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Question about boarding passes.

Hello all!
It has been a long time since I have flown and I want to be as efficient as I can be. I booked my plane tickets to Italy through a travel agent and she gave me an itinerary print out of my flights. I fly out of Chicago to Toronto (layover), then Toronto to Venice. This is what I am wondering….
- Should/Can I print out these boarding passes at home?
- Do I use the kiosk at the airport?
- Will my passes print out for both flights at the same time, or will I have to print out as pass at my layover airport?
Thanks!

Posted by
16165 posts

In general, you can pick your seat on-line and print your boarding pass 24 hours before the flight's departure time. If the ticket involves a connection, that can be printed as well if it is the same airline. If not, then wait until 24 hours before the Toronto-Italy flight's scheduled departure. Keep in mind, different time zone.
And if you paid a Travel Agent to buy your ticket, why not ask them? That's why you're paying them.

Posted by
6682 posts

Do be sure to check in on-line. I didn't once about a year ago, and we were about to get bumped from our flight!!! I thought that paying a couple thousand euros for a ticket was enough to hold our seats, silly me!!

Posted by
31303 posts

bridget,

I normally just stop at the airline desk at my home airport on departure day, and they print out the boarding passes for all the flights I'll be using. I have to stop there anyway to drop my checked luggage, so it's not really a huge inconvenience. The procedure seems to change a bit each year, so it could be different this year.

Posted by
6059 posts

bridgetreidel You might not be able to print boarding passes for the international segment of your flight, as the airline will want to verify that you have in your possession a valid passport before allowing you to board. Assuming you are ticketed through on one ticket. But yes, your travel agent should explain this to you.

Posted by
8889 posts

Bridget, Stan, It is possible to print out boarding passes in advance for international flights. If it weren't then European airlines would not be able to do it, and budget airlines surcharge you if you don't check in and print your boarding pass in advance.

What you need to do is fill in a Passenger Name Record (PNR) online before you do the online check-in. You can't do a check-in until you have done this. It involves entering your (and all other passengers') full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and expiry date.

But, whether your particular airline allows online check-in is something I don't know. Some airlines only allow you to print out boarding passes 24 hours in advance, some allow longer. As others have said, best to ask your travel agent. They sold you the tickets.

Posted by
3832 posts

1 & 3) You can print the boarding pass at home 24 hours before your flight - both if they're the same airline.

2) You could also use a kiosk at the airport. If so, you will type in your Confirmation Number from your reservation and your last name. Usually the Confirmation number is about a 6 digit or number/letter combination. I personally like to reprint my ticket at the kiosk, just so I have the Boarding Gate location printed on the ticket. If I stop for breakfast after I've gone through the security line, I still have the Boarding Gate # handy without looking for reader boards.

You might want to read about going through airport security since that has changed significantly over time. Then you'll be all ready to go. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
1322 posts

You can also check-in with your smartphone if you have one. You just need the airline app/s on your phone. Not all airlines allow this but if they do, I find it helps with keeping the number of paper items I have to carry. Also, I snap a photo of my boarding pass just incase I can't get the pass to load on my phone. Works well for me though some budget lines don't allow check- in this way or on line on their webpage or by calling them. I had a problem with Pegasus Airlines out of Izmir last year. I had to check-in at the airport.

Posted by
6059 posts

Chris, my last two outbound trips: United to Chicago, Lufthansa to Frankfurt; Delta to Minneapolis, Delta to Paris. On both occasions, I checked in online, but they would not allow boarding pass printout at home. Only when I showed up at first airport and showed them my passport would they print out a BP for the second segment. Surprised to see no one else has had this happen.

Posted by
8889 posts

Stan, strange. I have never come across that. When I fly UK to Schengen Area or vice-versa it is a 3-stage process: (1) book ticket (and pay), (2) enter passport details online, (3) "check in" and get a printable boarding pass.

Budget airlines' whole business model relies on you being able to print out your own boarding pass, or have it on your mobile 'phone. Ryanair are famous for surcharging you for not printing out your own boarding pass.
For some info on the passport info needed, see here: http://www.easyjet.com/en/help/preparing-to-fly/travel-documentation and click on "What is Advanced Passenger Information and why do I need to provide easyJet with it?"

Posted by
6059 posts

Chris, I see that those flights would be considered domestic so you only need ID, not a passport. So with a boarding pass in your hand, you can go right to the gate and board a plane without anyone checking to see if you have a valid passport in your possession? If not, where would they stop you? I believe the situation I described, it was due to having a connecting US domestic flight (with no passport requirement), after which the airline would be responsible if I showed up without a passport at the connecting airport for my flight to Europe. There isn't much more than a cursory passport glance by gate agents when boarding that second leg. So it appears to be an airline issue to not give you a boarding pass without a passport., not a gov't security requirement.

