What is the mobile boarding pass?
The mobile boarding pass is the digital counterpart of the printed boarding pass. It is stored on the smartphone and serves as your flight ticket in place of the printed boarding pass. As a rule, you get your mobile boarding pass when you check-in via Mobile Check-in, which, depending on the airline, you can conveniently do many days before departure via your smartphone (usually via an app provided by the airline or otherwise via the airline’s official website).
What advantages does the mobile boarding pass offer you?
A mobile boarding pass offers many advantages and is therefore suitable for practically everyone. The advantages are, among others:
- As a rule, the mobile boarding pass makes printing tickets superfluous.
- The mobile boarding pass can easily be stored on the mobile phone and does not take up any space.
- Due to its digital nature, the mobile boarding pass is of course much more environmentally friendly than printed boarding passes.
- If you only travel with hand luggage and already have your mobile boarding pass stored on your mobile phone, you can in many cases go directly to the security check at the airport.
Attention: For some airlines, it is mandatory to carry out either an online check-in or a mobile check-in. This is the case with Ryanair, Laudamotion and Wizz Air. If you do not check-in here online (either via online check-in or via mobile check-in), you will have to pay fees at the airport for check-in and printing your boarding pass.
How do I get my mobile boarding pass?
To get your mobile boarding pass, you must check in with your airline using Mobile Check-in.
With some airlines, you must use the official app of the airline in question to do so. Other airlines offer mobile check-in via their website.
But even if you use online check-in, at the end of the process some airlines offer you the option of having your mobile boarding pass sent to you, for example by e-mail or sometimes by SMS/MMS).
Mobile check-in is possible for many airlines in three simple steps:
- Download the airline’s official app to your mobile phone (some airlines, however, do not require an app, and in this case, you can simply check-in directly via the airline website).
- Open the app and enter the required information (e.g., surname + booking number/e-ticket number)
- Check-in via mobile check-in app, make a seat reservation if desired, and then save your mobile boarding pass on your mobile phone.
If you have an iPhone, it’s best to save the mobile boarding pass in the Apple Wallet app, so that you can also access the boarding pass offline! Alternatively, you can take a screenshot of the mobile boarding pass and use it offline.
If you are using an Android device, you can save your boarding pass in Google Pay and access it offline later.
What information is displayed on the mobile boarding pass?
You will usually find the following information on the mobile boarding pass:
- QR code. This code is used to scan your mobile boarding pass.
- Passenger’s first name and surname
- Flight number
- Departure airport and destination airport
- The terminal (from which airport terminal the flight is operated)
- Departure time and arrival time
- Booking number / Booking reference
- Date of flight
- Your seat number and sequence number (The sequence number shows the order in which passengers checked in). For example, if you have 16, then you are the 16th passenger to have checked in.)
Often you will also find a direct link to the Apple Wallet on the mobile boarding pass, where you can save the mobile boarding pass directly.
Mobile boarding pass on the mobile phone, but battery empty?
Smartphones are pretty smart and solve a lot of problems, but when it comes to the battery of these devices, unfortunately, they still give up quite quickly. So what do you do if you are horrified to find that your smartphone is out of juice at the airport? Basically, you usually have two options here:
Option 1: At most airports, there are various charging stations for mobile devices. Look for one and breathe new life into your smartphone.
Option 2: Go to the check-in counter and have your boarding pass printed there. If your airline has check-in machines (digital kiosks), you may also be able to print out your tickets there. It is almost always possible to print out your boarding pass at the check-in counter, but various (low-cost) airlines charge a hefty fee for this! This can be quite expensive, especially for low-cost airlines.
If you do have a Powerbank at home, make sure to bring it along with your mobile phone so that you won’t even have to deal with these problems in the first place!
When (where) do you have to show your mobile boarding pass at the airport?
Since the mobile boarding pass usually replaces the print boarding pass, it must be shown wherever the printed boarding pass must be shown. In particular:
- During the security check
- At passport control
- For purchases in the duty-free shop
- At the gate during boarding
Mobile boarding passes: Not valid at all airports
As practical as the Mobile Boarding Pass is, there are unfortunately still various airports that do not accept mobile boarding passes. So before you set off on your flight, make sure you find out whether or not mobile boarding passes are accepted at your airport.
So which airports support mobile boarding passes at all?
