Those of us of a certain age remember when airlines gave passengers tickets with many pages. As you were processed for your flight, they would remove pages from your ticket book. One of those pages always ended up stapled to your boarding pass so gate agents knew that your ticket was paid for. But these days, all you need is a smartphone to show your boarding pass at the airport security checkpoint and when boarding your flight -- and they do so much more. These eight airlines offer great mobile apps.
Alaska Air allows users to download mobile boarding passes on an iPhone, Google Play, Windows Phone, or a mobile website. Users have access to other functions including changing seats, checking flight schedules, view standby and upgrade lists and receive notifications for flight delays and gate changes.
Travelers can create their mobile boarding pass either through the carrier’s app or via its website. If you use the app, the pass is automatically stored. If you use the website, choose "Email with Mobile Option" and select the appropriate email box for your mobile device. Save the boarding pass to your device. App users can also check in for flights, check schedules, choose seats, find terminal maps, and view standby and upgrade lists. The app is available on iPhone/iPad, Google Play, and the Amazon app store.
Delta offers mobile boarding passes for iPhone/iPad, Google Play, and Windows Store. The user can also handle functions including pay for trip extras like upgraded seats or in-flight Wi-Fi, reserve preferred seats, rebook delayed or canceled flights and check flight status. You can even take a photo of where you park your car.
The Denver-based carrier has an app on the iOS and Android platforms. The app includes a mobile boarding pass, mobile check-in, the ability to book a flight and check flight status. It also has an interactive route map and allows travelers to add a bag or select a seat.
Hawaii's flag carrier has the iOS-based Travel App that allows passengers to book a flight, manage trips, check in, create mobile boarding passes, view and email itineraries, check flight status, select, change or upgrade seat, and pay baggage fees.
Travelers can use the iPhone and Google Play app from JetBlue to access a mobile boarding pass. Users can also view terminal maps, book flights with True Blue points, view the flight schedule, get flight updates, check out in-flight entertainment options, and see what food and beverages are available inflight.
Southwest allows travelers to check in via the airline’s app, on iPhone or Google Play, or from a mobile web browser. After checking in, users can receive their mobile pass via email, text message, or view it in a browser. Once the pass appears, it can be saved to a device and presented at airport security checkpoints and boarding gates.
The Fort Lauderdale-based carrier doesn't have an official app, but travelers can use their smartphones or tablets to handle online check-in, which begins and ends 24 hours prior to and an hour prior to a flight's scheduled departure, respectively. Travelers can also buy additional bags and desired seat assignments.
United offers versions of its app on the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows platforms. Users not only have a mobile boarding pass, but they can change an itinerary during a flight delay or cancellation, Check your upgrade status and view in-flight amenities, departure gates, receive automatic updates on your mobile device for selected flights, and keep all of your upcoming travel information – including reservations, mobile boarding passes, flight status notifications, one-time passes, and more – all in one place.
While the San Francisco-based carrier does not have a mobile app, it does allow travelers to check in via a mobile website. The website was created with responsive design, which allows travelers to view and navigate the full website, no matter what device they use. Users can save their boarding pass, check and choose seats, and get flight statuses and alerts.