It’s Time To Redesign The Airline Boarding Pass, This Is The Answer
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Airline boarding passes have barely evolved in the last twenty years. I’m referring to paper boarding passes here. Aside from switching over to the newer 2D barcode, boarding passes have remained pretty much the same. I concede that you can now print your boarding passes at home, or even scan your mobile phone to hop on board the plane, but the ones issued over the counter still look dated, fit oddly in your passport, and display information in the weirdest, most incomprehensible fashion.

Enter Peter Smart’s clever redesign. What do you reckon? Should airlines begin to adopt Peter’s boarding pass? View more on his website.

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  1. Luke
    April 28, 2014 at 2:14 am

    (I am not a designer, but...) How about moving the Terminal and Gate number onto the same row as the Boarding Time? As they are all related information, and the space beside the Boarding Time is currently going to waste.

    Then, having reclaimed that space, you could include the Seat Number, as well as a diagram of the aircraft's seating layout, with A) the seat highlighted and possibly B) a faint route to that seat shown. Handy for larger aircraft with twin aisles, as it would help passengers who should go to the second aisle to identify that, as well as get an idea of how far down the aircraft their seat is (rather than getting stuck behind those people with seat 56E who freeze at row 3 and then painstakingly count every single row between there and their assigned place.

  2. Colin
    April 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I still stick by my earlier view - and Francois that doesn't mean I am closed to suggestions for improvements - but the "design idea" (DI) shown here is not great. There are improvements it would be easy for airlines to make, for example is the seat aisle/middle/window, but what do you do where seats are 4 or 5 abreast?

    On the minus side, the date info on the DI is tiny - isn't that info sort of vital, especially for the return leg (perhaps from a different time zone)? There are 5 airports that add London to their address. Unless I am conversant with ICAO airport ID codes, the DI doesn't tell me if I am flying from London Gatwick, London Heathrow or London City. I have friends who have turned up at the wrong airport because they don't understand those codes! Let's have the airport name in full.

    I am against trying to fudge something electronic, because I have waited several times while people reboot their tablets and phones, because it's more convenient for them than spending 2 minutes at the airport getting a boarding pass. I take the time to get weather online, and check/book seating plans online, I would like a smaller cleaner ticket. So this DI gets 6/10 from me.

  3. ReadandShare
    April 24, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I just want the thing in my phone / computer -- so I can scan my way through the check-in process. No need to print anything at all -- unless people really want to -- in which case the redesign is cool.

  4. Jo
    April 24, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    I like the cleaner option but why not make the whole boarding pass smaller - most airlines don't use the rip off portion and continually taking it out of your bag or pocket rips it off so you have two portions to worry about.

  5. stewpot70
    April 24, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    I like the iconic present design of boarding passes......I like knowing what time the plane goes, and what time it arrives. I couldn`t care less about the weather forecast, it will have changed in 7 days time anyway. I also like the way it neatly folds up, then sticks out the top of your passport.

  6. Matthew H
    April 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Interesting concept. In Europe, the budget airlines (such as EasyJet and RyanAir) makes us print out our own tickets before flight. Which is another opportunity for them to get us to print out a massive advert for watches, or in flight beverages. These usually take about 1/3 of the page.

    Sneaky.

  7. Frank
    April 23, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Recycle of something another artist did like last year, or even the year before. But it's clean. Just recycled.

  8. Pete
    April 23, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Remove the need the need for paper boarding passes all together! The faster your smart device becomes your BP and is automatically updated with gate info, boarding times etc, the better. (but yes the concept above is much better than the current version).

  9. Ed
    April 23, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    This is fantastic. Wish it was something the airlines were seriously considering right now!

  10. Rohit J
    April 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Great idea to redesign it in the first place; it's been stuck on a legacy format forever.

    Also need a space for the frequent flier number. Having it printed on the boarding card is a visual cue to the traveler that the FF# has been recorded.

  11. dragonmouth
    April 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    It's sensible and simple. That is why it will never be adopted by the airlines.

  12. bben
    April 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

    As a frequent traveler, I like the redesign.
    Where, When, What, Who
    My big gripes have been where on the pass is the gate shown - because that is Where I have to go next. Then what time do I have to be there (when) Boarding time - NOT the take off time that the airlines love to print on boarding passes. Then, when I have multiple boarding passes for separate legs of a trip which one do I use for this leg. (What is this one for) The name is number 4 ( Who) because I may have other people flying with me and it confuses TSA when you have the wrong boarding pass. These things need to be in larger print - because I have to take out my reading glasses to see small print.

  13. Colin
    April 23, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Hmm... how often do airlines know which gate they will be using? Wrong information is worse than none at all.
    Weather info might be nice, but do you get that info from a forecaster at your departure country or yor arrival country? I would have thought the arrival country might be the better bet, but even then there may be dozens of forecasts to choose from. You get teh weather en route anyway, so can change in the plane if need be.

    What annoys me the most is not the outdated paper slips, it is the idiots who turn up at the gate just as the phone/tablet battery dies, or the power saver kicks in, so we all have to wait until they boot up their screen again.

    • Francois
      April 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Most of the time the gate is printed on boarding cards. In fact, most of the time, the same flight departs from the same gate every day. This kind of stuff is precision scheduling, little is left to last minute improvisation!

      Weather and time difference are good indicators of what else the ticket could be used for. Your question is valid... but this is a design idea not a final draft. Perhaps a list of vaccinations, visas required, local currency info would find their place there. The main thing is: tickets could be more useful.

      Open your mind to the possibilities!

    • Scott
      April 24, 2014 at 11:17 am

      At big airports you often don't know your gate until about 10 mins before boarding starts. And it's these airports that would benefit from such a thing if it was digitally updatable, rather than everyone huddled around screens. Small airports its not so important, but neither is a all inclusive ticket.

      As for vaccinations, visas, local currencies etc. If you haven't sorted that out before getting your ticket then it's a little late!

  14. Jack
    April 23, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Well that's great, really neat and smart looking from a designers perspective. It would save some of the hassle of airline travel, but I can't help but think about the other nightmares associated with getting on a plane - http://www.pixelperks.com/10-reasons-why-you-should-never-get-on-a-plane/