Don’t be so hasty to discard or delete that airline boarding pass. Its value is not just in getting you from A to B; it could also unlock a wide range of money-saving perks when you reach your destination.
While you should always tear up a boarding pass and throw it away once you get home because it contains a lot of personal data that could end up in the wrong hands, there are several reasons why you should hang onto it at least for a bit. For one, it’s important to keep your boarding pass until your frequent flyer miles post because sometimes loyalty programs will want to see it in order to issue missing credit.
Another reason not to ditch your boarding pass right away is that many airlines around the world have developed partnerships with restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions that offer discounts to travelers who flash their travel documents from a recent flight.
Here are some of the best boarding pass perks available, listed by airline.
This low-fare airline offers travelers further discounts when they show their boarding passes or bag tags from recent flights. There is an extensive range of participating shops in many of the airline’s destinations across Asia and the opportunity to get a 25 percent discount at the Everland theme park in South Korea.
Alaska has one of the richest boarding pass perk programs especially when it comes to free or discounted lift tickets at many ski destinations, including at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe, California; Big White Ski Resort in BC, Canada; Steamboat Resort in Colorado; Sun Valley in Idaho; and Utah’s Snowbasin. Alaska Airlines mileage plan members can also enjoy free wine tastings by presenting an in-bound boarding pass at numerous wineries throughout Oregon and Washington.
Fly this SkyTeam airline and use your boarding pass for discounts in Rome at numerous museums and galleries. There are also savings available for the Roma Pass tourist card, which offers discounts at some of the city’s most popular sites, plus access to public transportation. And it’s not just in Rome where the Alitalia boarding pass is of value. Numerous Italian destinations offer perks and promotions to Alitalia travelers, including the National Automobile Museum in Turin and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
Asiana has benefits available to flyers for up to one week following their flight through its Magic Boarding Pass program. Many of the perks and discounts from this generous program can be used as far out as one month after the travel date. These include saving money at theme parks, rental car companies, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and hotels, among many other venues.
Save money or receive gifts at various shops in London (including at the Westfield and Bicester Village shopping centers) when showing your British Airways boarding pass or Executive Club membership at the cash register. There are also special rates for afternoon tea or free glasses of champagne at various hotels, including Hotel Café Royal and St. James Hotel and Club. Residents of the United Kingdom are unfortunately exempt from these benefits, however.
Etihad has worked with various Abu Dhabi restaurants, attractions, and retailers to have them provide a discount to passengers who show their boarding pass when visiting. The Extraordinary Abu Dhabi Pass, as the benefit is called, is also good for discounts to local golf courses (15 percent off at a few listed courses), the new Louvre Abu Dhabi museum (where you can get 20 percent off), and for nearly half off at the observation deck atop the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.
Thanks to this Boarding Pass True Value program, travelers can show their Garuda boarding pass as long as a week after their flight to receive discounts at places like duty-free shops, fashion outlets, restaurants, hotels, and travel agencies, among others.
The Excellent Boarding Pass program from Korean Air also offers perks up to seven days following your flight. This can include discounts at a surprisingly large number of places like cinemas, hotels, museums, and outlet malls in global cities that span from Honolulu to Singapore, Sydney to Vladivostok.
Arguably a pioneer in the boarding pass perks arena, Singapore was one of the first airlines to offer such benefits and has one of the lengthiest rosters of cities where benefits apply. Its partner airline Silk Air also participates in the same program. The Boarding Pass Privileges program evolves frequently with new partners constantly being added. It includes dining, shopping, tourist attractions, and airport transit, and there is a special section with flash deals that offers things such as two-for-one dining offers and extra amusement park passes.
The Thai Airways Boarding Pass Privilege program provides discounts at international department stores and offers a tax refund on some purchases.
There are also discounts available at the airport. WestJet passengers receive a 20 percent discount when purchasing access to a Plaza Premium Lounge in Canada. Of course, if you have a credit card with Priority Pass, you may already get free access to these lounges.
Ski Destinations Offer Boarding Pass Benefits, Too
In an effort to encourage people to fly into certain regional airports, some ski destinations offer perks for travelers who present boarding passes with the local airport code. These include Lake Tahoe (where many of the ski resorts offer travelers free lift tickets the same day they fly in), and Steamboat Springs, Colorado (which offers free night skiing on the day of their arrival to travelers flying into Yampa Valley Regional Airport).
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Ramsey Qubein Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.