The following German airports support the mobile boarding pass:
- Berlin (TXL)
- Berlin (BER)
- Düsseldorf (DUS)
- Frankfurt (FRA)
- Hamburg (HAM)
- Hanover (HAJ)
- Cologne (CGN)
- Munich (MUC)
- Stuttgart (STR)
The following Swiss airports support the mobile boarding pass:
- Zurich (ZRH)
- Basel (BSL)
- Geneva (GVA)
The following Austrian airports support the mobile boarding pass:
- Vienna (VIE)
The folllowing airports in the UK support the mobile boarding pass system:
- London Gatwick (LGW)
- London Heathrow (LHW)
- Glasgow (GLA)
- Manchester (MAN)
- Newcastle (NCL)
Moreover, mobile boarding passes are also functional in Dublin DUB (republic of Ireland) and many other airports in Europe. We just named airports in the English-speaking countries. You can find a complete list here.
Caution with codeshare flights
On codeshare flights, for example on a flight that you have booked via Lufthansa but which is operated by Eurowings or SWISS, for example, you will most probably not be able to use mobile boarding passes. With those kinds of codesharing flights, you will have to use print boarding passes instead.
In the case of codeshare flights, you can usually check-in online with the airline that operates the first flight. There you should also receive information on how to get boarding passes for the next flights.
When will you be able to obtain boarding passes via Mobile Check-in?
As already mentioned, you must first check-in using Mobile Check-in to gain access to your digital boarding pass. Check-in times vary depending on the airline. As soon as you have checked in at the respective airline via Mobile Check-in, you can immediately retrieve and save your mobile boarding pass.
Here is a brief overview of when mobile check-in is possible with the various airlines:
- Austrian Airlines Mobile Check-in: 47 hours before departure at the earliest
- British Airways Mobile Check-in: 24 hours before departure at the earliest
- Condor Mobile Check-in: 24 hours before departure at the earliest
- EasyJet Mobile Check-in: already possible 30 days before departure
- Ryanair Mobile Check-in: Can be used 60 days before departure, but only if you reserve a seat subject to a charge or are travelling at a Plus/Flexi Plus fare.
- Laudamotion Mobile Check-in: the same principle applies here as for Ryanair
- Lufthansa Mobile Check-in: 23 hours before departure at the earliest
Many airlines also offer you the option of checking in via online check-in to get your mobile boarding pass at the end of the check-in process. It is also possible with various airlines many days before departure, but often only if you reserve a seat that is subject to a charge or are travelling in one of the more expensive travel fares.
With Ryanair, for example, you can check-in 60 days before departure (provided you buy a seat or travel at a Flexi Plus fare) and view your boarding pass or save it on your smartphone.
Do I have to be online to view my boarding pass on my mobile phone?
Not necessarily. With some airlines, the boarding pass can be opened via the app even when you are offline. However, without online access, the use of the app is, of course, limited. To ensure that you are guaranteed to be able to open the boarding pass offline as welll, you should also save the boarding pass in the Apple Wallet app (installed by default on the iPhone) or in a comparable Android app (Google Play, for instance).
Can several mobile boarding passes be shown on a single mobile phone?
Let’s say that you have made a family booking and would like to show all your mobile boarding passes on your mobile phone right away – is that possible? No, with most airlines this is not possible. Normally, every passenger has to save and show their mobile boarding pass on their own smartphone.
Is an eBoarding Pass the same as a mobile boarding pass?
No, an eBoarding Pass usually refers to a boarding pass that you print out yourself. You normally get the eBoarding Pass via the online check-in, more specifically after the online check-in you will have the option to print out such a boarding pass immediately or have it sent to you via e-mail so that you can print it out later. The eBoarding Pass is similar to to the ticket that you would get at the check-in counter at the airport.
Can I only get my mobile boarding pass via Mobile Check-in?
With some airlines, it is also possible to have the mobile boarding pass sent to you by e-mail (possibly also by SMS) after successful online check-in. This is the case with Lufthansa, for example.
Can I still receive my mobile boarding pass at a later date, even if I have registered via online check-in?
With many airlines, this can be done by simply registering later using the app (sometimes it is not even necessary to register; entering some data such as last name, booking number/E-ticket number may be sufficient). There you will then have access to your mobile boarding pass
Can the boarding pass be scanned directly from PDF?
If you receive your boarding pass in PDF format, you must print it out, as some airlines are not able to scan boarding passes in PDF format.
What does “SSSS” mean on the boarding pass?
If you find a mysterious “SSSS” on your boarding pass, this means the following: “Secondary Security Screening Selection.” This is a measure used in the US to increase flight safety by subjecting “conspicuous” passengers to a particularly detailed security check. Here you can find possible reasons for such an SSSS on the boarding pass.