 posts

From Alaska Air:

New airport check-in experience
Beginning in spring 2023, our airport lobby kiosks will no longer be able to print boarding passes—this means you’ll need to check in and access your boarding passes through the Alaska Airlines mobile app or print them at home. If you’re checking bags before you fly, use our new digital self-service stations to print bag tags, add a bag, or pay for your checked baggage.

Updated airports:
Missoula (MSO) - Missoula International
Ontario (ONT) - Ontario International
Palm Springs (PSP) - Palm Springs International
Las Vegas (LAS) - Harry Reid International Airport
Coming soon to:
Cleveland (CLE) - Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Indianapolis (IND) - Indianapolis International Airport

Posted by
106 posts

And one more thing (sorry to reply to my own post)

At pdx they don't even want to see my boarding pass anymore, they just scan my driver's license. They do, however, want the boarding passes for my minor children, probably because they don't have ID.

Posted by
3034 posts

Paper weighs almost nothing and takes up little space. It's the perfect backup and I've utilized it a few times in recent years. There is no downside to having a paper copy.

Posted by
14280 posts

Interesting about Alaska and no paper passes from some airports.

I usually refuse them too and it might have been that my passport worked in his reader even though the passport ahead of me did not.

It was interesting to say the least. There was no line for pre-check so it didn’t delay her much.

Posted by
2017 posts

Never had that happen at Dulles or DCA. Never get paper anymore and last international flights were fine.

Just one more slip of paper to worry about or drop somewhere in the airport. But YVMV

Posted by
4595 posts

Less paper, less polluting pulp production, more trees. My preference.
However, using Air Canada in Liberia Costa Rica recently meant going back for a paper boarding pass while other airline digital boarding passes were allowed. Maybe it is how the airline generates the pass. (Shades of covid vaccine QR codes and readers)....

Posted by
4600 posts

This is why you need a friendly hotel at the end of your trip so you can print out that boarding pass, just in case. Because if you don't, you will need it. There are now so many layers of people at the airport who demand to see your pass before you can pass, it's easiest just to hand them a piece of paper.

Posted by
14280 posts

And just now boarding the flight to Amsterdam facial recognition was used and they didn’t even want the boarding pass. As usual there was a visual on the passport.

Posted by
313 posts

As noted above, at PDX they just need to see ID. TSA already knows where you're going (o-) ) Didn't need passes at TSA last Feb traveling to/rom OAK.

However: Last September I was flying PDX-ORD-ZRH-FLR returning FCO-ZRH-ORD-PDX, on United/SWISS. I checked in the night before and printed passes per my usual belt 'n' suspenders mode. I verified my phone app showed all three passes for the morning. Getting to PDX to baggage kiosk didn't recognise my boarding passes (paper or phone, nor my passport! It took awhile for the ticket agent to pull up the reservation, tag my bag, and kick out more boarding passes. No issue getting on the plane in PDX using my phone.

Arriving ORD I had to transfer to T5 for SWISS, which involve going back through security. My SWISS boarding passes had disappeared from my phone! Also the SWISS phone app claimed I wasn't checked in! Fortunately I had two sets of paper backups.

Prior to departing ZRH-FLR I made a point of asking the gate agent to pull up my booking and verify everything was still there.

Leaving Rome I checked in using the SWISS phone app, saw all three boarding passes. Also when I checked my bag the SWISS agent at FCO kicked out a set of boarding passes. Everything was copasetic until I got to my gate for the final ORD-PDX leg, whereupon the United boarding pass had disappeared from SWISS app. Fortunately the United app showed me checked in and the pass was there. (And also I had the paper copies from FCO.)

(For those who never check bags, I was doing a bike tour, so was hauling helmet, shoes, saddle, pedals, and bike jerseys/bibs/socks/base layers/wind vest, etc., as well as street clothes.)

Posted by
2267 posts

TSA now only uses ID at most, soon to be all, airports. The ID scan then checks against airline data for the system to authenticate the traveler. Maybe there was something the matter with her specific ID.

Posted by
472 posts

Thanks for the heads up with Spokane. Have a wonderful trip and can't wait to hear about your adventures.

Posted by
14280 posts

Maybe there was something the matter with her specific ID.

Hopefully the chip in her passport hasn’t bit the dust!

Leslie, I think Judy may be the only one from the meet up group leaving before I get back but wanted everyone to know and be prepared although it’ll probably never happen again!!

Posted by
118 posts

More and more, facilities are getting to a non-printed existence; we were at a Texas Rangers game last night (won 11-2, including a fantastic grand slam homer, by the way!), and none of the stores, nor the entrance kiosks, used paper (except for receipts in the gift shop). No cash is accepted, and all entrances have to be on smartphones. At NFL games it's the same--tickets are now all digital. I'm really surprised that a TSA-Pre agent would require paper--I've never had that happen to me so far.

We were at a concert a few months back where it was the same; I like the idea of having all my documents on my phone, because at a touch I have my driver's license, car insurance cards, medical insurance, images of our passports, boarding passes.

But we still carry paper boarding passes when we go overseas. Sigh.

Posted by
338 posts

Thanks for the heads up, Pam…have an amazing trip!

Posted by
3821 posts

Pam, thanks for the heads up. Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
1536 posts

I get excited when Pam is on the road because I know there will be a great trip report to read in my future!

Posted by
14280 posts

@ Vandabrud-😂😂 I started a googledocs “journal “ yesterday while between planes to make my TR easier!

….And So far…yes, glad I brought my puffy vest! Chilly yesterday afternoon in Amsterdam!

Thanks for all the comments and experiences. Interesting about MLB and NFL tickets.

Posted by
64 posts

I love apps and how convenient travel has become due to our smartphones. I work in tech and know the value of backup when systems inevitably fail, so I always print a copy of my boarding pass, especially for International flights. Phones get dropped, batteries fail, and I don't trust public Wi-Fi or public charging stations. Not a problem, I have a backup.

Posted by
5062 posts

I work in tech and know the value of backup when systems inevitably fail, so I always print a copy of my boarding pass, especially for International flights.

How true. Technology is great when it works. Remember Murphy's Law and have paper back up.

Posted by
14280 posts

No relation to the boarding pass issue of Monday but does relate to the tech discussion. I’m trying to use Apple Pay everywhere. This morning I used it at the Amsterdam Central Station for .70€ for the toilette! SO much easier than trying to have bits of change.

Posted by
650 posts

Hi Pam:
Thanks for the very helpful info about using Apple Wallet to pay for the toilette! No more scrambling for coins!