I am exiting Japan soon and want to show one passport to leave and another to the airline. Does the official who stamps the exit stamp ask to see boarding pass? Do boarding passes show passport numbers/nationality, or only name?


No. The boarding pass has your identity, details of your flight, seat, class and sometimes pricing info. I have never seen one with a passport number or nationality.

EDIT: According to the comments though, it does happen in a few cases, so it's not an absolute No, although I can say that among a sample of a few hundreds of flights which I have taken, I have never seen it. Note that some domestic flights do not even require a passport.

It is common to show two passports to different officers when you have dual nationality. For example, you usually show the passport of the nation you are going to the gate agent, otherwise they will ask to see a visa. You may show a different passport to an immigration offers when there is one to check departures. This is not always the case as some countries do not have departure immigration control.

While you almost always have to show your boarding pass to many officers, including possibly the check-in counter, gate-agent, security agents, people sorting and directing you, plus to the baggage check agent, it is rare that you need to show your boarding pass to immigration. The most common case though is for transiting via a third country, in which case the boarding pass is an easy proof of intention of transit.

EDIT 2: About showing the boarding pass, I said rare but not never. I have only been asked once, again among hundreds of flights going through over 50 countries, but have done it several times voluntarily to explain transit. As in:

  • Officer: "How long are you staying in China?"
  • Me: "3 Hours, here's my onward pass to Malaysia."

Most times immigration offers just want to know what you are allowed in or out, depending if its is an Exit or Entrance. Passports, visas, letters or invitation are usually the supporting documents for that.

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    "rare that you need to show your boarding pass to immigration": in my experience, exit immigration officers commonly want to see boarding passes. I usually test this by giving them only my passport, and they usually ask to see the boarding pass. – phoog Oct 14 '16 at 8:39
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    Easyjet BPs have the passport number on them – Berwyn Oct 14 '16 at 9:27
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    I china, the id or passport no. must be printed on the boarding pass. And I have sometimes my passport no. printed on kl, af, lh boarding passed for inter-continental and connecting flights. You cannot easily say no for all boarding passes. – Shuangistan Oct 14 '16 at 11:07
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    Ryanair has the ID or passport numbers printed on the boarding passes as well. – MauganRa Oct 14 '16 at 13:35
  • Fair enough, updated my answer to emphasize the possibility. – Itai Oct 14 '16 at 14:23

To answer the second part of your question, boarding passes sometimes do show passport numbers.

Examining my collection of old boarding passes, a self-printed easyjet boarding pass, as well as boarding passes from Air New Zealand and KLM, all show my passport number.

Also, I have a Lufthansa boarding pass that while not showing a passport number, does indicate the nationality of my passport.

As to the first part of your question, I am not sure about the specifics for Japan, but countries vary as to whether the boarding pass is requested by the immigration authorities or not. As mentioned in the comments to your question, see I have two passports/nationalities. How do I use them when I travel? for how to use the two passports while travelling.

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    In my experience, it is common to be asked for the boarding pass by officers performing exit immigration checks. – phoog Oct 14 '16 at 8:41
  • @phoog - Really? Don't remember this ever happening. Think about it, if you are at the Exit Immigration Counter, they already know you have a boarding pass, that you've been pre-screened for the right to go wherever you are going and that you're about to leave the country since you're presumably already in the international exit terminal on the way to the gates. – Itai Oct 14 '16 at 15:13
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    @Itai "If you are at the Exit Immigration Counter, they already know you have a boarding pass, that you've been pre-screened for the right to go wherever you are going": not necessarily. Sarajevo airport is the example I know best. In that airport, your friends can accompany you to exit immigration. After you pass that checkpoint, you turn around and wave goodbye to your friends; you are now in the duty-free shopping area. To get from there to the gate, you have to go through the security screening. – phoog Oct 14 '16 at 15:16
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    @Itai furthermore, in some (most?) Schengen airports, you pass through security screening before immigration, so they know you have a boarding pass, but immigration officers don't know whether you are checked in for an internal or external flight without examining your boarding pass. Whether they care about your destination being inside or outside of Schengen probably varies from airport to airport. But imagine someone flying from Frankfurt to Vienna with a single-entry Schengen visa. They'd want to prevent that person from going through exit immigration in Frankfurt. – phoog Oct 14 '16 at 15:19

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