Yesterday I flew from San Juan to Tampa via Miami on American, and decided to use a mobile boarding pass. The check-in queues were rather long, so I pulled up my mobile boarding pass in a matter of seconds.
After yesterday I was reminded why mobile boarding passes suck. I’m all for saving paper when possible, though this is an area where the savings don’t justify the inefficiency of it all, in my opinion.
First I went to the TSA checkpoint, where the agent didn’t have a mobile boarding pass scanner, so she had to leave the line and go to a scanner on the other side of the checkpoint to verify my boarding pass, which held up the line for about a minute.
Then I got to the Admirals Club, where my mobile boarding pass wouldn’t scan, so my flight information had to be looked up manually.
Then I got to my gate, where once again my boarding pass wouldn’t scan, even though I pulled it up correctly. Then I had to present my ID in addition to my seat number, once again holding up the line.
In Miami I accidentally pushed the wrong button on my phone, and closed my mobile boarding pass. I tried to once again pull it up from the link in the email, and it wouldn’t come up. Fortunately they have a PDF version as well, so I showed the gate agent that for my Miami to Tampa flight, and she manually entered my seat number and said I can go ahead.
Then as the door is about to close from Miami to Tampa the flight attendant comes up to me and asks me for my boarding pass. I show him the PDF copy, and he walks away satisfied. Then the gate agent walks aboard and asks for my ID, which she walks off with. In the meantime I overhear the guy behind me telling his wife that I’m probably trying to sneak into first class. A couple of minutes later the gate agent comes back with my ID and says “I’m sorry about that Mr. Lucky, we had a bit of a mixup.”
Anyway, I just can’t help but think that mobile boarding passes are a massive waste of time/resources. Online check-in is great, but does any frequent flyer actually consistently use mobile boarding passes?
Let me know in the comments section or the poll below!