How do I send a boarding pass to another phone?

Tutorial on sending a boarding pass to another phone via email app
  Reading time 11 minutes

When it comes to air travel convenience, being able to transfer your boarding pass to another phone can alleviate a lot of stress. Whether you’re coordinating with family members or simplifying travel plans for a colleague, sending a digital boarding pass is straightforward and secure. The era of paper tickets at the boarding gates is waning, giving way to the digital age where electronic boarding passes on mobile devices reign supreme. This seamless transition not only streamlines the process but also enforces eco-friendly practices. In this comprehensive guide, we will navigate the nuances of sharing mobile boarding passes across various devices, ensuring you are equipped with the knowledge needed to pass along your entry to the skies with ease.

The Rise of Mobile Ticketing

Mobile ticketing has fundamentally changed how we travel. As we lean away from one-time-use paper boarding passes, the embracement of mobile boarding options by airline companies reflects current technological advancements. Mobile passes can be conveniently stored in wallet apps on mobile phones and presented at airport security and boarding gates, making them an asset for tech-savvy travelers. However, some passengers might not be ready to let go of paper tickets because of habit or lack of a smartphone; hence, most airlines still offer both options. When looking at a digital boarding pass, what stands out is the potential for it to act as a more dynamic tool than its static paper predecessor.

Steps to transfer a flight boarding pass to a different smartphone

Benefits of Digital Boarding Passes

What makes electronic boarding passes so appealing? Well, for starters, they negate the need to print and carry physical copies, which can be easily misplaced. Going digital means your pass resides safely on your device, and even if your phone’s battery dies, many airports have charging stations, or you could also have a printed copy for backup. Here are some listed benefits:

  1. Eco-friendly: Digital passes save paper, contributing to reducing waste.
  2. Convenience: They can be accessed offline and stored easily in wallet apps.
  3. Always up-to-date: Flights changes are updated in real-time on mobile boarding passes.
  4. Security: Boarding passes on mobile phones are typically harder to lose and can be protected by device security.

Preparing to Share Your Boarding Pass

Before you hit the ‘share’ button, you will need to consider several factors:

  • Ensuring Compatibility: Check that the recipient’s device can receive and display the boarding pass. Most airlines have mobile apps that are compatible with both iOS and Android interfaces, but other devices might need additional configurations.
  • Privacy Considerations: Sharing a boarding pass means you are also sharing personal information. Ensure you’re comfortable with what the recipient will see.
  • Required Information: Verify that all necessary details are included in the digital pass, such as the traveler’s name, barcode, and flight information.

Methods for Sharing Boarding Passes

This usually involves accessing the boarding pass within the app and looking for the share option, which might be represented by an icon or the phrase ‘share pass.’ You may also need the recipient’s email address or phone number, as the app usually prompts for these details.

If you received your boarding pass via email, sharing can be as simple as forwarding the email. Make sure it contains a downloadable file or a link to the boarding pass.

Text and Instant Messaging

If you have an iPhone, selecting the pass from your wallet and then tapping the share icon allows you to send it via iMessage. For other mobile phones, taking a screenshot and sending it via SMS might be the quickest solution.

Similar to text messages, you can share a screenshot or file through these platforms. Remember, data connection or Wi-Fi is required for these services.

Using Built-In Phone Features

This is a swift way to share between iPhones. Just bring the devices close, then tap the AirDrop icon and choose the recipient’s device.

While Android Beam is not available on newer Android phones, other options like Samsung’s Quick Share or Google’s Nearby Share function work similarly. These utilize a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to facilitate file transfer.

