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airport security

The Photo You Should Always Snap Before Going to the Airport

In recent years, I’ve become a fan of using a mobile boarding pass, which is retrieved through a link sent via text or email. Most airlines offer the option of a mobile boarding pass as an alternative to printing yours or picking up a paper copy at the airport. It can be particularly useful if you’re not near a printer, or don’t want to waste time in a long check-in line at the airport. But this method has one big downfall.

About a year ago, I was rushing through a foreign airport, trying to make a tight connection that required me to clear customs and then get through a second security screening. I was using a mobile boarding pass the airline had sent me, but when I went to pull it up on my phone, it wouldn’t appear. I realized that the airport not only didn’t have Wi-Fi, but my phone had no signal. I couldn’t open the boarding pass link, and I was as good as ticketless, standing on the wrong side of security. In a panic, I ran outside to see if I could get a signal; it worked and I was able to pull up my boarding pass, then sprint back to security and make my flight.

The incident taught me a vital lesson: always take a screen shot of your boarding pass. You can also save it to your Apple Wallet app on iOS, or PassWallet on Android, for remote use. Since then, having a photo or offline version of my scannable mobile boarding pass has saved me stress, hassle, and sprints though the airport in search of a stronger data connection.

It’s an easy step to add to your airport routine, and one you’ll be glad you took if you ever find yourself standing outside security struggling to pull up your boarding pass on your phone. Don’t know how to take a screen shot on your phone? Here are the simple instructions on how to screenshot for iOS and Android, and how to use Apple Wallet and PassWallet.

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