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Several times I have been on a flight with my parents. I use a mobile boarding pass while my parents use a paper one.

At the boarding gate, they take my parents' paper pass and scan it. But for me they ask me to scan my boarding pass.

My question:

Are airline crew instructed to ask the passenger to scan his boarding pass if displayed on a mobile device?

I have a feeling this is true as if the person drops the phone the company don't want to be liable for cracked phones.

  • That's an interesting observation! I can confirm that I was told to scan my boarding pass on my mobile, too. Looking forward to answers to this question! – Ewige Studentin Mar 1 at 15:57
  • While flying to Sweden from Finland, the person at the counter took my phone and scanned it, then handed my phone back. So, perhaps it's a regional thing? – TravelLikeBeaker Mar 1 at 19:01
  • Anecdotally, I have found gate staff prefer me to scan your own pass, but lounge staff take the phone with two hands and scan it for me. This is the case even for airline-run lounges. – Calchas Mar 1 at 22:21
  • I am not sure how universal this is, at Dubai whenever I use a mobile boarding pass, the gate agent takes my phone and places it under the reader. – Burhan Khalid Mar 1 at 22:35
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Whether it's a specific airlines policy or not, they don't like to handle devices and I have routinely observed such behavior.

My deduction on this is that either the staff personally or airline do not want to, and really shouldn't, handle anyone's device for liability reasons. If the staff drops the device and damages it, that creates a whole bunch of problems. Paper on the other hand, can't break.

Also, people generally don't like anyone else handling their device.

Liability is also the reason flight attendants are technically not allowed to handle luggage.

  • But is it staff preference or airline policy? – user89966 Mar 1 at 22:07
  • @DManokhin If you're wondering about a specific airline, you'll have to ask someone who works there. It can be stated corporate policy, union guidelines/recommendation, an 'unwritten rule' among the staff or any number of other things. 100's of airlines = 100's of possible reasons. – Johns-305 Mar 2 at 14:16

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