Person sharing their digital boarding pass with another phone user

Step-by-Step Guide to Sending Your Boarding Pass

If you’re both using Apple’s ecosystem, sharing is made simple with AirDrop. It allows for an instant transfer that doesn’t compromise the resolution or quality of the boarding pass, keeping it scannable. For your sake, we’ve prepared a table that outlines these steps:

Steps for AirDrop SharingDescription
1. Access the Wallet AppOpen the wallet app and locate the boarding pass.
2. Use the Share FunctionTap on the pass, then tap on the sharing option provided at the bottom.
3. Activate AirDropEnsure both the sending and receiving devices have AirDrop turned on and are discoverable. You might need to adjust your AirDrop receiving settings to ‘Everyone’ temporarily.
4. Select ReceiverTap the recipient’s device name that appears on the AirDrop list.
5. Wait for AcceptanceThe recipient will need to accept the incoming pass, and once confirmed, it will be saved on their device.
6. Confirm TransferMake sure the boarding pass appears in the recipient’s wallet app and is fully visible.

Sending from Android to Android

Android users can leverage Google’s Nearby Share feature, which was introduced after Android Beam was phased out. Compatibility varies depending on the device and operating system version, so check that both phones support this feature.

Cross-Platform Sharing

When sending between an iOS and an Android device, or vice versa, you’re likely going to rely on email, messaging apps, or SMS. Each of these methods ensures that the pass can be accessed on the other platform, even if the built-in share features like AirDrop are not available.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even with the convenience of digital boarding passes and the straightforward sharing processes, sometimes things don’t go as planned. Being prepared to tackle common issues can save you from last-minute panic.

Resolving Compatibility Problems

If the receiver’s device seems unable to open or display the pass, it may be due to an outdated operating system or absence of necessary apps. Suggest that they update their device or download the airline’s app. Occasionally, a restart of the device might also rectify minor glitches preventing the boarding pass from showing up.

What To Do If Sharing Fails

Should initial sharing attempts fail, consider alternative methods. You might need to resend the pass via a different platform or even share a screenshot of the barcode that can be scanned. Although not ideal, you could also readjust your plans to meet up and enter the boarding gates together if local regulations permit.

Contacting Airline Support

If all else fails and you’ve exhausted your options, don’t hesitate to reach out to the airline’s support team. They are well-versed in these situations and can often provide a solution, be it resending the boarding pass or providing instructions tailored to the airline’s specific system.

By anticipating and understanding how to manage potential complications, you ensure that the digital convenience does not turn into a digital dilemma.

Guide showing how to forward an airline boarding pass to another phone


In the ever-evolving landscape of travel, adopting the use of digital boarding passes and sharing them between mobile devices reflects our ability to leverage technology for greater efficiency and flexibility. While the shift from paper boarding passes to electronic ones symbolizes a broader digital transformation in the air travel industry, it’s critical to remember the potential roadblocks and how to navigate them. By following the outlined steps and being prepared for common issues, you can ensure the transition from one phone to another is as smooth as your upcoming flight. Whether it’s through airline apps, email, or phone features like AirDrop or Nearby Share, the ability to share a boarding pass is a testament to how our interactions with technology can enhance our real-world experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I share my boarding pass with multiple people?

Yes, you can share your digital boarding pass with multiple people using the same methods described for single sharing. Keep in mind that some airlines may have specific rules regarding boarding pass sharing, so it’s best to check with the airline beforehand.

What if I lose my phone after sharing the boarding pass?

If you lose your phone after sharing your boarding pass, contact the airline immediately. They can provide you with alternative ways to board your flight, such as a manual check-in at the airline desk where they may issue a paper boarding pass.

Is sharing my boarding pass secure?

Sharing your boarding pass is generally secure if you follow safe digital practices. Be mindful of who you share your information with, as boarding passes contain personal details. Use secure and trusted sharing methods, and make sure the recipient’s phone is secure as well.

Can I print my boarding pass after sharing it digitally?

Absolutely. You can print your digital boarding pass anytime before your flight. Airlines often provide kiosks at the airport where you can print your pass by entering your booking information, or you can print it at home from the airline’s website or email.

What should I do if the recipient cannot open the boarding pass?

Firstly, ensure the recipient has the necessary app or software to open the boarding pass. If they can’t open it, try another sharing method such as sending a screenshot. If time permits, the recipient can also visit the airline’s website and use their booking details to access the boarding pass directly.