If you’re a frequent flier, then you probably take advantage of online check-in via your airline of choice on a regular basis. These days, many airlines offer online access to customers’ flight reservations, allowing them to view their transaction receipts, check for up-to-date flight status information, reserve seats ahead of time, and even view and print boarding passes.
While printing your boarding pass prior to arriving at the airport can save you the time of having to wait in line, you might want to check the quality of the print job before you head out for the airport.
Risks Associated with Poorly Printed Boarding Passes
By printing a boarding pass that’s not completely legible, you could run into a number of issues, including:
- Being denied boarding by a TSA agent;
- Not being able to get the boarding pass to scan at the gate;
- Not being able to read your gate number and other important information.
If you think none of these mishaps could ever affect you, think again. Experienced fliers and novice fliers alike find themselves in these troublesome situations on a regular basis. One example of this can be found on Travel And Leisure; here, a passenger made it all the way to the security check point with a pre-printed boarding pass.
Upon handing the pass to the TSA agent, the would-be passenger was informed that, because the pass was not entirely legible, it could not be used. In this situation, a cut-off date at the top of the page was the culprit, but the issue could just as easily be a smudge of ink or a faded print job.
Just a couple of years ago, a passenger on a Malaga Airways flight named Sue Craig was denied boarding because the pass she had printed at home could not be scanned. As reported by Typically Spanish, the woman had made it past security check points and all the way to the gate of the plane.
When the airline attendant attempted to scan the pass at boarding, it would not scan because of the poor print job. After several failed attempts at scanning the pass, the woman was sent to a customer service queue, but the wait was so long that she missed her flight entirely.
Aside from being turned down by the airline as a result of a poorly printed boarding pass, you also run the risk of misreading your boarding information. For example, a smudge of ink could turn a boarding time from 3:00 to 8:00, or could make it difficult to read your gate number.
Tips for Improving Print Quality
If printing your passes directly at the airport is out of the question and you insist on printing from home, at least take the time to heed some basic tips for improving your print quality. For example, WikiHow recommends that you make sure your printer is set to print in the highest quality.
You can do this by visiting the “preferences” menu when selecting your printer. For optimal quality, choose the highest dots per square inch (dpi) setting available. Furthermore, whenever possible, stick with your printer’s brand of ink and toner rather than buying off-brands to save money.
Finally, upon printing a boarding pass, take a minute to look it over before you leave for the airport. Be on the lookout for cut-off information, ink smudges, and poorly printed bar codes.
By taking the time to do this, you can save yourself a great deal of hassle when you get to the airport and avoid the possibility of missing your flight as a result of an illegible boarding pass. From there, you can enjoy the most stress-free flying experience the next time you find yourself traveling by plane.