OP, sorry for the digression.

Posted by
1655 posts

For a United flight codeshared with Lufthansa from the west coast, connecting through IAD, the United app would not confirm me as matching my passport and therefore wouldn't give me a QR Code boarding pass on my device, but the Lufthansa app did confirm me as matching my passport and did give me a Lufthansa electronic boarding pass. The Lufthansa app appears to require a less exact match -- for instance, my passport says James and my ticket says Jim which the Lufthansa app recognizes as an abbreviation but the United app doesn't.
Normally for international flights I do expect to have to say hi to a human at a counter before getting a boarding document, so I was pleasantly surprised by being able to snap a picture of my passport within the Lufthansa app and have it tell me that was enough of a 'saying hi' as far as they are concerned.

Posted by
8392 posts

Stan, my experience with OLCI has been the same as yours. I fly Delta from my small airport and can never print out my boarding pass. The one time I did, the gate agent chewed me out because he had to spend time putting in my passport number as we were boarding. BTW I do have a frequent flyer account with Delta, it does have all my info including my passport number. The airport is very small so the check in desk closes so that person can then become the gate agent.

So, Bridget, I would say it depends! Leave yourself enough time that you can do the formalities at the airport if you need to.

Posted by
3469 posts

On United, I have never had any problem printing all boarding passes for any international trip I take. All of the passes have a highlighted spot printed on them that says INTERNATIONAL TRAVELER - VERIFY PASSPORT (or something to that effect) and I have never been able to get onto a United international flight either coming or going even having boarding pass without someone manually verifying my documents, usually at the gate just prior to boarding. Way back when I first started flying United (Continental actually) internationally, you were not allowed to print the non domestic boarding passes, but that changed many years ago. This just shows each airline has differences and some are more modern than others. :-)

Posted by
4373 posts

The most important thing to do is to check in online 24 hours in advance. I have seen people kicked off international flights because they waited until arriving at the airport to check in. It doesn't matter if you print at home or at the kiosk so long as you are checked in.

Posted by
14404 posts

I once checked in for a flight and the agent did not give me a boarding pass for my connection. It was a little stressful (time-consuming) to get one at the layover. The agent probably just wasn't paying attention. But since then, I always pay attention. If you don't have the 2nd boarding pass before you get to ORD, make sure you get one there at check in. Also, I always look at the luggage routing tags (ask the agent to show you) to make sure they have the right airport destination - I think yours is VCE.

Posted by
1767 posts

Personally I would not depend on my TA and do the following

  1. Once a week log on to the airline website and check your flights and your seats (Assuming your TA booked you seats, if not do that the first time you log on) In the event of a schedule change the airline will notify your TA not you and unless your TA is better than most of them you won't even know.

  2. Check in when you can, but there's no 'advantage' to printing at home so if you are checking luggage you can do it at the airport. If you are doing carryon then it's nice to print them and just go. All of your boarding passes will print at once.

Posted by
8889 posts

Stan, the UK is not in Schengen, a UK-Schengen (or vice versa) flight requires a passport to be shown, same as US - Schengen. Exit passport control occurs after security, and the airline checks your passport matches the ticket at the gate. The official immigration (passport control) checks occurs at the destination airport.
If US airlines and / or US authorities do not allow the issuing of boarding cards until they have had sight of the passport, I think that is their rule, not one imposed by the destination country. But judging by some other posts this restriction is not universal.

Posted by
21243 posts

I am with Stan. I fly both United and Lufthansa out of Denver and have never able to print boarding passes at home. However, if on connecting flights, say through Chicago, I can but not on direct flights. Then the passport is always checked in Chicago.

Posted by
70 posts

Icelandair will not allow us to print boarding passes at home in the US. We can check in and get confirmation but cannot print BP until we get to the airport.

Posted by
3547 posts

Since you are flying through Toronto I guess you are travelling with Air Canada, even if the ticket was sold by United. AC will check your luggage through to the destination, both going and coming. You should be able to select your seats well in advance, and check in on-line 24 hours ahead. The airline often sends out an e-mail reminder to do so, and you should be able to print your first set of boarding passes.
Two tips:
On your return flight, if it is again through Toronto, you will go through American immigration security there, so be sure to get in the appropriate line-up. I don't know if you have to retrieve your bags for US customs there or in Chicago. The procedures in Toronto are changing and for some connections to Canadian internal flights there is no longer a manual inspection. Even an Air Canada rep gave me wrong information about this change (if all else fails, the security guards directing foot traffic know more than anyone.)
Second: The trans-Atlantic leg will probably be on Air Canada Rouge. This is AC's attempt at a budget-style service to compete in the tourist trade. I suggest reading the Rouge pages on the Air Canada site to know what services you will get (notably, the in-flight entertainment is on tablets, not seat-back screens, and the refreshments may be somewhat limited.)